Voicing assimilation in whispered speech
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Kohlberger, M. & Strycharczuk, P. (2015) Voicing assimilation in whispered speech, Proceedings of the 18th ICPhS, Glasgow, , , ,
A large body of literature has shown that phonemic voicing contrasts are preserved in the production and perception of whispered speech. Nevertheless, it is unclear to what extent allophonic voicing is also maintained in whisper. The present study investigates whether a non-contrastive voicing distinction in Spanish fricatives - which results from voice assimilation in obstruent clusters - is also acoustically cued in whispered speech. In order to test this, a production experiment was conducted with 11 speakers of Peninsular Spanish. A number of acoustic cues relating to the fricatives in question and their surrounding phonological environment were measured. Four cues were found to be affected by voicing assimilation in normal phonation. Crucially, one cue (preceding vowel duration) was found to be affected by voicing assimilation in both normal and whispered phonation. These results show that non-contrastive voicing distinctions are also maintained in whispered speech.