Reconsidering lateral vocalisation: evidence from perception and production of Australian English /l/

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Lateral vocalisation is assumed to arise from changes in coronal articulation but is typically characterised perceptually without linking the vocalised percept to a coronal articulation. Therefore, we examined how listeners' perception of coda /l/ as vocalised relates to coronal closure. Perceptual stimuli were acquired by recording laterals produced by six speakers of Australian English using electromagnetic articulography (EMA). Tongue tip closure was monitored for each lateral in the EMA data. Increased incidence of incomplete coronal closure was found in coda /l/ relative to onset /l/. Having verified that the dataset included /l/ tokens produced with incomplete coronal closure - a primary articulatory cue of vocalised /l/ - we conducted a perception study in which four highly experienced auditors rated each coda /l/ token from vocalised (3) to non-vocalised (0). An ordinal mixed model showed that increased tongue tip (TT) aperture and delay correlated with vocalised percept, but auditors ratings were characterised by a lack of inter-rater reliability. While the correlation between increased TT aperture, delay, and vocalised percept shows that there is some reliability in auditory classification, variation between auditors suggests that listeners may be sensitive to different sets of cues associated with lateral vocalisation that are not yet entirely understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2106-2116
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2022 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 152(4), 2106–2116, and may be found at


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