Vowel reduction in Bulgarian; phonetic data and model experiments.

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Results of a spectral analysis of vowel reduction in Bulgarian (N = 2 educated male speakers of the Sofia dialect) & model experiments that test these results are reported. The hypothesis was that reduction of Bulgarian open vowels is related to neutralization of mandibular depression, weakening or elimination of lingual & labial compensation for mandibular errors, & weakening of pharyngeal narrowing: models were developed to match spectral regression for pharyngeal /a/, palatal /e/, & pharyngovelar /o/. The experiments indicate that reduction is gradual rather than discrete, suggesting that an underlying articulatory plan for a complete rendering is executed with varying degrees of attention, depending on which components are neutralized & how far. The articulatory behavior modeled in the experiments successfully reproduced the observed spectral reduction. Results demonstrate that the reduction of Bulgarian /e, a, o/ in unstressed syllables can be explained in terms of partial or complete neutralization of mandibular depression, lip spreading or rounding, pharyngeal activity, & compensation.


  • Sidney A J Wood
  • Thore Pettersson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-262
JournalFolia Linguistica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Publication categoryResearch