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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 12, 2001

Variant Frequency in Flap Production

David Patterson and Cynthia M. Connine
From the journal Phonetica


This study examined the distribution of allophonic variants [t], [I] or [U], of medial /t/ using a corpus of conversational speech. We utilized a large conversational speech database to generate statistics about the frequency of occurrence of medial flaps. Results confirmed the prevalence of flapping in American English. Low frequency words showed a redistribution of variants from [U] to [t] compared to dominant flapping in high frequency words. A similar redistribution of variant production occurred for morphologically complex words (e.g. dirty) compared with morphologically simple words (e.g. water). A second analysis examining vowel length prior to medial /t/ and medial /d/ showed that, while both stops were pronounced as a flap, the vowel preceding medial /d/ tended to the longer. These results were discussed in reference to potential processes in recognizing spoken words.


Published Online: 2001-10-12
Published in Print: 2001-07-01

© 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel