Acoustic Evidence of New Sibilants in the Pronunciation of Young Polish Women Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractWe present the results of an acoustic study showing that the Polish sibilant system is undergoing changes in the speech of young university-educated women. The results based on the acoustic analysis of 16 speakers’ pronunciation, reveal that the new variants of alveolo-palatals are characterised by spectral peaks at higher frequencies and higher centre of gravity values than their Standard Polish counterparts. In addition, spectral moments, spectral slopes and the formants of preceding vowels differentiate the new variants from Standard Polish alveolo-palatals. We provide the rationale for the development of the new variants by referring to (i) a functional approach involving contrast optimisation in the sibilant system, (ii) a sociolinguistic approach that makes use of a sound-symbolic association between energy concentration in higher frequency regions and smallness and (iii) a speech disorder.


  • Czaplicki, Bartlłomiej
  • Żygis, Marzena
  • Pape, Daniel
  • Jesus, Luis MT

publication date

  • January 1, 2016