THE RANGE OF VARIABILITY OF LABIAL CONSONANTSIN SPEECH OF PHILOLOGISTS (on the materials of the #Skovoroda300 video marathon)

Volume 63-2 (2022)

O. A. Kasіanova, PhD
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kуiv, Kуiv


The issues of language and speech variability are currently studied within sociolinguistics and socially oriented disciplines such as interlinguistics, sociophonetics, social dialectology, experimental sociolinguistics, and so on. New approaches and the tendency to multidimensional study of speech phenomena deepened the interest in studying sound changes which demonstrate greater potential of speech rather than language as a socio-historical and abstract phenomenon does. The material for the study of labial consonants was the oral literary Ukrainian speech of 11 speakers from video marathon #SKOVORODA300. The article describes most representative articulatory acoustic pictures for each labial consonant.

The scholarly novelty of the article refers to the fact that in general phonetics there is no description of labial consonants separately as a group taking into account acoustic, articulatory aspects. Our article considers labial consonants in terms of combination of the labial and lingual activity, which has led before to misunderstanding and sometimes misleading description of the nature of the mentioned group of consonants. The paper demonstrates the sound field for each occurrence of the labial which is possible at the level of the norm. Combination of sociophonetic and phonetic methods helped us to define the reasons for variability of the qualitative features of labial sounds and to trace the direction
of their development.

Each labial phoneme as a subject of the research is analyzed by the example of
one group selected on the sociophonetic basis. The unifying criterion for the group was belonging to the profession of philologists, who as a source of research of allophone variation of labial phonemes were distinctive from the perspective of regional (all the speakers were from different regions of Ukraine) and age (adults and youth) criteria.

The article illustrates that the sound field of each labial consonant can be extended by moving beyond the pronunciation norm and considering variability from the perspective of individual physiological characteristics. It means that the sound field of labial phonemes is determined by the language system, but which, like any part of the system, is open to changes, dynamic and socially and individually dependent.
Keywords: the modern Ukrainian literary speech, phonetic variability, labial consonants, experimental phonetic method, articulatory and acoustic features.

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