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Ultrasound Investigation of Irish Palatalization (Phase 1, Connacht dialect)

Cite this dataset

Bennett, Ryan; McGuire, Grant; Ní Chiosáin, Máire; Padgett, Jaye (2015). Ultrasound Investigation of Irish Palatalization (Phase 1, Connacht dialect) [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset documents the production of palatalized and velarized consonants in Connemara Irish gathered in 2010 using a portable ultrasound device. Ultrasound imaging provides direct information about tongue body shape and movement, crucial to an understanding of palatalization and velarization. We also recorded video of lip movement, and audio, simultaneously with the ultrasound video. The shape of the tongue body, and of the lips, were extracted from video and averaged by statistical means. This dataset is part of a larger project that documents the articulatory and acoustic properties of palatalization in the three major dialects of Irish (Connacht, Munster, and Ulster); material in this dataset comes from the Connacht dialect (Connemara Irish). This data is useful for researchers studying the effects on the palatalization contrast of consonant identity, vowel context, etc., as well as speaker strategies for maintaining contrast and coordinating gestures. In addition, learners and teachers of Irish can use this data for guidance on how to produce the Irish contrast between palatalized (slender) and velarized (broad) consonants.


Ultrasound data was collected using a Terason T3000 ultrasound system with a model 8MC3 probe. The ultrasound machine recorded video at a rate of 57 frames per second, giving one new image roughly every 17.5ms. The probe was mounted in an Articulate Instruments Ultrasound Stabilization Headset, which was worn by the speakers throughout the experiment. (See Scobbie et al. 2008 for validation of this headset for probe stabilization.) Acoustic data was collected simultaneously using a Shure WH20 dynamic cardioid microphone attached to the headset, recording directly to the ultrasound system (which includes a laptop computer; 48,000 kHz sampling rate, 16 bit depth, mono, .WAV format). Each recording session lasted about one hour. Recordings were made in a quiet room in Sept. 2010.
For further details, see: Bennett, Ryan, Grant McGuire, Máire Ní Chiosáin & Jaye Padgett (2014). An ultrasound study of Connemara Irish palatalization and velarization. Ms., UC Santa Cruz, University College Dublin, and Yale University. Available at .


National Science Foundation, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Award: 1424398