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Phonetic correlates of postvocalic /r/ in spontaneous Dutch speech


By: Leendert Plug

This paper reports on a study of the realisation of postvocalic /r/ in stressed syllables followed by /t/ or /d/ in Dutch. Two recurrent observations regarding /r/ in this context are that /r/ can be ‘deleted’, and that /r/ has an effect on the quality and duration of a preceding vowel and a following alveolar consonant. Most recently, Plug & Ogden (2003) have presented auditory and acoustic analysis of controlled, read speech by four speakers of Standard Dutch, focussing on /r/’s segmental status and non-segmental correlates.

This paper presents results of an attempt to replicate Plug & Ogden’s study using uncontrolled and unscripted speech by 20 speakers. One might expect that in spontaneous speech, ‘deletion’ of /r/ is relatively common. The main question addressed in this paper is whether the non-segmental correlates of /r/ described by Plug & Ogden (2003) are as robustly observed in spontaneous speech as they are in laboratory speech. The findings suggest that this is not the case, although a subset of Plug & Ogden’s correlates is clearly observable.

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