Articulatory asymmetries in speech production

TitleArticulatory asymmetries in speech production
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2015
Conference NameDag van de Fonetiek 2015
AuthorsVerhoeven, Jo, Ilke De Clerck, and Peter Mariën
PublisherNederlandse Vereniging voor Fonetische Wetenschappen
Conference LocationUtrecht, The Netherlands

This paper presents the results from an investigation of asymmetries in speech articulation on the basis of 1,502 previously published palatograms of a wide variety of speech sounds in a range of languages. For each palatogram, the direction and degree of tongue-palate contact was quantified by means of an index capturing the degree of lateral asymmetry.

The results of this investigation show that lingual asymmetry in the articulation of speech sounds is substantial: 83 % of the palatograms are asymmetrical. With respect to the direction of the asymmetry it is found that the asymmetry is more often towards the left side of the palate (45 %) than to the right side (38 %). Further analysis reveals that there are significant differences in both the direction and the degree of the asymmetry as a function of manner and place of articulation.