Acoustic and articulatory features in phonology - The case for [long VOT]

Gillian Gallagher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper argues that phonological features must represent both the articulatory and acoustic properties of speech sounds. Evidence for this claim comes from the long-distance restrictions on ejectives and aspirates in Quechua (MacEachern, Laryngeal co-occurrence restrictions, Garland, 1999), which require both that ejectives and aspirates be referred to as a class and that they be distinguishable. The standard, articulatory features [constricted glottis] and [spread glottis] can distinguish ejectives and aspirates, but it is not possible to group these two types of segments in articulatory terms. While ejectives and aspirates are articulatorily disparate, they can be grouped in acoustic terms. Both types of segments are characterized by a long lag between the release of the oral constriction and the onset of voicing in a following sonorant, referred to by the proposed feature [long VOT]. Introducing acoustic features allows for a simple and restrictive account of the phonological behavior of laryngeally marked segments, both in Quechua and cross-linguistically.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)281-313
    Number of pages33
    JournalLinguistic Review
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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