Fromkin et al. (2014:278) hypothesize that word-final /z/s are devoiced when they are inflectional suffixes, but non-morphemic /z/s are not devoiced. To date, no known study has tested this hypothesis for any English dialect. The present study tests this hypothesis in Central Minnesota English (CMNE) by making use of five acoustic correlates: F0, center of gravity (CoG), intensity, duration, and the 40/60 Threshold. Nine participants, five males and four females, produced 17 words containing word-final /z/s. The findings reported in this study are based on 765 acoustic tokens (17 x 9 x 5). Overall, the acoustic analyses validate the first part of the hypothesis, but not the second part. Our findings are significant because of their relevance for the sociophonetic studies of language change and variation and for automatic speech recognition.
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Lundy, Cassy and Koffi, Ettien
"An Acoustic Phonetic Account of the Production of Word-Final /z/s in Central Minnesota English,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 6
, Article 10.
Available at: http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol6/iss1/10