Prosodic effects on the planning of inserted /ɹ/ in Australian English

Ivan Yuen*, Felicity Cox, Katherine Demuth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    V1.V2 hiatus is disallowed in many languages. In several varieties of English, when V1 is non-high, hiatus may be resolved by glottalization or /ɹ/ insertion. However, it is not well understood why speakers choose one over the other. In addition, questions remain about how foot boundary influences the hiatus-breaking strategy and whether perceived /ɹ/ is a phonetic transition or segmental insertion. Using an elicited production task, we investigated the effect of foot boundary on hiatus resolution and examined whether perceived inserted /ɹ/ exerts co-articulatory influence on V1 onset as predicted if it is segmental. Hiatus contexts were constructed from two types of coda-less nouns to generate V1 (e.g. paw without orthographic ‘r’ door with orthographic ‘r’) followed by one of three onset-less prepositions (‘under’ ‘above’ ‘of’). Foot boundary locations were manipulated in three metrical conditions to examine gradient influence of foot boundary proximity (e.g. ‘This is the [paw] under the dog’ ‘This is the [paw a]bove the dog’ ‘This is the [paw of the] dog’). Results showed complementarity between glottalization and /ɹ/ insertion. Expanding the distance between the hiatus and foot boundary increased the use of /ɹ/ and decreased glottalization. F3 lowering at V1 onset occurred in perceived /ɹ/ contexts, providing acoustic evidence for inserted segmental /ɹ/.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-42
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Phonetics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


    • /ɹ/ insertion
    • speech planning
    • Australian English
    • hiatus

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