Voiced stops tend to be preceded by longer vowels and produced with a more advanced tongue root than voiceless stops. The duration of a vowel is affected by the voicing of the stop that follows, and in many languages vowels are longer when followed by voiced stops. Tongue root advancement is known to be an articulatory mechanism, which ensures the right pressure conditions for the maintenance of voicing during closure as dictated by the aerodynamic voicing constraint. In this paper, it is argued that vowel duration and tongue root advancement have a direct statistical relationship. Drawing from acoustic and ultrasound tongue imaging data from 17 speakers of Italian and Polish in total, it is proposed that the comparatively later closure onset of voiced stops is responsible for both greater root advancement and shorter closure durations of voiced stops. It is further shown that tongue root advancement is initiated during the vowel, and vowel duration and tongue root position at vowel offset are positively correlated so that longer vowel durations correspond to greater tongue root advancement.

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