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What it means to be phonetic or phonological: The case of Romanian devoiced nasals

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Abstract phonological patterns and detailed phonetic patterns can combine to produce unusual acoustic results, but criteria for what aspects of a pattern are phonetic and what aspects are phonological are often disputed. Early literature on Romanian makes mention of nasal devoicing in word-final clusters (e.g. in /basm/ ‘ fairy-tale’). Using acoustic, aerodynamic and ultrasound data, the current work investigates how syllable structure, prosodic boundaries, phonetic paradigm uniformity and assimilation influence Romanian nasal devoicing. It provides instrumental phonetic documentation of devoiced nasals, a phenomenon that has not been widely studied experimentally, in a phonetically underdocumented language.We argue that sound patterns should not be separated into phonetics and phonology as two distinct systems, but neither should they all be grouped together as a single, undifferentiated system. Instead, we argue for viewing the distinction between phonetics and phonology as a largely continuous multidimensional space, within which sound patterns, including Romanian nasal devoicing, fall.

  • Date created
    2010
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R32286
  • License
    © Cambridge University Press 2010
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Tucker, B.V. & Warner, N. (2010). What it means to be phonetic or phonological: The case of Romanian devoiced nasals. Phonology, 27(2), 289-324. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0952675710000138