An acoustic and electropalatographic analysis of nasal place assimilation in /nk/ and /ng/ clusters is provided for five native Italian speakers. Place assimilation for pre-velar nasals in Italian is usually said to be categorical in both word-internal and word-boundary position. However, empirical research on place assimilation in non-homorganic clusters in different languages has uncovered aspects of variation supporting a non-discrete view of several phonological processes previously thought of as obligatory and categorical. The present study aims at investigating the role of stylistic and internal factors on Italian nasal-to-velar cluster assimilation, such as speech rate variations (normal vs. slow speech), the lexical status of the cluster (word-internal vs. cross-boundary), stress position, and postnasal voicing. Assimilation is evaluated for frequency of occurrence, strength of application, and target intrinsic variability. Results indicate that nasal-to-velar clusters in Italian are mostly fully assimilated and therefore homorganic, but the process is also sensitive to factors such as speech rate and the presence of a word boundary. Patterns of variability are observed both within and across speakers, and sporadic gradient reduction of gestures is also detected. Both anticipatory and carry-over coarticulatory effects are found within the cluster; nasal-to-velar clusters are conceived of as a constituent with a single articulatory target and a complex gestural pattern distributed over a relatively extended temporal interval. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Nasal place assimilation between phonetics and phonology: An EPG study of Italian nasal-to-velar clusters

CELATA, Chiara;CALAMAI, SILVIA;RICCI, Irene;BERTINI, Chiara
2013

Abstract

An acoustic and electropalatographic analysis of nasal place assimilation in /nk/ and /ng/ clusters is provided for five native Italian speakers. Place assimilation for pre-velar nasals in Italian is usually said to be categorical in both word-internal and word-boundary position. However, empirical research on place assimilation in non-homorganic clusters in different languages has uncovered aspects of variation supporting a non-discrete view of several phonological processes previously thought of as obligatory and categorical. The present study aims at investigating the role of stylistic and internal factors on Italian nasal-to-velar cluster assimilation, such as speech rate variations (normal vs. slow speech), the lexical status of the cluster (word-internal vs. cross-boundary), stress position, and postnasal voicing. Assimilation is evaluated for frequency of occurrence, strength of application, and target intrinsic variability. Results indicate that nasal-to-velar clusters in Italian are mostly fully assimilated and therefore homorganic, but the process is also sensitive to factors such as speech rate and the presence of a word boundary. Patterns of variability are observed both within and across speakers, and sporadic gradient reduction of gestures is also detected. Both anticipatory and carry-over coarticulatory effects are found within the cluster; nasal-to-velar clusters are conceived of as a constituent with a single articulatory target and a complex gestural pattern distributed over a relatively extended temporal interval. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/10630
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