This paper examines lip and jaw kinematics in the production of labial stop and fricative consonants where the duration of the oral closure/constriction is varied for linguistic purposes. The subjects were speakers of Japanese and Swedish, two languages that have a contrast between short and long consonants. Lip and jaw movements were recorded using a magnetometer system. Based on earlier work showing that the lips are moving at a high velocity at the oral closure, it was hypothesized that speakers could control closure/constriction duration by varying the position of a virtual target for the lips. According to this hypothesis, the peak vertical position of the lower lip during the oral closure/constriction should be higher for the long than for the short consonants. This would result in the lips staying in contact for a longer period. The results show that this is the case for the Japanese subjects and one Swedish subject who produced non-overlapping distributions of closure/ constriction duration for the two categories. However, the peak velocity of the lower lip raising movement did not differ between the two categories. Thus if the lip movements in speech are controlled by specifying a virtual target, that control must involve variations in both the position and the timing of the target.
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