Distinct constrictors (lips, tongue tip, tongue dorsum) emerge early in babbling of infants.
Traditional "Places of Articulation" classification
comprises constrictor, CL, CO
Coronal constrictor exhibits the most possibilities
- Tongue tip is most flexible articulator
- Tongue tip has richest neural innervation
Constriction Location (CL)
Where (along fixed surface) is maximal constriction?
Distributional basis for categories for CL (and CO?)
Constrictor Orientation (CO)
Possible controlled variables:
(1) Orientation of constrictor with respect to fixed surface
(2) Part of tongue making contact with fixed surface
Data on Constriction Location and Orientation
Primary source of data is Direct Palatography
shows pattern of contact between tongue and palate
(1) Phonetician's salad dressing (olive oil, charcoal, lemon) is applied to surface of tongue tip and blade.
(2) Utterance with single coronal is produced.
(3) Blackened area of palate: palatogram
(4) Salad dressing applied to palate and utterance is repeated.
(5) Blackened area of tongue: linguogram
Limitation of technique:
Areas contacted may not all be contacted simultaneously. (No dynamics represented).
Contrasts in CL and CO
Maximum number of contrasting "places of articulation" for coronal stops appears to be 4 (Ladefoged & Maddieson, 1996).
Usually, this involves cross-classification of CL and CO.
alveolar ridge forward
Several languages, primarily Australian, show this pattern:
Eastern Arrernte (after Ladefoged & Maddieson, 1996) (audio examples here from Wubuy)
Wubuy (Best et al, 2010)
When we examine language differences, we need to consider more than just four possibilities.
Contrasts among anterior coronals
Possible contrasting locations:
- labial (linguo-labials)
- interdental (laminal dental)
Most typical contrast is dental vs. alveolar.
Dental stops are usually apico-laminal with contact both with teeth and alveolar ridge, as shown from French (after Simon, 1967):
But apical dental stops are possible, as in Breton (after Bothorel 1982):
Alveolar stops are usually apical.
but apical and laminal alveolars may contrast as in Bulgarian (after Stojkov 1942) :
Languages without contrast among anterior coronals
Speakers may show variability in CL, CO
e.g., French, English (Dart, 1998)
This pattern is statistically valid, but there is considerable variability across speakers.
A = Apical, UA = Upper Apical
L = Laminal; AL = apico-laminal
Acoustic analysis suggests that
Speakers of English and French are more consistent than would be indicated by palatography.
Rest posture of tongue is higher in French than English (would explain acoustic differences).
Coordinative structure for coronal stops includes:
- tongue tip
- tongue body
Because of differences in rest posture of tongue, French and English would differ in relative contribution of tongue body and tongue tip articulators to coronal constrictions.
French more tongue body
English more tongue tip.
Contrasts among non-anterior coronals
Apical post-alveolar (retroflex)
Laminal post-alveolar (palato-alveolar)
Types of apical post-alveolars:
- apical (e.g., Hindi, Australian languages)
- sub-apical (e.g., Toda, Tamil, Telegu)
Tamil stops and liquids
Contrasts among Dorsal Constrictions
Languages seem to contrast at most two of these.
Most languages have velars.
Quechua contrasts velar and uvular stops with (coronal) laminal post-alveolars.
Ngwo contrasts laminal post-alveolar and palatal stops (after Ladefoged & Maddieson, 1996):
epiglottal stops and fricatives