Phonetic preconditions for the development of normative preaspiration  

Pétur Helgason

Proceedings of the XIVth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (1999): 1851 - 1854
(San Francisco, USA)  


In several locations in north-western Europe, preaspiration - the early timing of glottal abduction relative to oral closure in vowels preceding a voiceless stop consonant - has become normative, i.e., an obligatory feature of sequences of vowel and fortis stop. Impressionistic observations suggest that non-normative preaspi-ration may occur across the whole Scandinavian language area. In the present paper, the speech of 4 speakers of Central Standard Swedish was analysed with regard to the temporal aspect of pre-aspiration. It was found that impressionistic predictions regard-ing preaspiration tendencies were borne out by instrumental analysis. Thus this kind of non-normative preaspiration in the Scandinavian language area in general may provide a favourable 'phonetic soil' for the development of normative preaspiration.

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