This study investigates the acoustic correlates of the sibilant alveolar fricatives [s] and [z] in the first author’s idiolect. The corpus consists of 32 words containing 13 word-initial [s]s, six wordmedial [s]s, and 13 word-final [z]s. The 32 words are extracted from two texts read in running speech. All in all, 160 tokens are measured acoustically (32 fricatives x 5 correlates). The correlates in question are Center of Gravity, intensity, F2, duration, and voicing attributes. The findings indicate that only Center of Gravity and duration are significant correlates for differentiating between the alveolar fricatives [s] and [z] produced by the second author. This study adds to the existing acoustic phonetic body of knowledge (Hennen and Koffi 2017, Wallin and Koffi 2017, Koffi and Lundy 2017) about the pronunciation of sibilant fricatives in Minnesota English. The findings show that voicing is not a robust cue for discriminating between [s]s and [z]s in word-final positions in the dialect of American English spoken in this region because of very strong coda devoicing tendencies.
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Koffi, Ettien and Lopez-Backstrom, Michel
"The Acoustic Correlates of Alveolar Fricatives in the Idiolect of a Northern Minnesota Female,"
Linguistic Portfolios: Vol. 7
, Article 5.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/stcloud_ling/vol7/iss1/5