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Tremulant / vibrant

From:Mark Jones <markjjones@...>
Date:Saturday, July 21, 2007, 8:13
Thanks for the interest - the study is on apical trills only.

I wouldn't want to disagree with John Wells, but I think that reiterating
rapid stops may be a way for some people to learn one aspect of trill
production, though teaching people to trill is very hard.

The reason I tink there may be a definite articulatory link between taps and
trills is because of many cases in my acoustic analysis of what might be
called 'failed' or pseudo-trills. The first contact is strong and tap-like,
with a very approximant-like second contact. The strong-weak pattern is
normal in full trills, but in some cases the second weak contact becomes so
weak that without the acoustic analysis the brief second movement towards
closure is perceived as /r/-colouring on the vowel.

This leads me to believe that in trill production the first contact is
*always* a ballistic movement articulated in the same way as a tap, which
then, if the lingual tension, approximation to the palate, and aerodynamic
conditions are right, will become a trill. The initiation of voicing using
the vocal folds is hypothesised to use an initiatory gesture in a similar
way (though not necessarily tap-like, it probably involves slackening the
mucousal outer covering of the vocal folds by tensing the fold-internal
vocalis muscle).



Mark J. Jones
British Academy Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Department of Linguistics
University of Cambridge

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