Conference Proceedings

The /el/-/æl/ merger in Australian English: Acoustic and articulatory insights

Chloé Diskin, Debbie Loakes, Rosemary Billington, Hywel Stoakes, Simón Gonzalez, Sam Kirkham, Sasha Calhoun (ed.), Paola Escudero (ed.), Marija Tabain (ed.), Paul Warren (ed.)

The /el/-/æl/ merger in Australian English: Acoustic and articulatory insights | Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association | Published : 2019

Abstract

This paper investigates a merger-in-progress of /e/-/æ/ in prelateral contexts for speakers of Australian English in Victoria. Twelve participants (7F, 5M) were recorded producing a wordlist resulting in acoustic and concurrent articulatory data via stabilised mid-sagittal ultrasound tongue imaging. Focusing on a subset of the data comprising short front vowels /ɪ, e, æ/ in /hVt/ and /hVl/ contexts, findings show that there are robust acoustic differences between /e/ and /æ/ preceding /t/, as anticipated. However, individual differences emerge for /e/ and /æ/ preceding /l/, with highly gradient production patterns across the speakers, ranging from speakers who exhibit merger behaviour to th..

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