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Velar elevation data were collected for 12 utterance pairs contrasting in vowel quality. It is well-known that velar position for any phonetic segment is determined by at least two factors: the nature of the segment itself and the phonetic environment in which the segment occurs. Thus, velar elevation increases through the series of segment types: nasals, open vowels, close vowels, obstruents; and velar elevation for English vowels is affected by adjacent nasals. In these data, vowel quality was found to affect velar position during adjacent consonants: that is, the velum was lower for both nasals and obstruents in an environment of open vowels than in an environment of close vowels.
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