An acoustic analysis of flaps in American English and Japanese
Occlusion duration and devoicing
This paper advances a phonetic analysis of the American English flap together with the American English lateral liquid in contrast to the Japanese flap, thereby revealing similarities and differences among the three sounds. After a brief review of previous studies of the American English flap and the Japanese flap, an acoustic experiment involving the three sounds is provided. The results of the experiment produce three findings which have not been recognized in previous studies: (i) the Japanese flap gets devoiced; (ii) the American English flap is similar to the Japanese flap in occlusion duration and devoicing; (iii) the American English flap and the Japanese flap are dissimilar to the American English lateral liquid, which is longer in duration than the first two, and it rarely gets devoiced.
Keywords: flaps, devoicing, occlusion duration, English/Japanese, acoustic analysis
Published online: 29 September 2016
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