This study examined the effects of prosodic strengthening (arising with prosodic boundary and accent) on English /s/-stop sequences in a sentence. First, the domain-initial strengthening effect was not strictly confined to the first segment, but it could extend into the second consonant and, at least partially, into the following vowel in the #/sCV/ sequence. However, some effects of domain-initial strengthening were sensitive to the presence or absence of accent. Second, prosodic strengthening gave rise to the 'shortened' VOT for the voiceless stop in the #/sCV/ sequence, suggesting that prosodic strengthening can operate on the phonetic manifestation of a phonological rule by reinforcing its phonetic outcome. Third, although two aspects of prosodic marking patterned significantly differently, their interactions revealed that accent-induced strengthening are employed not to emphasize every accented word with the same degree, but to put more weight on the accented word that also reflects important positional information. Overall, the results show that phonetic realization of a /s/-stop sequence is conditioned by an interaction of boundary and prominence factors, which is further modulated by the phonological system of a given language.

This content is only available via PDF.