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Share Paper 3157

Vowel Height and Duration
Ida Toivonen, Lev Blumenfeld, Andrea Gormley, Leah Hoiting, John Logan, Nalini Ramlakhan, and Adam Stone
64-71 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


F1 correlates with vowel height: the higher the vowel, the lower the F1. There is a positive correlation between F1 and duration in vowels in various languages. In other words, high vowels are shorter than low vowels. This paper revisits that generalization, as well as the question of whether the generalization is phonetic (mechanical, extrinsic) or phonological (controlled, intrinsic). We investigate the vowel duration and height between and within categories in English and Swedish, using F1 as a measure of vowel height. The between-category investigation confirms previous studies: high vowels are shorter than low vowels. However, we did not find the same correlation within categories: a higher instance of the vowel [ɪ] is not shorter than a lower instance of [ɪ]. These results indicate that the correlation between vowel height and duration is not purely mechanical.

Published in

Proceedings of the 32nd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Ulrike Steindl, Thomas Borer, Huilin Fang, Alfredo García Pardo, Peter Guekguezian, Brian Hsu, Charlie O'Hara, and Iris Chuoying Ouyang
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Printed edition: $375.00