Orthographic vs. morphological incomplete neutralization effects

Natasha Warner, Erin Good, Allard Jongman, Joan Sereno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study, following up on work on Dutch by Warner, Jongman, Sereno, and Kemps (2004. Journal of Phonetics, 32, 251-276), investigates the influence of orthographic distinctions and underlying morphological distinctions on the small sub-phonemic durational differences that have been called incomplete neutralization. One part of the previous work indicated that an orthographic geminate/singleton distinction could cause speakers to produce an incomplete neutralization effect. However, one interpretation of the materials in that experiment is that they contain an underlying difference in the phoneme string at the level of concatenation of morphemes, rather than just an orthographic difference. Thus, the previous effect might simply be another example of incomplete neutralization of a phonemic distinction. The current experiment, also on Dutch, uses word pairs which have the same underlying morphological contrast, but do not differ in orthography. These new materials show no incomplete neutralization, and thus support the hypothesis that orthography, but not underlying morphological differences, can cause incomplete neutralization effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Phonetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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