The present study contributes to our understanding of the phonetic implementation of the fortis–lenis plosive contrast in British varieties of English via analyses of pre-aspiration and glottalisation. More specifically, we show that pre-aspiration and (pre-) glottalisation can and do function as correlates of the contrast in British English plosives in non-foot-initial position (latter vs ladder; mat vs mad). This is in addition to rather than at the expense of the other traditionally discussed potential correlates, with the exception of word-final release duration, where the pre-closure laryngeal phenomena are more robust. We also provide evidence that listeners of a range of accents of British English use pre-aspiration as a cue to the contrast, exhibiting clear categorical perception effects (based on data from 19 listeners). We conclude that the gesture of spread glottis is not necessarily tied to the release phase of the plosive in the relevant varieties of British English but instead can be found prior to the release phase, or indeed both prior to as well as during the release phase itself. Our study thus contributes to the pool of languages known to use pre-closure laryngeal features functioning as correlates of and cues to phonological contrasts (see e.g. Clayton 2009; Kingston 1990; Silverman 1995).
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Allen, J.S. and J.L. Miller. 1999. “Effects of syllable-initial voicing and speaking rate on the temporal characteristics of monosyllabic words”. JASA 106(4). 2031–2039.
Al-Tamimi, J. and G. Khattab. 2011. “Multiple cues for the singleton-geminate contrast in Lebanese Arabic: acoustic investigation of stops and fricatives”. 17th ICPhS, Hong Kong. 212–215.
Ball, M. and M. MacAliskey (eds.). 1996. Papers from the International Conference on Language in Ireland. (Belfast Working Papers in Linguistics 13.) Belfast: University of Ulster.
Beal, J. An introduction to regional Englishes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Bell, A. and A. Gibson. 2008. “Stopping and fronting in New Zealand Pasifika English”. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 14(2) / NWAV 36. 44–53.
Bermúdez-Otero, R. 2004. “Raising and flapping in Canadian English: grammar and acquisition”. Paper presented at the CASTL Colloquium, University of Tromsø, 2 November 2004.
Bladon, A. 1986. A state process approach to syllabicity and syllable structure. (PhD dissertation, Stanford University.)
Boersma, P. and D. Weenink. 2016. Praat: doing phonetics by computer.
Buchstaller, I., K.P. Corrigan, A. Holmberg, P. Honeybone and W. Maguire. 2013. “T-to-R and the Northern Subject Rule: questionnaire-based spatial, social and structural linguistics”. English Language and Linguistics 17(1). 85–128.
Buizza, E. and L. Plug. 2012. “Lenition, fortition and the status of plosive affrication: the case of spontaneous RP English /t/”. Phonology 29. 1–38.
Campbell, L. 2004. Historical linguistics. An introduction. (2nd ed.) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Chirrey, D. 1999. “Edinburgh: Descriptive material”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 223–229.
Clark, U. and E. Asprey. 2013. Dialects of English. West Midlands English: Birmingham and the Black Country. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Clarke, S. 2010. Dialects of English. Newfoundland and Labrador English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Clayards, M. and T. Knowles. 2015. “Prominence enhances voiceless-ness and not place distinction in English voiceless sibilants”. 18th ICPhS, Glasgow.
Clayton, I. 2009. “Pre-aspirated stops: A perceptually “suboptimal” phonological structure?” Paper presented at LASSO 2009, September 26, Birmingham University.
Clayton, I. 2010. On the natural history of preaspirated stops. (PhD dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.)
Clayton, I. 2017. “Preaspiration in Hebrides English”. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 47(2). 155–181.
Cox, F. and S. Palethorpe. 2007. “Australian English”. JIPA 37(3). 341–350.
Docherty, G. and P. Foulkes. 1999. “Sociophonetic variation in ‘glottals’ in Newcastle English”. 14th ICPhS, San Francisco. 1037–1040.
Eddington, D. and C. Channer. 2010. “American English has goʔ a loʔ of glottal stops: social diffusion and linguistic motivation”. American Speech 85(3). 338–351.
Eddington, D. and M. Taylor. 2009. “T-glottalization in American English”. American Speech 84(3). 298–314.
Fabricius, A. 2002. “Ongoing change in modern RP”. English World-Wide 23(1). 115–136.
Fought, C. 2003. Chicano English in context. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.). 1999. Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold.
Fuchs, S., M. Toda and M. Żygis (eds.). 2010. Turbulent sounds: An interdisciplinary guide. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Gallagher, G. 2011. “Acoustic and articulatory features in phonology – the case for [long VOT]”. The Linguistic Review 28. 281–313.
Garellek, M. 2013. Production and perception of glottal stops. (PhD dissertation, University of California.)
Gordeeva, O. 2007. “Learnability of laryngeal abduction in voiceless fricatives: cross-linguistic evidence”. 16th ICPhS, Saarbrücken. 433–436.
Gordeeva, O. and J. Scobbie. 2010. “Preaspiration as a correlate of word-final voice in Scottish English fricatives”. In: Fuchs, S., M. Toda and M. Żygis (eds.), Turbulent sounds: An interdisciplinary guide. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 167–207.
Gordeeva, O. and J. Scobbie. 2013. “A phonetically versatile contrast: pulmonic and glottalic voicelessness in Scottish English obstruents and voice quality”. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 43. 249–271.
Gourevitch, V. and E. Galanter. 1967. “A significance test for one parameter isosensitivity functions.” Psychometrika 32(1). 25-33.
Hay, J., M. MacLagan and E. Gordon. 2008. Dialects of English. New Zealand English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Hejná, M. 2015. Pre-aspiration in Welsh English: A case study of Aberystwyth. (PhD dissertation, University of Manchester.)
Hejná, M. and J. Scanlon. 2015. “New laryngeal allophony in Manchester English”. 18th ICPhS, Glasgow.
Hejná, M. 2016a. “Multiplicity of the acoustic correlates of the fortis–lenis contrast: plosives in Aberystwyth English”. Interspeech 2016, San Francisco. 3147–3151.
Hejná, M. and A. Jespersen. 2019. “Focus on consonants: prosodic prominence and the fortis–lenis contrast in English”. In: Nyvad, A.M., M. Hejná, M. Hjorten Sørensen, A. Højens and A. Jespersen (eds.), A sound approach to language matters. Festschrift for Ocke-Schwen Bohn. Aarhus: Aarhus University. 237–270.
Hickey, R. 1996. “Lenition in Irish English”. In: Ball, M. and M. MacAliskey (eds.), Papers from the International Conference on Language in Ireland. Belfast Working Papers in Linguistics 13. Belfast: University of Ulster. 173–193.
Hickey, R. 2004. “The phonology of Irish English”. In: Kortmann, B. and E.W. Schneider (eds.), Handbook of varieties of English. Volume 1: Phonology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 68–97.
Honeybone, P. 2005. “Diachronic evidence in segmental phonology: the case of obstruent laryngeal specifications”. In: van Oostendorp, M. and J. van de Weijer (eds.), The internal organisation of phonological segments. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 317–352.
Huffman, M.K. 2005. “Segmental and prosodic effects on coda glottalisation”. Journal of Phonetics 33. 335–362.
Iverson, G. and J. Salmons. 1995. “Aspiration and laryngeal representation in Germanic”. Phonology 12. 369–396.
Jones, M. and C. Llamas. 2003. “Fricated pre-aspirated /t/ in Middlesbrough English: an acoustic study”. 15th ICPhS, Barcelona. 655–658.
Keating, P., M. Garellek and J. Kreiman. 2015. “Acoustic properties of different kind of creaky voice”. 18th ICPhS, Glasgow.
Kingston, J. 1990. “Articulatory binding”. In: Kingston, J. and M.E. Beckman (eds.), Papers in laboratory phonology I. Between the grammar and the physics of speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 406–450.
Kingston, J. and M.E. Beckman (eds.). 1990. Papers in laboratory phonology I. Between the grammar and the physics of speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kingston, J., R.L. Diehl, C.J. Kirk and W.A. Castleman. 2008. “On the internal perceptual structure of distinctive features: the [voice] contrast”. Journal of Phonetics 36. 28–54.
Kortmann, B. and E.W. Schneider (eds.). 2004. Handbook of varieties of English. Volume 1: Phonology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Kreiman, J. 1982. “Perception of sentence and paragraph boundaries in natural conversation”. Journal of Phonetics 10. 163–175.
Macmillain, N. and C. D. Creelman. 2005. Detection theory: A user’s guide. (2nd ed.) New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Maddieson, I. 1984. Patterns of sounds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mathisen, A.G. 1999. “Sandwell, West Midlands: ambiguous perspectives on gender patterns and models of change”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 107–123.
Mees, I. and B. Collins. 1999. “Cardiff: a real-time study of glottalisation”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 185–202.
Meyerhoff, M., C. Adachi, A. Daleszyńska and A. Strycharz (eds.). 2010. Proceedings of the Second Summer School of Sociolinguistics, The University of Edinburgh 14–20 June 2010. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. <http://orca.cf.ac.uk/64918/1/Jon.pdf> (accessed 10 March 2017).
Morris, J. and M. Hejná. 2019. “Pre-aspiration in Bethesda Welsh: A sociophonetic analysis”. Journal of the International Phonetic Association (First View).
Morris, J. 2010. “Phonetic variation in Northern Wales: preaspiration”. In: Meyerhoff, M., C. Adachi, A. Daleszyńska and A. Strycharz (eds.), Proceedings of the Second Summer School of Sociolinguistics, The University of Edinburgh 14–20 June 2010. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. <http://orca.cf.ac.uk/64918/1/Jon.pdf> (accessed 10 March 2017).
Mortensen, F.V. 2017. Post-aspirated affrication of Welsh English plosives: a study of Aberystwyth /t/. (Unpublished BA project, Aarhus University.)
Newlin-Łukowicz, L. 2013. “TH-stopping in New York City: Substrate effect turned ethnic marker?” University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 19(2) / NWAV 41(17). 150–160.
Ohala, J.J. 1983. “The origin of sound patterns in vocal tract constraints”. In: Mac-Neilage, P.F. (ed.), The production of speech. New York: Springer-Verlag. 189–216.
Pisoni, D.B. 1973. “Auditory and phonetic memory codes in the discrimination of consonants and vowels”. Perception & Psychophysics 13. 253–216.
Redi, L. and S. Shattuck-Hufnagel. 2001. “Variation in the realization of glottalization in normal speakers”. Journal of Phonetics 29. 407–429.
Reynolds, B. 1994. “The /z/ → [d] variable rule in negative auxiliary contractions in Southern States English”. American Speech 69(4). 361–372.
Sangster, C.M. 2001. “Lenition of alveolar stops in Liverpool English”. Journal of Sociolinguistics 5(3). 401–412.
Scobbie, J. 2005. “Interspeaker variation among Shetland Islanders as the long term outcome of dialectally varied input: speech production evidence for fine-grained linguistic plasticity”. QMUC Speech Science Research Centre Working Paper WP 2.
Seyfarth, S. and M. Garellek. 2015. “Coda glottalization in American English”. 18th ICPhS, Glasgow.
Silby, W. 2008. “T-flapping in New Zealand English: a change over time”. NZEJ 22. 24–35.
Silverman, D. 1995. Phasing and recoverability. PhD thesis, University of California in Los Angeles.
Silverman, D. 2003. “On the rarity of pre-aspirated stops”. Journal of Linguistics 39. 575–598.
Skarnitzl, R. 2011. Znělostní kontrast nejen v češtině [Voicing contrast not only in Czech]. Praha: Epocha.
Stevens, M. and J. Hajek. 2005. “Spirantization of /p t k/ in Sienese Italian and so-called semi-fricatives”. Interspeech 2005, Lisbon. 2893–2897.
Stevens, M. and U. Reubold. 2014. “Pre-aspiration, quantity, and sound change”. Laboratory Phonology 5(4). 455–488.
Stoddart, J., C. Upton and J.D.A. Widdowson. 1999. “Sheffield dialect in the 1990s: revisiting the concept of NORMs”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 72–89.
Stuart-Smith, J. 1999. “Glasgow: accent and voice quality”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 203–222.
Stuart-Smith, J., G. Pryce, C. Timmins and B. Gunter. 2013. “Television can also be a factor in language change: evidence from an urban dialect”. Language 89(3). 501–536.
Su, V.W.Y. 2007. The gender variable in Australian English stop consonant production. (BA thesis, The University of Melbourne.)
Tait, C. and M. Tabain. 2016. “Patterns of gender variation in the speech of primary school-aged children in Australian English: the case of /p t k/”. SST 2016, Parramatta. 65–68.
Tollfree, L. 1999. “South East London English: discrete versus continuous modelling of consonantal reduction”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 163–184.
Toscano, J.C. and B. McMurray. 2010. “Cue integration with categories: weighting acoustic cues in speech using unsupervised learning and distributional statistics”. Cognitive Science 34(3). 434–464.
van Oostendorp, M. and J. van de Weijer (eds.). 2005. The internal organisation of phonological segments. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Vaux, B. 1998. “The laryngeal specifications of fricatives”. Linguistic Inquiry 29(3). 497–511.
Vaux, B. and B. Samuels. 2005. “Laryngeal markedness and aspiration”. Phonology 22. 395–436.
Watson, K. 2007. The phonetics and phonology of plosive lenition in Liverpool English. (PhD dissertation, University of Lancaster, Edge Hill College.)
Watt, D. and L. Milroy. 1999. “Patterns of variation and change in three Newcastle vowels: is this dialect levelling?”. In: Foulkes, P. and G. Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Accent studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold. 25–46.
Wells, J.C. 1982. Accents of English 2. The British Isles. Cambridge: CUP.
Zue, V.W. and M. Laferriere. 1979. “Acoustic study of medial /t, d/in American English”. JASA 66. 1039–1050.