Manner and place differences in Kannada coronal consonants: Articulatory and acoustic results Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated articulatory differences in the realization of Kannada coronal consonants of the same place but different manner of articulation. This was done by examining tongue positions and acoustic formant transitions for dentals and retroflexes of three manners of articulation: stops, nasals, and laterals. Ultrasound imaging data collected from ten speakers of the language revealed that the tongue body/root was more forward for the nasal manner of articulation compared to stop and lateral consonants of the same place of articulation. The dental nasal and lateral were also produced with a higher front part of the tongue compared to the dental stop. As a result, the place contrast was greater in magnitude for the stops (being the prototypical dental vs retroflex) than for the nasals and laterals (being apparently alveolar vs retroflex). Acoustic formant transition differences were found to reflect some of the articulatory differences, while also providing evidence for the more dynamic articulation of nasal and lateral retroflexes. Overall, the results of the study shed light on factors underlying manner requirements (aerodynamic or physiological) and how the factors interact with principles of gestural economy/symmetry, providing an empirical baseline for further cross-language investigations and articulation-to-acoustics modeling.

publication date

  • 2018

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