Acoustical Cues for Palatalization of Consonants


  • Rytis Ambrazevičius Kaunas University of Technology



priebalsiai, palatalizavimas, akustinė fonetika, formantės, lokusai, perturbacijų teorija, modos, akustinė masė, rezonatorių sąveika


The general differential cues for palatalization of consonants based on their acoustical properties are examined. The study discusses [i]-type palatalization (the variant of secondary articulation) characteristic of Lithuanian, however, a broader field of meanings of the concept of palatalization is also presented in the beginning. The acoustical cues for palatalization are related to the peculiarities of the articulation of the hard and soft (non-palatalized and palatalized) consonants. F2 locus is examined as the most simply defined parameter differentiating the hard and soft consonants. For the interpretation of the tendencies of differences between the F2-loci values for the hard and soft consonants, the perturbation theory is applied. The spectral qualities of consonants can also indicate palatalization, with different success for different cases. There is a fair correspondence between the F2 locus and F2 extracted from the spectrum of a consonant. For the interpretation of the spectral qualites, the model of two connected tubes (representing roughly the configuration of vocal tract characteristic of the majority of consonants) is applied; in addition to the perturbation theory. Different level of coupling between the two resonators is noted, for hard and soft consonants. This allows the corresponding spectral parameters indicating the level to work as supplementary acoustical cues for palatalization.