An Ultrasound Investigation of Secondary Velarization in Russian




Litvin, Natallia

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The present study aims to resolve previous disputes about whether or not non-palatalized consonants exhibit secondary velarization in Russian, and if so what this corresponds to articulatorily. Three questions are asked: 1) are Russian non-palatalized consonants velarized or not? If so, 2) what are the articulatory properties of velarization? and 3) how is the presence or absence of secondary velarization affected by adjacent vowels? To answer these questions, laryngeal and lingual ultrasound investigations were conducted on a range of non-palatalized consonants across different vowel contexts. The results of the study show that 1) Russian non-palatalized consonants are not pharyngealized in the sense of Esling (1996, 1999, 2005), 2) /l/ and /f/ are uvularized, 3) /s/ and /ʂ/ can feature either uvularization or velarization. The study also shows that secondary articulations of Russian non-palatalized consonants are inherent rather than dependent on vowel context.



Russian, secondary velarization, uvularization, pharyngealization, lingual and laryngeal ultrasound