The link between syllabic nasals and glottal stops in american english

Lisa Davidson, Shmico Orosco, Sheng Fu Wang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Examples of syllabic nasals in English abound in phonological research (e.g., Hammond, 1999; Harris, 1994; Wells, 1995), but there is little explicit discussion about the surrounding consonant environments that condition syllabic nasals. This study examines the production of potential word-final syllabic nasals in American English following preceding consonants including oral stops, glottal stops, fricatives, flap, and laterals. The data come from a laboratory study of read speech with speakers from New York and other regions, a corpus of read speech with speakers from the Pacific Northwest and Northern Cities, and a spontaneous telephone speech corpus. Acoustic analysis indicates that [n] is only prevalent after [?], with some extension to [d] or []. Variation in rates of [n] versus [ne] is found across the speakers in a group, not within individual speakers. An articulatory sketch to account for the prevalence of [n] after coronal and glottal stops is laid out. To link this realization to the presence of the [?] allophone in pre-syllabic nasal environment, previous analyses of acoustic enhancement proposed for glottally-reinforced [?] in coda position (e.g., Keyser & Stevens, 2006) are extended to the syllabic nasal case.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberA2
    JournalLaboratory Phonology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 2021


    • Connected speech
    • Flaps
    • Glottal reinforcement
    • Glottal stops
    • Syllabic nasals

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Computer Science Applications


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