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

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.


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