eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1965
Linguistica Uralica cover
Linguistica Uralica
ISSN 1736-7506 (Electronic)
ISSN 0868-4731 (Print)

Interactions between Segmental Context and Quantity: Temporal Patterns of Geminates in Estonian; pp. 241-260

Full article in PDF format |

Helen Türk


This study investigates segmental level contextual effects on the ­acoustic realization of the phonological three-way consonantal quantity contrast. The durational patterns of intervocalic consonants in three quantity degrees are studied as a function of the quality of the consonant and the surrounding vowels. It is generally found in different languages that the main correlate of consonantal quantity or gemination is duration: geminates are longer than single consonants. The durations of underlying segments are also conditioned by their intrinsic properties, i.e., place and manner of articulation, which can interact with quantity. In this paper, the relationship between segmental characteristics and quantity is studied by measuring the durations of different consonants in the three ­quantity degrees characteristic of the phonetic system of the Estonian language. The results show that in all quantities bilabial consonants are longer than alveolars and velars while obstruents are shorter than sonorants. In Q1 the intrinsic durations of consonants are the most distinctive, in Q2 and Q3 the durations of different ­obstruents move closer to each other, while the durations of sonorants retain their distinctiveness. Although vocalic context tends to even out these intrinsic ­characteristics of consonants, they are still somewhat preserved at the level of quantity.


Arai, T., Warner, N., Greenberg, S. 2007, Analysis of Spontaneous Japanese in a Multi-Language Telephone-Speech Corpus. - Acoustical Science and Technology 28, 46-48.

Arvaniti, A., Tserdanelis, G. 2000, On the Phonetics of Geminates: Evidence from Cypriot Greek. - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, Beijing, 559-562.

Asu, E. L., Lippus, P., Teras, P., Tuisk, T. 2009, The Realization of Estonian Quantity Characteristics in Spontaneous Speech. - Nordic Prosody. Proceedings of the Xth Conference, Helsinki 2008, Frankfurt am Main, 49-56.

Asu, E. L., Teras, P. 2009, Estonian. - Journal of the International Phonetic Association 39 (3), 367-372.

Aulanko, R. 1985, Microprosodic Features in Speech: Experiments on Finnish. - Fonetiikan Päivät - Turku 1985. XIII Fonetiikan päivillä Turun yliopistossa 30.-31. 8. 1985 pidetyt esitelmät, Turku (Turun yliopiston suomalaisen ja yleisen kielitieteen laitoksen julkaisuja 26), 33-54.

Bals, B. A., Odden, D., Rice, C. 2012, An Analysis of North Saami Gradation. - Phonology 29 (2), 165-212.

Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., Walker, S. 2014, lme4: Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using Eigen and S4. R Package Version 1.1.7.

Boersma, P. Weenink, D. 2017, Praat: Doing Phonetics by Computer (Version 6.0.18).

Bürkner, P. 2017, Bayesian Distributional Non-Linear Multilevel Modeling with the R Package brms.

Bye, P., Sagulin, E., Toivonen, I. 2009, Phonetic Duration, Phonological Quantity and Prosodic Structure in Inari Saami. - Phonetica 66 (4), 199-221.

Diehl, R. L. 1991, The Role of Phonetics within the Study of Language. - Phonetica 48 (2-4), 120-134.

Diehl, R. L., Kluender, K. R. 1989, On the Objects of Speech Perception. - Ecological Psychology 1 (2), 121-144.

Dimitrieva, O. 2017, Production of Geminate Consonants in Russian: Implications for Typology. - The Phonetics and Phonology of Geminate Consonants, Oxford, 34-65.

Eek, A. 1970, Some Coarticulation Effects in Estonian. - СФУ VI, 81-85.

Eek, A. 1970a, Articulation of the Estonian Sonorant Consonants I. [n] and [l]. - ETATÜS 19, 103—121.

Eek, A. 1970b, Articulation of the Estonian Sonorant Consonants II. [r]. - ETATÜS 19, 296—310.

Eek, A. 1971a, Articulation of the Estonian Sonorant Consonants III. Palatalized [n] and [l]. - ETATÜS 20, 173-191.

Eek, A. 1971b, Articulation of the Estonian Sonorant Consonants IV. [m]. - СФУ VII, 161-168.

Eek, A. 1971c, Articulation of the Estonian Sonorant Consonants V. [n]. - СФУ VII, 259-268.

Eek, A. 1974, Observations on the Duration of Some Word Structures I. - Estonian Papers in Phonetics, 18-31.

Eek, A. 1980, Further Information on the Perception of Estonian Quantity. - Estonian Papers in Phonetics, 31-57.

Eek, A., Meister, E. 1997, Simple Perception Experiments on Estonian Word Prosody: Foot Structure vs. Segmental Quantity. - Estonian Prosody: Papers from a Symposium. Proceedings of the International Symposium on ­Estonian Prosody, Tallinn, Estonia, October 29-30, 1996, Tallinn, 71-99.

Eek, A., Meister, E. 2003, Domain of the Estonian Quantity Degrees. Evidence from Words Containing Diphthongs. - Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona, 2039-2042.

Fangel-Gustavson, N., Ridouane, R., Morén-Duolljá, B. 2014, Quantity Contrast in Lule Saami: A Threeway System. - ­Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP), 5-8 May 2014 Cologne, Germany, Köln, 106-109.

Fischer-Jørgensen, E. 1964, Sound Duration and Place of Articulation. - Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenchaft und Kommunikationsforschung 17, 175-208.

Fowler, C. A., Saltzman, E. 1993, Coordination and Coarticulation in Speech Production. - Language and Speech 36 (2-3), 171-195.

Gelman, A., Jakulin, A., Pittau, M. G., Su, Y.-S. 2008, A Weakly Informative Default Prior Distribution for Logistic and Other Regression Models. - The Annals of Applied Statistics 2 (4), 1360-1383.

Gelman, A., Simpson, D., Betancourt, M. 2017, The Prior Can Generally Only Be Understood in the Context of the Likelihood.

Gelman, A., Stern, H. S., Carlin, J. B., Dunson, D. B., Vehtari, A., Rubin, D. B. 2013, Bayesian Data Analysis, Boca Raton.

Gonzales, A. 2009, Intrinsic F0 in Shona Vowels: A Descriptive Study. - Selected Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on African ­Linguistics, Somerville, 145-155.

Haggard, M. 1973, Correlations between Successive Segment Durations: Values in Clusters. - Journal of Phonetics 1, 111-116.

Heuft, B., Portele, T. 1995, Intrinsic Prosodic Values and Segmental Context. - Fourth European Conference on Speech Communication and ­Technology. Madrid, Spain, September 18—????21, 1995, Madrid, 2077-2080.

Honda, K., Hirai, H., Masaki, S., Shimada, Y. 1999, Role of ­Vertical Larynx Movement and Cervical Lordosis in F0 Control. - Language and Speech 42 (4), 401-411.

Idemaru, K., Guion, S. G. 2008, Acoustic Covariants of Length Contrast in Japanese Stops. - Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (02), 167-186.

Issa, A. 2015, On the Phonetic Variation of Intervocalic Geminates in Libyan Arabic. - Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow,

Jacewicz, E., Fox, R. A. 2015, Intrinsic Fundamental Frequency of Vowels Is Moderated by Regional Dialect. - The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 138 (4), 405-410.

Kawahara, S., Pangilinan, M. 2017, Spectral Continuity, Amplitude Changes, and Perception of Length Contrasts. - The Phonetics and ­Phonology of Geminate Consonants, Oxford, 13-33.

Keating, P., Linker, W., Huffman, M. 1983, Closure Duration of Stop Consonants. - Journal of Phonetics 11, 277-290.

Kirby, J. P., Ladd, D. R. 2016, Effects of Obstruent Voicing on Vowel F0: Evidence from ”True Voicing” Languages. - The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140 (4), 2400-2411.

Klumpp, G., Mazzitelli, L. F., Rozhanskiy, F. 2018, Typology of Uralic Languages: Current Views and New Perspectives. Introduction to the Special Issue of ESUKA-JEFUL. - ESUKA 9, 9-30.

Kouznetsov, V. 2001, Perceptual Role of Inherent Vowel Duration as Distinctive Feature in Russian. - Proceedings of the XI Session of the Russian Acoustical Society, Moscow, 443-447.

Ladefoged, P., Johnson, K. 2014, A Course in Phonetics, Toronto.

Ladefoged, P., Maddieson, I. 1996, The Sounds of the World’s Languages, Oxford.

Leeper, T. J. 2017, Interpreting Regression Results Using Average Marginal Effects with R’s Margins.

Lehiste, I. 1960, Segmental and Syllabic Quantity in Estonian. - American Studies in Uralic Linguistics, Bloomington (UAS 1), 21-82.

Lehiste, I. 1966, Consonant Quantity and Phonological Units in Estonian, Bloomington (UAS 65).

Lehiste, I. 1970, Suprasegmentals, Cambridge-London.

Lehiste, I. 1971, Experiments with Synthetic Speech Concerning Quantity in Estonian. - Working Papers in Linguistics 9, Columbus, 199-217.

Lehiste, I. 2003, Prosodic Change in Progress: from Quantity Language to Accent Language. - Development in Prosodic Systems, Berlin-New York, 47-65.

Lehiste, I., Peterson, G. E. 1959, Vowel Amplitude and Phonemic Stress in American English. - The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 31 (4), 428-435.

Lehiste, I., Teras, P., Ernštreits, V., Lippus, P., Pajusalu, K., Tuisk, T., Viitso, T.-R. 2008, Livonian Prosody, Helsinki (MSFOu 255).

Lehtonen, J. 1970, Aspects of Quantity in Standard Finnish, Jyväskylä.

Lippus, P. 2010, Variation in Vowel Quality as a Feature of Estonian Quantity. - Speech Prosody. Fifth International Conference, Chicago, IL, USA, May 10-14, 2010. ISCA Archive,

Lippus, P., Asu, E. L., Teras, P., Tuisk, T. 2013, Quantity-Related Variation of Duration, Pitch and Vowel Quality in Spontaneous Estonian. - Journal of Phonetics 41, 17-28.

Lippus, P., Šimko, J. 2015, Segmental Context Effects on Temporal Realization of Estonian Quantity. - Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow,

Lippus, P., Tuisk, T., Salveste, N., Teras, P. 2006, Phonetic Corpus of Estonian Spontaneous Speech.

Lisker, L. 1972, Stop Duration and Voicing in English. - Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics to the Memory of Pierre Delattre, The Hague (Janua Linguarum. Series Maior 54), 339-343.

Lisker, L. 1974, On ”Explaining” Vowel Duration Variation. - Glossa 8 (2), 233-246.

McElreath, R. 2016, Statistical Rethinking. A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan, Boca Raton.

McRobbie-Utasi, Z. 2007, The Instability of Systems with Ternary Length Distinctions: The Skolt Saami Evidence. - Saami Linguistics, Amsterdam (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 288), 167-205.

Meister, E., Werner, S. 2006, Intrinsic Microprosodic Variations in ­Estonian and Finnish: Acoustic Analysis. - Fonetiikan Päivät 2006. The Phonetics Symposium 2006, Helsinki (Helsingin yliopiston puhetieteiden laitoksen julkaisuja 53), 103-112.

Meister, E., Werner, S. 2009, Duration Affects Vowel Perception in Estonian and Finnish. - LU XLV, 161-177.

Meister, E., Werner, S. 2015, Comparing Palatography Patterns of Estonian Consonants across Time. - Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, ­Glasgow,

Mendoza, E., Carballo, G., Cruz, A., Fresneda, M. D., Mu­ñoz, J., Marrero, V. 2003, Temporal Variability in Speech Segments of Spanish: Context and Speaker Related Differences. - Speech Communication 40 (4), 431-447.

Mitterer, H. 2018, Not All Geminates are Created Equal: Evidence from Maltese Glottal Consonants. - Journal of Phonetics 66, 28-44.

Neuberger, T. 2015, Durational Correlates of Singleton-Geminate Contrast in Hungarian Voiceless Stops. - Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow,

Ohala, J. J. 1983, The Origin of Sound Patterns in Vocal Tract Constraints. - The Production of Speech, New York, 189-216.

Ohala, J. J., Eukel, B. W. 1987, Explaining the Intrinsic Pitch of Vowels. - In Honor of Ilse Lehiste. Ilse Lehiste Pühendusteos, Dordrecht-Providence (Netherlands Phonetic Archives 6), 207-215.

Pajusalu, K. 2012, Phonological Innovations of the Southern Finnic Languages. - A Linguistic Map of Prehistoric Northern Europe, Helsinki (MSFOu 266), 201-224.

Pajusalu, K., Uiboaed, K., Pomozi, P., Németh, E., Fehér, T. 2018, Towards a Phonological Typology of Uralic Languages. - ESUKA 9, 187-207.

Pape, D., Mooshammer, C. 2006, Intrinsic F0 Differences for German Tense and Lax Vowels. - Proceedings of the 7th International Seminar on Speech Production, Ubatuba, 271-278.

Pape, D., Mooshammer, C., Fuchs, S., Hoole, P. 2005, Intrinsic Pitch Differences Between German Vowels /i:/, /ı/ and /y:/ in a Crosslinguistic Perception Experiment. - ISCA Workshop on Plasticity in Speech Perception, Senate House, London, UK, June 15-17, 2005. ISCA Archive,

Payne, E. M. 2005, Phonetic Variation in Italian Consonant Gemination. - Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2), 153-181.

Podesva, R. 2000, Constraints on Geminates in Burmese and Selayarese. - Proceedings of West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, Somerville, 343-356.

Recasens, D., Espinosa, A. 2009, An Articulatory Investigation of Lingual Coarticulatory Resistance and Aggressiveness for Consonants and Vowels in Catalan. - The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 125 (4), 2288-2298.

Recasens, D., Pallarès, M. D., Fontdevila, J. 1997, A Model of Lingual Coarticulation Based on Articulatory Constraints. - The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 102, 544-561.

Stevens, J. W. 2009, What is Bayesian Statistics.

Suen, C. Y., Beddoes, M. P. 1974, The Silent Interval of Stop Consonants. - Language and Speech 17 (2), 126-134.

Suomi, K., Toivanen, J., Ylitalo, R. 2008, Finnish Sound Structure. Phonetics, Phonology, Phonotactics and Prosody, Oulu (Studia Humaniora Ouluensia 9).

Tserdanelis, G., Arvaniti, A. 2001, The Acoustic Characteristics of Geminate Consonants in Cypriot Greek. - Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Greek Linguistics, Thessaloniki, 29-36.

Tuisk, T. 2012, Tonal and Temporal Characteristics of Disyllabic Words in Spontaneous Livonian. - LU XLVIII, 1-11.

Türk, H., Lippus, P., Pajusalu, K., Teras, P. 2019, The Acoustic Correlates of Quantity in Inari Saami. - Journal of Phonetics 72, 35-51.

Türk, H., Lippus, P., Šimko, J. 2017, Context-Dependent Articulation of Consonant Gemination in Estonian. - Laboratory Phonology. Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology 8 (1), 26.

Vainio, M., Altosaar, T. 1998, Modeling the Microprosody of Pitch and Loudness for Speech Synthesis with Neural Networks. - Fifth Interna­tional Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 98), Sydney.

Vasishth, S., Nicenboim, B., Beckman, M. E., Li, F., Kong, E. J. 2018, Bayesian Data Analysis in the Phonetic Aciences: A Tutorial Introduction. - Journal of Phonetics 71, 147-161.

Viitso, T.-R. 2003, Structure of the Estonian Language. Phonology, ­Morphology and Word Formation. - Estonian Language, Tallinn (Linguistica Uralica. Supplementary Series / Volume 1), 9-92.

Westbury, J. R., Keating, P. A. 1980, Central Representation of Vowel Duration. - The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 67, S37.

Whalen, D. H., Levitt, A. G. 1995, The Universality of Intrinsic F0 of Vowels. - Journal of Phonetics 23 (3), 349-366.

Williams, D. R., Rast, P., Bürkner, P.-C. 2018, Bayesian ­Meta-Analysis with Weakly Informative Prior Distributions.

Back to Issue