It has been hypothesized that liquid consonants differ from stops in that they exhibit more global control over tongue shapes. This has been demonstrated by ongoing work showing greater vowel context effects in the production of stops than liquids in Spanish and Russian. Languages with rich inventories of coronal consonants, like Tamil, provide an interesting challenge for this view, as the presence of retroflex‐dental contrasts among the stops may require substantial global tongue control, and therefore inhibit context effects. To test this, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to investigate the midsagittal production of Tamil liquids in intervocalic environments. MRI sequences were acquired at a frame rate of 22.4 Hz. The five liquids of Brahmin Tamil were elicited from three speakers in three different vowel contexts. Nasal stop consonants were also elicited at the same places of articulation to compare the influence of vocalic coarticulation on liquids and stops. Greater coarticulatory influences were observed during the production of nasals than during the production of liquids in the same vowel contexts, suggesting that the production of liquids involves a more active control of dorsal articulation than that used in the production of stops. [Work supported by NIH.]
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Articulatory comparison of Tamil liquids and stops using real‐time magnetic resonance imaging.
Michael Proctor, Louis Goldstein, Dani Byrd, Erik Bresch, Shri Narayanan; Articulatory comparison of Tamil liquids and stops using real‐time magnetic resonance imaging.. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 April 2009; 125 (4_Supplement): 2568. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4783732
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