Articulatory Strategies for Place Contrasts of Unreleased Final Stops on Preceding Vowels: Evidence from Ultrasound Imaging

Suki Yiu, Diana Archangeli, Jonathan Yip


This ultrasound study examines the gestural coordination involved in vowel-to-consonant sequences concerning unreleased final stops, which are more susceptible to reduction than their released counterparts. Thus, coarticulatory information on the preceding vowel is important to signal place contrasts of post-vocalic stops. The gestural coordination of vowel-consonant sequences of monosyllabic words in Cantonese represents a testing case for having preserved phonemic contrasts of six unreleased final stops in a range of vowel contexts. Preliminary results from smoothing spline ANOVA and linear mixed-effect regression show that coarticulatory patterns depend on vowel height, that is, non-high vowels are undergoing gradual coarticulation whereas high vowels are phonologising the lingual properties of the unreleased final stops on the preceding vowels.


Cantonese; Coarticulation; Unreleased final stops

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