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Hoole, Philip; Munhall, Kevin and Mooshammer, Christine (1998): Do airstream mechanisms influence tongue movement paths? In: Phonetica, No. 3: pp. 131-146 [PDF, 151kB]


Velar consonants often show an elliptical pattern of tongue movement in symmetrical vowel contexts, but the forces responsible for this remain unclear. We here consider the role of overpressure (increased intraoral air pressure) behind the constriction by examining how movement patterns are modified when speakers change from an egressive to ingressive airstream. Tongue movement and respiratory data were obtained from 3 speakers. The two airstream conditions were additionally combined with two levels of speech volume. The results showed consistent reductions in forward tongue movement during consonant closure in the ingressive conditions. Thus, overpressure behind the constriction may partly determine preferred movement patterns, but it cannot be the only influence since forward movement during closure is usually reduced but not eliminated in ingressive speech.

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