Articulatory correlates of metrical structure: Studying jaw displacement patterns

Donna Erickson, Shigeto Kawahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Previous phonetic studies of metrical prominence have primarily focused on its acoustic manifestations, including pitch, intensity, duration, spectral tilt, etc. In this paper we outline our new research program in which we explore jaw displacement patterns as another articulatory reflex of metrical prominence. We present our studies of English and Japanese in some detail, which show that jaw movement patterns are neither flat nor random, but instead the degrees of jaw displacement correlate well with metrical prominence. Based on these results, we argue that there are at least two articulators to express metrical prominence: the larynx and the jaw. Our aim is not so much to object to looking at the acoustic manifestations of metrical structures or other articulation-based approaches; we instead would like to encourage other researchers to investigate metrical structure in terms of jaw movement as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150025
JournalLinguistics Vanguard
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec


  • Articulation
  • Cross-linguistic studies
  • English
  • Japanese
  • Jaw displacement patterns
  • Metrical structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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