5. Dutch regressive voicing assimilation as a 'low level phonetic process': Acoustic evidence

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This paper investigates the behaviour of a number of acoustic cues to phonological [voice] in Dutch word-final /ps/ sequences. It reports measurements on elicited productions of such clusters before phonologically voiced and voiceless plosives, the labial nasal /m/, the glottal consonant /h/ and lexical vowels. The results of this experiment provide evidence that regressive voice assimilation (RVA) occurs in /ps/ clusters before [+voice] plosives, contradicting claims in some of the literature that obstruent + fricative sequences are exempt from RVA. The behaviour of the individual cues to [voice] observed here also suggests that Dutch regressive voicing assimilation is a ‘low level’ coarticulatory process rather than a rule manipulating lexical phonological structure.


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