An EPG-EMA study of tongue-palate interaction for stop alveolar

consonants in German:  Implications for speech motor control

By S. Fuchs, P. Perrier, and C. Mooshammer


An experimental study of the kinematic consequences of the interaction between tongue and palate is presented. Tongue movements and palatal contact patterns of two speakers of German were recorded simultaneously with EPG and EMMA systems. The material consisted of nonsense words with VC sequences, determined as word-final and Vcschwa sequences as word medial, where C was [t]. V was one of the tense [i:, a:, u:] and lax [I,a,U] vowels. For the closing gesture of the tongue tip sensor it is shown, first, that the increase of lateral contacts coincides in time with the beginning of the deceleration phase, and, second, that the deceleration peak is synchronised with the beginning of the consonantal contact in the central part of the alveolar region. Implications for the control of tongue movements are proposed in relation with the following questions. Does speech motor control make use of the palate to produce the consonant? Does the palate act as a passive perturbation of speech movements?