The postvocalic consonant as a complementary cue to the perception of quantity in Swedish - a revisit  

Thorén, B.

In the Proceedings of Fonetik 2005, Göteborg, 25-27 May 2005: 115-118.

Abstract

Is the duration of the post-vocalic consonant in stressed syllables an important property when teaching Swedish as a L2? Is it a cue to the discrimination of /V:C/ and /VC:/ words or a buffer for proper syllable duration, or both? Four Swedish words, providing two minimal pairs with respect to phonologic quantity, and containing the vowel phonemes /E/ and /U/, were gradually changed temporally from /V:C/ to /VC:/ and vice versa. Manipulations of durations were made in two series - one with changing of vowel duration only, and one with changing of vowel and consonant duration in combination. 30 native Swedish listeners decided whether they perceived test words as original quantity type or not. The results show that the duration of the post-vocalic consonant had substantial influence on how the listeners categorized the test words. The study also includes naturalness judgements of the test words, and here the "proper" post-vocalic consonant duration had a positive influence on the listener's judgements of naturalness for /E/ but not for /U/.

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