Neutralisation and contrast preservation: Voicing assimilation in Hungarian three-consonant clusters

Barkanyi, Zsuzsanna and G. Kiss, Zoltan (2020). Neutralisation and contrast preservation: Voicing assimilation in Hungarian three-consonant clusters. Linguistic Variation, 20(1) pp. 56–83.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/lv.16010

Abstract

This paper studies the contextual variation in the voicing properties of three-consonant clusters (CC#C) in Hungarian. We investigate the velar–alveolar stop clusters /kt/ and /ɡd/, and the alveolar fricative–stop clusters /st/ and /zd/ in potentially voicing-neutralising and assimilating contexts. We show that in these contexts, regressive voicing assimilation in Hungarian is categorical, but partially contrast preserving, and that stops and fricatives are not affected in the same way. Fricatives resist voicing before a voiced obstruent and are devoiced utterance-finally. This is a phonetically unfavourable position, therefore other duration-related cues step up to prevent complete laryngeal neutralisation.

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