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Fricatives are found in all world languages (Maddieson 1984:41). Similarities in mouth geometry and in their aerodynamic characteristics have made them the favorite segments for testing claims about universals of phonetic features. Yet, there is important interspeaker variability even within the same language (Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996:139). In this paper we investigate the voiceless sibilant fricative [ʃ] produced by Central Minnesota English (CMNE) speakers to see how similar and yet different it is from those produced by speakers of other dialects of General American English (GAE). We extend the comparisons to sibilants in some non-Western languages. The acoustic correlates investigated are Center of Gravity (CoG), F2, duration, and intensity. The findings reported in this paper are based on 5,544 measured tokens. Our results can be of interest to speech intelligibility researchers, forensic acousticians, sociophoneticians, and linguists in general, who are interested in sibilants.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Author Bio

Maria Bloch collected the data used in this paper for her capstone project to fulfill the requirements for the BA degree in Linguistics from St. Cloud State University. She is currently pursuing her graduate studies in Forensic Linguistics at Hofstra University in New York. She can be reached via e-mail at



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