Astrid Kraehenmann & Aditi Lahiri
University of Konstanz

ID 1089
[full paper]

Stops in Swiss German contrast in quantity in all word positions. As in most languages with consonant quantity contrast, geminate stops are produced with significantly longer CD than singletons in intersonorant context. This holds word- and phrase-medially. Aspiration and voicing play no role in this contrast. Consequently, phrase-initially no CD cue distinguishes long from short stops. But do speakers utilize articulatory means to maintain the contrast in the absence of acoustic cues? In this study we investigated initial alveolar stops, focusing on their articulatory and acoustic properties in varying contexts using EPG. Our results are twofold. First, CD and duration measures of articulator contact mirror each other within a phrase: after vowel- and obstruent-final words geminates are longer than singletons. Second, phrase-initially, the contact data establish a clear quantity distinction. This means that even without acoustic CD cues, geminates are articulated with longer closure than singletons.