The Role of contrast maintenance in the temporal structure of the rhyme

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We explore the relationship between temporal elements of the VC rhyme as a function of inherent vowel length and coda voicing in Australian English. Our findings for single monosyllabic words suggest that temporal organisation of the rhyme may be modulated by the strength of the durational contrast associated with long/short vowel pairs. Vowels such as /ɐː/ vs /ɐ/ which contrast by duration alone in Australian English are compared to vowels /iː/ vs /ɪ/ for which duration is just one of the important contrastive cues. In contexts where coda voicing has the potential to disrupt length contrast, such as when the long vowel /ɐː/ occurs in a rhyme with a voiceless coda, we found that vowel length was maximised at the expense of coda closure duration. We propose that the requirement of contrast maintenance may place constraints on competing temporal influences and affect the organisation of elements within the syllable rhyme.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Editors The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherInternational Phonetic Association
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780852619414
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational congress of phonetic sciences (18th : 2015) - Glasgow, UK
Duration: 10 Aug 201514 Aug 2015


ConferenceInternational congress of phonetic sciences (18th : 2015)
CityGlasgow, UK

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Duration
  • Rhyme
  • Australian English
  • Vowel length
  • Contrast

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