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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   aspiration in English sCC clusters
Author:   Katalin Balogne Berces
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Subject Language(s):  English

Query:   Dear Linguists,

I need some data about aspiration in English. It's well-known that voiceless plosives are strongly aspirated at the beginning of stressed syllables and word-initially as in 'pit', and that they are not aspirated if preceded by /s/ as in 'spit'. Some authors also attribute the devoicedness of following sonorants to this aspiration, as in 'trip'. My question is: is the plosive aspirated, and/or the following sonorant devoiced in sCC clusters, as in 'stray, splash, skew, squash'? I have only found very few data, and even those are contradictory. Is it possible that there is some dialectal variation here? Remarks/intuitions of any kind are welcome!
Thanks in advance,
Katalin Balogne Berces
LL Issue: 15.1872
Date posted: 21-Jun-2004


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