Temporal patterning in French initial C/l/-clusters
Barbara Kühnert, Phil Hoole.

This work examines aspects of inter-consonantal cohesion within French word-initial C1/l/-clusters in light of recent proposals of gestural coordination. Based on articulatory and acoustic events, the timing of tongue and lip movements in one subject was studied using an electromagnetic transduction device. More temporal overlap between C1 and /l/ gesture onset as well as /l/ closure period was found for /pl/ than /kl/. Although matching similar patterns of overlap in initial stop clusters, this ‘place of articulation’ effect is attributed to low-level motor factors rather than to considerations of perceptual recoverability. An additional analysis of the overall C-centre of /pl/ and /kl/ showed a surprising temporal stability, confirming a relative constant phasing between initial consonant sequence and following vowel.