- Phonetik (2) (remove)
- Why are voiced affricates avoided cross-linguistically? : evidence from an aerodynamic study (2008)
- This paper shows that several typologically unrelated languages share the tendency to avoid voiced sibilant affricates. This tendency is explained by appealing to the phonetic properties of the sounds, and in particular to their aerodynamic characteristics. On the basis of experimental evidence it is shown that conflicting air pressure requirements for maintaining voicing and frication are responsible for the avoidance of voiced affricates. In particular, the air pressure released from the stop phase of the affricate is too high to maintain voicing, which in consequence leads to a devoicing of the frication part.
- How do voiced retroflex stops evolve? Evidence from typology and an articulatory study (2008)
- The present article illustrates that the specific articulatory and aerodynamic requirements for voiced but not voiceless alveolar or dental stops can cause tongue tip retraction and tongue mid lowering and thus retroflexion of front coronals. This retroflexion is shown to have occurred diachronically in the three typologically unrelated languages Dhao (Malayo-Polynesian), Thulung (Sino-Tibetan), and Afar (East-Cushitic). In addition to the diachronic cases, we provide synchronic data for retroflexion from an articulatory study with four speakers of German, a language usually described as having alveolar stops. With these combined data we supply evidence that voiced retroflex stops (as the only retroflex segments in a language) did not necessarily emerge from implosives, as argued by Haudricourt (1950), Greenberg (1970), Bhat (1973), and Ohala (1983). Instead, we propose that the voiced front coronal plosive /d/ is generally articulated in a way that favours retroflexion, that is, with a smaller and more retracted place of articulation and a lower tongue and jaw position than /t/.