This study investigates the effect of contrastive stress on nasal coarticulation in English. There are two opposing findings about the correlation between coarticulation and hyperarticulation in the literature: first, that emphasis results in timing patterns which reduce coarticulation; second, that both increased hyperarticulation and increased coarticulation have been observed in words of similar lexical properties (i.e., words from dense phonological neighborhoods). The current study was designed to explore these correlations further. The results indicate that contrastively stressed words have less coarticulation and longer vowels and consonants than unstressed words; however, the neighborhood density patterns were maintained across stress conditions. We take these findings to suggest that contrastive stress is about duration whereas other (i.e., lexically conditioned) hyperarticulation is about explicit spectral reorganization.
Index Terms: contrastive stress, coarticulation, neighborhood density
Bibliographic reference. Zellou, Georgia / Scarborough, Rebecca (2012): "Nasal coarticulation and contrastive stress", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 2686-2689.