Allophonic Variation in the Polish Vowel /ɨ/:

Results of a 3D ultrasound study and their phonological implications


  • Małgorzata Ćavar Indiana University
  • Steven M. Lulich Indiana University


Polish vowels, palatalization, ultrasound research


This article presents new data on allophonic variation of the Polish vowel commonly transcribed as /ɨ/ and frequently analyzed as phonologically back (e.g., Rubach 1984; Gussmann 2007). The new data were collected using 3D ultrasound images from ten native speakers of Polish. While vowels in the context of labial and dental stops do not differ significantly, being articulated with a high front position of the tongue in both environments, the /ɨ/ assimilates to preceding velar stop consonants and is produced with relatively more raising of the tongue body and with a constriction extending further back. This is to be expected if /ɨ/ is taken to be a front vowel that assimilates to a [+back] consonant. This finding has potential consequences for the analysis of palatalization in Polish.




How to Cite

Ćavar, M., and S. M. Lulich. “Allophonic Variation in the Polish Vowel /ɨ/:: Results of a 3D Ultrasound Study and Their Phonological Implications”. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, vol. 28, no. 1, Sept. 2020, pp. 1-21,