Vowel duration and the voicing effect across dialects of English

Tanner, J., Sonderegger, M., Stuart-Smith, J. and The SPADE Data Consortium, (2019) Vowel duration and the voicing effect across dialects of English. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics, 41(1), (doi: 10.33137/twpl.v41i1.32769)

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The ‘voicing effect’ – the durational difference in vowels preceding voiced and voiceless consonants – is a well-documented phenomenon in English, where it plays a key role in the production and perception of the English final voicing contrast. Despite this supposed importance, little is known as to how robust this effect is in spontaneous connected speech, which is itself subject to a range of linguistic factors. Similarly, little attention has focused on variability in the voicing effect across dialects of English, bar analysis of specific varieties. Our findings show that the voicing of the following consonant exhibits a weaker-than-expected effect in spontaneous speech, interacting with manner, vowel height, speech rate, and word frequency. English dialects appear to demonstrate a continuum of potential voicing effect sizes, where varieties with dialect-specific phonological rules exhibit the most extreme values. The results suggest that the voicing effect in English is both substantially weaker than previously assumed in spontaneous connected speech, and subject to a wide range of dialectal variability.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stuart-Smith, Professor Jane and Sonderegger, Professor Morgan
Authors: Tanner, J., Sonderegger, M., Stuart-Smith, J., and The SPADE Data Consortium,
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics
Publisher:University of Toronto
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 James Tanner, Morgan Sonderegger, Jane Stuart-Smith, The SPADE Data Consortium
First Published:First published in Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics 41(1)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3001610SPeech Across Dialects of English (SPADE): large-scale digital analysis of a spoken language across space and timeJane Stuart-SmithEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/R003963/1Arts - English Language and Linguistics