Onset vs. Coda Asymmetry in the Articulation of English /r/

Scobbie, J. M., Lawson, E., Nakai, S., Cleland, J. and Stuart-Smith, J. (2015) Onset vs. Coda Asymmetry in the Articulation of English /r/. In: 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, Glasgow, UK, 10-14 Aug 2015, ISBN 9780852619414

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Publisher's URL: https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs-proceedings/ICPhS2015/Papers/ICPHS0704.pdf


We describe an asymmetric categorical pattern of onset-coda allophony for English /r/, the post-alveolar rhotic approximant, drawing on published and unpublished information on over 100 child, teenage and adult speakers from prior studies. Around two thirds of the speakers exhibited allophonic variation that was subtle: onset and coda /r/ were typically both bunched (BB), or both tip-raised (RR), with minor within speaker differences. The other third had a more radical categorical allophonic pattern, using both R and B types. Such variable speakers had R onsets and B codas (RB): but the opposite pattern of allophony (BR) was extremely rare. This raises questions as to whether the asymmetry is accidental or motivated by models of syllable structure phonetic implementation.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nakai, Dr Satsuki and Lawson, Dr Eleanor and Stuart-Smith, Professor Jane
Authors: Scobbie, J. M., Lawson, E., Nakai, S., Cleland, J., and Stuart-Smith, J.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Published Online:09 August 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
551731Seeing the Links in the Speaker-Hearer Chain: An investigation of the transmission of articulatory variation using Ultrasound Tongue ImagingJane Stuart-SmithEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/I036400/1CRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS