Place of articulation for Swedish /t/ and /d/: cross-dialectal observations  

Peder Livijn

In the Proceedings of Proceedings of the XVth ICPhS, Barcelona, 3-9 August, 2003: 675-678


The basic purpose of these experiments was to investigate place of articulation (dental or alveolar) for coronal consonants in a number of Swedish dialects. A combined EPG and listening experiment indicated that native Swedish speakers are able to reliably discern dental and alveolar coronals and, thus, that the question could be approached on the basis of auditory analysis. Listening tests suggested that /t/ is produced at a dental rather than alveolar place of articulation whereas /d/ is alveolar in many Swedish dialects. This pattern turned out to be not only dialect-specific but also characterised larger dialect areas. In contrast to /t/, /d/ also tended to be approximantised, but this effect did not vary systematically with dialect. /n/ and /l/ tended to pattern with /t/ in being dental rather than alveolar, and fully closed rather than approximantised. However, /l/ was also found to be strongly retroflexed in many dialects. Some of these effects were verified through acoustical measurements. It was found, in particular, that alveolar /d/ productions have shorter closures than dental /d/ productions. These findings are discussed on the basis of aerodynamic considerations.

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