Movements of individual articulators are analyzed to elucidate principles of gestural organization in vowels. Procedures for tracking articulator gestures from x-ray motion films, and results obtained on coarticulation in Swedish, Bulgarian, and Greenlandic are reported in Wood [J. Phon. 19, 281–292 (1991); Proc. 3rd Congr. I. C. P. L. A. 191–200, Helsinki (1994); Proc. 13th I. C. Ph. Sc. 1, 392–395, Stockholm (1995); J. Phon. 24, 139–164 (1996); Proc. 4th Speech Prod. Seminar 61–64, Grenoble (1996)]. Tongue body movement was organized as predicted from a spectrographic study of Greenlandic vowels in Wood [Working Papers 4, 58–94, Lund (1971)] and according to the principles reported for English and Arabic in Wood [J. Phon. 7, 25–43 (1979)]. Greenlandic has three vowel phonemes, but the allophonic variation means all four tongue body gestures (palatal, velar, uvular, pharyngeal) are utilized. All articulator gestures needed for a vowel converged on a typical configuration, those arriving earlier being held until all were in position. The configuration was held briefly before the articulators were withdrawn. Coarticulation was organized by queuing oncoming gestures that are antagonistic to current gestures, avoiding conflicts.
- General Language Studies and Linguistics