Catalan voiced prepalatals: Effects of nonphonetic factors on phonetic variation?

José I. Hualde, Christopher D. Eager, Marianna Nadeu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Central Catalan 'prepalatal' (postalveolar) consonants show a complex phonological distribution. Whereas in word-internal intervocalic position a four-way opposition obtains, involving a contrast in voice and a fricative/affricate distinction, elsewhere at least one of the two oppositions is neutralized. Position in word determines whether affrication and/or voicing is contrastive. We study the effect of this factor as well as other phonetic factors and style on the allophony of the voiced prepalatals in a large corpus of Central Catalan. The most significant conditioning factor turns out to be the preceding context, whereas position in word per se is not significant either for degree of constriction or for voicing. Thus, we do not find a direct effect of phonological contrastiveness on phonetic variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-267
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the International Phonetic Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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