Chapter published in:Sonic Signatures: Studies dedicated to John Harris
Edited by Geoff Lindsey and Andrew Nevins
[Language Faculty and Beyond 14] 2017
► pp. 146–162
The relative salience of consonant nasality and true obstruent voicing
Arguments for a clear affinity between nasality and voicing can be found in the phonology literature (Nasukawa 1998, 2005a; Kula and Marten 1998; Ploch 1999, Botma 2004). In contrast to traditional feature theories, these arguments attempt to capture the nasality-voicing correlation by claiming that the two properties are different phonetic manifestations of a single unified nasal-voice feature |N|: this is interpreted as nasality when non-headed but as true obstruent voicing when headed. Under this approach, headedness contributes to melodic complexity and relative phonetic saliency: a truly-voiced expression (i.e. the realisation of headed |N|) is more complex than its nasal counterpart (i.e. the realisation of non-headed |N|) and also more salient. However, so far there has been no agreement on the precise definition of salience when applied to these two properties, the confusion arising from the use of different types of acoustic measurements. To address this issue, this chapter considers the relative salience of consonant nasality and true obstruent voicing with reference to the modulated-carrier model of speech.
Keywords: relative salience, nasality, obstruent voicing, modulated carrier signal, acoustic energy
Published online: 30 November 2017
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