By Habibullah Tegey - Barbara Robson

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1997). In view of these articulatory considerations, labials should favor the presence of (mid) high back rounded vocalic segments and trigger regressive and progressive sound changes. Coarticulatory activity associated with velar lowering for nasal consonants spreads mostly backwards over the time domain and therefore is anticipatory rather than carryover (Chafcouloff & Marchal 1999). In agreement with this pattern of coarticulatory direction, distinctive vowel nasalization in several languages has come to exist after the elision of a syllable-final nasal consonant, and the addition of nasal formants to the spectral structure of oral vowels has a greater perceptual impact if the vowels in question precede the nasal consonant than if they follow it.

In view of these articulatory and coarticulatory characteristics, dental and relatively unconstrained alveolar consonants ought to cause low vowels to raise and back vowels to front, mostly at the regressive level. In addition, the dental [t] and the alveolar fricative [s], which may exhibit some tongue dorsum lowering and backing, are expected to trigger front vowel lowering and retraction as well. 4 Labial and nasal consonants Labial consonants are articulated with the upper and lower lips (bilabials [p], [m]) or with the lower lip and the upper incisors (labiodental [f]), and exhibit a low F2 frequency resonance about 1000 Hz or lower which is mostly related to lip closing (Fant 1960).

1), F2 for vowels increases with tongue body raising and fronting, which accounts for why [i] has a high F2 frequency about 2000 Hz while [a] has a lower F2 frequency ranging between about 1000 Hz and 1500 Hz depending on whether it has a front, [æ]-like or a back, [ɑ]-like quality and is thus realized with more or less tongue dorsum height and a greater or smaller separation between the tongue root and the lower pharynx. F2 is also inversely dependent on lip rounding and on tongue postdorsum raising towards the velopharyngeal region, and therefore it is lower for the upper pharyngeal rounded vowels [ɔ, o] (about 1000–1200 Hz) than for the lower pharyngeal vowel [a], and for the velar and more rounded vowel [u] (about 800 Hz) than for [ɔ, o].

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A Reference Grammar of Pashto by Habibullah Tegey - Barbara Robson
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