Article published in:Phonetics and Phonology: Interactions and interrelations
Edited by Marina Vigário, Sónia Frota and M. João Freitas
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 306] 2009
► pp. 13–34
Schwa in American English V+/r/ sequences
This paper presents an acoustic study of word-final V+/r/ sequences in AmericanEnglish. The objectives were (i) to identify the presence of a schwa-like element inthe VC transitions, (ii) to investigate how this presence is related to the phonetic/phonological nature of V, and (iii) to determine whether the spectral anddurational characteristics of this element vary as a function of speaking rate. Twospeakers participated in the experiment. Formant and duration measurementsaccounted for (i) differences between the schwa-like element and canonicalschwa and (ii) variability in the schwa-like element and V. One-way ANOVAstested for formant and duration differences, while two-way ANOVAs tested forthe relationship between formant variability in the schwa-like element and V.The results suggest that the presence of a highly variable schwa-like element inthe V+/r/ sequences is (i) a generalized process affecting all contexts and (ii) theresult of coarticulation rather than epenthesis/insertion.
Published online: 28 October 2009