Kuzla, C., Ernestus, M., & Mitterer, H.
(2006). Prosodic structure affects the production and perception of voice-assimilated German fricatives. In R. Hoffmann, & H. Mixdorff (Eds.), Speech prosody 2006. Dresden: TUD Press.
Prosodic structure has long been known to constrain
phonological processes . More recently, it has also been
recognized as a source of fine-grained phonetic variation of
speech sounds. In particular, segments in domain-initial
position undergo prosodic strengthening [2, 3], which also
implies more resistance to coarticulation in higher prosodic
domains . The present study investigates the combined
effects of prosodic strengthening and assimilatory devoicing
on word-initial fricatives in German, the functional
implication of both processes for cues to the fortis-lenis
contrast, and the influence of prosodic structure on listeners’
compensation for assimilation. Results indicate that 1.
Prosodic structure modulates duration and the degree of
assimilatory devoicing, 2. Phonological contrasts are
maintained by speakers, but differ in phonetic detail across
prosodic domains, and 3. Compensation for assimilation in
perception is moderated by prosodic structure and lexical