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      Duration, vowel quality, and the rhythmic pattern of English

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          Abstract

          Languages with binary stress systems frequently tolerate a stress lapse over the final two syllables, but almost none tolerate a word-initial stress lapse. Lunden ( to appear) argues that this lapse asymmetry can be explained by the presence of word-level final lengthening, which can then create the perception of prominence alternation in languages that use duration as stress correlate. The results of a production and a perception study with English speakers are presented which compare /ɑ/s that occur under stress lapse to /ɑ/s in non-stress-lapse positions. While word-final unstressed /ɑ/ is always longer than non-final unstressed /ɑ/, it is significantly longer when immediately following an unstressed syllable. Similarly, unstressed word-final /ɑ/ has a higher F1 and lower F2 than non-final unstressed /ɑ/, but word-finally this less-reduced vowel is closer to a full vowel when the final syllable is part of a stress lapse. The perception study finds that these differences have perceptual consequences that can lead to a perceived continued rhythm in stress lapse. The phonetic differences explain why a word-final unstressed vowel can be perceived as relatively strong when following an unstressed syllable but as relatively weak when following a stressed syllable.

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          Most cited references 5

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          The weight of final syllables in English

           A. LUNDÉN (2011)
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            Articulatory evidence for differentiating stress categories

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              A Preliminary Metrical Account of Winnebago Accent

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                1868-6354
                Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology
                Ubiquity Press
                1868-6354
                13 November 2017
                2017
                : 8
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]College of William and Mary, US
                Article
                10.5334/labphon.37
                Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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