Phonetic dimensions and function of preaspirated voiceless fricatives in Scottish English
Olga Gordeeva and James M Scobbie, Acapela Group, Mons, Belgium and Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, U.K.
Scottish English vowel-voiceless fricative sequences in CVC words are often produced with long in duration aspirated/whispered transitions.
While early timing of glottal abduction relative to supralaryngeal constriction in vowels before voiceless fricatives
is a cross-linguistic phonetic characteristic, the extent of this phenomenon in Scottish English is so large that the theoretical question
of the phonetic status and function of such transitions merits investigation, especially from the context of language variation and change.
Based on multidimensional acoustic phonetic data of 10 speakers from the Scottish Central Belt, we show the phonetic distribution of preaspiration (including vowel height and sentence prosody)
and account for its potential functioning in speech communication in cueing syntagmatic prosodic contrasts and paradigmatic contrasts such as fricative VOICE.
The discussion further draws on potential cross-varietal and cross-linguistic differences in the laryngeal/supra-laryngeal gestural coordination in the vowel-voiceless fricative sequences,
and the implications of such cross-linguistic differences for language learning.