Glottalization and Stress. Degrees, Types and Effects

Ausarbeitung, 2022

11 Seiten


Glottalization and Stress

Glottalization is a very broad term applied loosely to a wide range of phenomena involving some kind of activity in the glottise .(Trask 1996,160). Glottalization is a phenomena that occurs when the vibration of vocal cords is reduced while speaker is still talking .It can present itself in different ways ,however ,the canonical glottal is complete occlusion/Ɂ/ ,when flow of air stopped completely .There is also an approximant variant in the glottal allophone never achieves complete occlusion and the flow of air is reduced ,resulting in creaky voicing . (Thompson2019,5)

Glottalizaton is the articulation of sounds consisting of or accompanied by various kinds of non-modal phonation. Typically, by partial or full closure of glottis. It applies to four contexts in English:

1-Glvlottaliztion in phrase- final position, where it usually spreads over more segments or over several syllables.

Glottalization in English and those to be more important can be classified either as a prosodic factor (phrasing when it occurs at phrase boundaries and prominence when it occurs at pitch accented ) or sociolinguistic (dialect ,style , gender).(Bortlik2012,5,40)

In acoustic terms ,glottalization is understood to be in region in the speech signals characterized by irregularly spaced pitch periods and often accompanied by other characteristics ,such as full damping ,low fo ,breathiness and low amplitude .These characteristics are recognized as a lending a perceptual impression of glottal gesture or disturbance in modal voice quality .The rate of glottalization varies according to position within utterance ,it can be found creak (which is a type of glottalization )was more likely in syllables at the end of utterances .(Radi and Hugnagel2001 ,408)

These glottalization phenomena fulfil a number of different linguistic functions in the languages of the world:

(a) Vowel-related glottalization phenomena signal the boundaries of words or morphemes beginning with vowels, typically in German, but also in other languages, e.g. English or French. The occurrence and phonetic manifestation of this function is also controlled by prosodic features, such as sentence accentuation, resulting in specific glottalization patterns for different languages. The variation between glottal stop and any other glottalization phenomenon observed for this boundary signaling occurs along a scale of phonatory strength associated with, e.g., degrees of sentence stress.
(b) Plosive-related glottalization phenomena occur as reinforcement of plosives by a glottal stop or as replacement of plosives along a scale of phonatory weakening from glottal stop to any other glottalization phenomenon.
(c) Syllable-related glottalization phenomena occur as characteristics of particular syllable types along a scale of phonatory weakening from glottal stop to glottalization, e.g. in the Danish stød .
(d) The paralinguistic function of glottalization phenomena manifests itself at the utterance level in two ways:

- as laryngealization in prosodic phrase-final relaxation of phonation, where the vocal folds prepare for abduction and where glottalization, therefore, alternates with breathiness and breathy voice, but not with a glottal stop .
- as truncation glottalization in prosodic phrase-medial tensing of phonation at utterance breaks, where the vocal folds are adducted and where glottalization, therefore, alternates with a glottal stop. (kohler,282,284,285)

Processes of Glottalization

1-Glottal reinforcement (commonly referred to as pre-glottalizattion ).
2-Glottal replacement ( also termed glottaling).

1.Glottal reinforcement is the traditional term used for the glottalization of initial vowels as well as for glottalization of voiceless consonants. (Bortlik2012,5) .The articulation of an oral plosive with a simultaneous glottal stop, as in the pronunciation of quite good as [kwaiɁt gƱd] or of stop talking as[stɒɁp tϽ:kıƞ].(Trask1996,160)

- General phonetic environments of glottal reinforcement ;

a-Glottal reinforcement affects all voiceless stop especially /t/
b-Glottal reinforcement occurs when a voiceless stop preceded by a vowel ,liquid ,or a nasal and followed by another consonant,not necessary in the same word .If the preceding consonant is an obstruent , glottal reinforcement does not occur .It occurs most often when the following consonant is obstruent or nasal less often when the consonant is liquid or semi-vowel .

Examples :

1-Mountain , Clinton , prickly ,ripeness
2-That got me going.,I don’t believe it .(Selkirk1980,196)

2-Glottal replacementis the replacement of an oral plosive by a glottal stop as in the pronunciation butter[bɅ?ә].( Trask1996,160)

In English (particularly in Cockney and Estuary dialects ) the glottal stop is an allophone of /p ,t ,k / word final and when followed by unstressed vowel (including /l,m,n/) as in water[wϽɁә] ,the glottal stop has superseded /t/ sound .In some consonant cluster ,glottal replacement of /t/ is common among RP speakers .


The term pre-vocalic glottalization is sometimes used for glottal replacement /t/ before vowel e.g., get off [ˡge(Ɂ) Ɂɒf] .(Bortlik2012,6)

Glottalization comprises the following:

1-Glottal stop

Glottal stop is a speech sound articulated by momentary, complete closing of the glottis in the back of the throat. Glottal stops are found as a consonant phonemes in some languages (e.g. Arabic) . In English they are not phoneme, but can serve as an allophoneof voiceless stops (particularly syllable final /t/) and they often occur at the onset of vowel-initial words.

The functions of the glottal stop:

1-in certain positions [Ɂ] may be used as an allophone of the phoneme as when pointless/point les/pronounced [poiɁ les].
2-[Ɂ] is found as an allophone of /t/ only
- At the of the syllable.
- If the preceding sound is a vowel or sonorant.

Provided these conditions are satisfied, it is widely used in both BrE and AmE where the following sound is an obstruent.

Football / fƱt bϽ:l /—[ˡFʊɁ bϽ:l]

Or nasal

Button / ˡbɅtn/ [ˡ bɅɁn]

Or semivowel or non syllabic

Brightly /braIt li / →[ braIɁli]

3-[?]forms an essential part of certain interjections.e.g. uh uh [ɁɅ ɁɅ].
4-A glottal stop is sometimes used to strengthen / tʃ/ or /tr/ at the end of a syllable , and also /p,t,k/ if followed by a consonant or at the end of a word .

Teaching→ᶇ ˡti:? tʃi ᶇ

The phonetic contexts of glottal stop

word medially

-when precede by stressed vowel and followed by an inflectional morpheme e.g.,ˡ bak/ed ˡ, ˡhat/sˡ
-When preceded by a stressed vowel and followed by a consonant,e.g., opera, fiction [ɒɁpɹә]
-When preceded by a stressed and followed by a vowel or a syllabic e.g., city , jacket (this form occur in cockney )
- When preceded by a stressed vowel and followed by a syllabic nasal,e.g., bottom , Britain .
-When preceded by unstressed vowel and followed unstressed or secondary vowel e.g., visitor , seniority

word final

-When preceded by a vowel and followed by another word beginning with consonant e.g., put them, think so or flip through
-When preceded by a vowel and followed by another word followed beginning with vowel e.g. sort of, look into, or keen on.
-When preceded by a vowel and followed by a pause or nothing e.g., quite_um… or what ?[wɒɁt]
- When a compound words, at the end of the first morpheme e.g., milk/man. (Faris2010,103,104,105 ,106)

-2-Creak is a succession of glottal stops, one after another, sounding like an old door open. The arytenoids are firmly pressed together whilst the front portions of the vocal folds slowly vibrate .these vibrations are slow enough to be heard individual. (Collins and Mees2013,34)
-3-breathy (adj.) A term used in the phonetic classification of voice quality,on the basis of articulatory and auditory criteria. Breathiness refers to a vocal effect produced by allowing a great deal of air to pass through a slightly open glottis: this effect is also sometimes called murmur. Some speakers do have an abnormally breathy voice quality, as a permanent feature of their speech .What is of particular significance for linguistic analysis is that breathy effects may be used with contrastive force, communicating a paralinguistic meaning :the whole of an utterance may be thus affected, as in an extremely shocked pronunciation of Oh really! ‘Breathy voice’, or ‘breathy phonation’.(Crystal2008,62) In English /h/ between vowels is often said with breathy voice ,indicated by/ɦ / e.g. behind [bıˡɦɑıd].(Collions and Mees2013,37)
-4-Creaky voice is (also laryngelaization , voiced creak)a compound phonation in which one part of it produces creak while another part of it produces ordinary voicing, this mechanism differs from speaker to another so the precise mechanism is not well understood . In many languages creaky voiced is phonologically contrastive.(Trask 1996,97)

Examples of Creaky voice (laryngealization )in British English (RP)

[aɁtık] ‘arctic’ [pɒɁpkϽn] ‘popcorn’

[stalәɁktaıt] ‘stalactite’.(Laver 1994,332)


stress is the most familiar prosodic feature which is problematic in that it is difficult to describe its actual nature .Phonologist are in disagreement about whether to tackle stress from articulatory point of view or from auditory one .It would be wrong to say that stress pattern is always fixed in English words because stress position may be changed for one of two reasons :either as result of stressing other words which occur next to the word in the question or as a result of native speaker being not in the agreement on the placement of stress in some words .

Stresscan be defined from an articulatory of view as the force of breath with which sounds are producedand from auditory point of view, it is perceived as prominence .

The stress placement is decided according to some or all of the following factors:

1-It is origin (whether it is of Greek or Latin origin)
2- Whether the word is morphologically simple ,compound and complex.
3-The grammatical category of word (verb ,noun)
4-The number of syllables of the word .(Betti and Ulaiwi2018,83,84).

Degrees of stress

Stress does not consist stress and unstress only ,the initiator power is infinity variable from zero (when the initiator is inactive and ,consequently ,there is no air flow and no sound) to an maximum (depending on the size and muscular strength of the speaker )when the initiator is operating at full power forcing the air out at the highest possible velocity against the resistance imposed upon the air flow by phonetory and articulatory strictures .(Catford 1988,165) . Three different degrees of stress :a syllable may bear primary stress and it may bear secondary stress or unstressed ( ,( di)bear the primary ,(ar) has secondary ,( ma)and (llo) bear unstressed .in transcription ,a superscript symbol is used to indicate a primary stress , a subscript for secondary , unstressed left in marked [ˌa:mәˡdılәυ].(Davenport and Hannahs2005,79)


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Glottalization and Stress. Degrees, Types and Effects
University of Babylon
glottalization, stress, degrees, types, effects
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Safa Naji Abd (Autor:in), 2022, Glottalization and Stress. Degrees, Types and Effects, München, GRIN Verlag,


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