An ultrasound study of lingual coarticulation in /sV/ syllables produced by adults and typically developing children
Hardcastle, William J.
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Zharkova, N., Hewlett, N. & Hardcastle, W. (2012) An ultrasound study of lingual coarticulation in /sV/ syllables produced by adults and typically developing children, Journal of the International Phonetic Association, vol. 42, , pp. 193-208,
According to the Degree of Articulatory Constraint model of lingual coarticulation, the consonant /s/ has some scope for tongue adaptation to neighbouring vowels, since the tongue dorsum is not directly involved in constriction formation for this consonant. The present study aimed to establish whether the tongue shape for /s/ in consonant-vowel syllables was influenced by the nature of the following vowel, in Scottish-English-speaking children and adults. Ultrasound tongue imaging was used to establish the presence or otherwise of a vowel effect at the consonant midpoint, by measuring differences between the consonant tongue contours in different vowel environments. In adults, the vowel pairs /a/-/i/, /a/-/u/ and /i/-/u/ exerted significant coarticulatory effects on /s/. In children, no significant effects on /s/ were observed. Greater within-speaker variability in lingual articulation was found in children than in adults. The reduced ability of children to anticipate the tongue configuration of a following vowel whilst simultaneously implementing an initial /s/ sound could be explained by lesser differential control of tip/blade and tongue body.