This paper presents the results of an acoustic study of fricatives from four places of articulation produced by 31 native speakers of Romanian, as well as those of a perceptual study using the stimuli from the acoustic experiment, allowing for a direct comparison between acoustic properties and perception. It was found that there are greater acoustic differences between plain and palatalized labials and dorsals as compared to coronals. The acoustic results were paralleled by the perceptual findings. This pattern departs from cross-linguistic generalizations made with respect to the properties of secondary palatalization. A likely source of the differences is the fact that previous studies of secondary palatalization typically involved stops which tend to exhibit various enhancement phenomena at the coronal place of articulation. Since the enhancement generally involves additional frication, this is not a useful strategy for fricatives at the coronal, or any other place of articulation. These findings form the basis of a discussion highlighting the differences between enhanced and non-enhanced secondary palatalization.
Spinu, Laura; Vogel, Irene; and Bunnell, H. Timothy, "Palatalization in Romanian — Acoustic properties and perception" (2012). CUNY Academic Works.