This article studies palatalization gestures in the production of /t/ and /d/ in standard Belgium French through the use of electropalatography. The articulatory results are compared with an acoustic study of the affricated realization of these consonants when followed by /i/, /y/, /j/, and /[inverted h]/ in Quebec French (Bento, 1993). The study examines regional and individual differences in palatalization gestures to show how affrication can be ascribed to palatalization. Results are analyzed with regard to temporal, articulatory (electropalatography), and voicing aspects to compare production strategies across French variants, speakers, and phonetic contexts. The aim is to understand coordination processes, which are explained in terms of biomechanical constraints resulting from the coordination of adjacent gestures. These processes are used to show how palatalization traces in a variant with no recognized affrication (Belgium French) are similar in nature to the affrication in Quebec French, because palatalization is due to the coarticulation of the stop with a following high front vowel or a palatal approximant. Results are also compared with diachronic data to propose explanations for some patterns in the development from Latin to French.
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