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  • Author or Editor: Tekla Gráczi x
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The organization of conversations with respect to turn-taking and back-channeling is a well-established field of research. Suprasegmental features governing these phenomena have been analyzed regarding both speech production and perception. The present study aims to analyze an interpersonal factor, the process of familiarization and the nature of relationship of the speakers and its effects on the properties of turn-taking and back-channeling. The reasons and temporal organization of turn-taking and back-channeling were analyzed in the initial and final parts of three-member conversations of Hungarian speakers of diverse relationships. The patterns of reasons, the forms of turn-taking and the occurrence of back-channeling turned out to show particular effects of the relationship/familiarity of the speakers.

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It is traditionally held with respect to Hungarian degemination that geminates do not occur in this language word initially or flanked by another consonant on either side. The occurrence of geminates, true and fake ones alike, is said to be impossible except intervocalically or utterance finally (if preceded by a vowel and followed by a pause). However, this traditional view is oversimplified. Siptár (2000) proposed to amend it by positing three different degemination rules, applying at word level, postlexically, and in the phonetic implementation module, respectively. Furthermore, he reinterpreted several cases that traditionally had been analysed as degemination as lack of gemination. In view of the recent literature, however, the hypothesis can be advanced that the whole issue should be seen as a matter of phonetic duration rather than that of phonological quantity. In particular, the hypothesis is that the familiar degemination effects are not specific to geminates: they are due to phonetic compression of CCC clusters. The paper presents and discusses that hypothesis and cites some results of a small-scale phonetic experiment designed to confirm (or disconfirm) it by empirical data. Six short texts involving all types of geminates and control sequences with both short and long consonants were created. Six consonants (two fricatives, three plosives, and a nasal) were used in the test (and control) sequences. The duration of the target consonant and that of the consonant cluster including it were measured in each case. The results partially support the hypothesis but they also raise some further questions.

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Hungarian represents a particularly fruitful ground for exploring voicing assimilation. Although this topic has been extensively analysed, a contradiction can be observed between most phonological descriptions and acoustic-phonetics-based studies of voicing assimilation. Theoretical works suggest that this process in Hungarian speech is a purely regressive, obligatory and categorical phenomenon, but in practice divergent realisations can be observed. In the present paper three case studies of voicing assimilation are performed. CCC clusters, CC clusters interrupted by pause and partially voiced realisations were analysed. The results showed that in the first two cases the speech planning process and the degree of self-monitoring were the most influential factors, while the various concomitances of voicing and devoicing arising due to aerodynamic and articulatory reasons resulted in partially voiced realisations. The variability of the data confirms the hypothesis that Hungarian voicing assimilation is a gradient and sometimes only partly regressive process. Even if it operates mainly obligatorily, several factors can override it.

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