Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



This study examines a rare cross-linguistic contrast, that between plain and secondarily palatalized postalveolar fricatives, through (i) an acoustic analysis of the production of 31 Romanian speakers, and (ii) a perception experiment with a different group of 31 native speakers. Evidence of acoustic separation between plain and palatalized forms was found for 27 of the subjects, suggesting that the contrast is produced by the majority. This is consistent with previous reports of native speakers collected in 1961. These findings were supported by the results of the perceptual experiment, which showed that native speakers exhibit moderate sensitivity to this contrast. An examination of each of the two genders' production separately suggests that a process of neutralization may be in progress, more strongly realized by males compared to females. Aside from documenting this phenomenon in Romanian, an explanation is sought for its longevity, and it is proposed that grammatical restructuring offers the best account for the observed facts.


Copyright 2018 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.

The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and may be found at

Included in

Communication Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.