What is the phonetic realization of a sequence of "voiced-voiceless" or "voiceless-voiced" obstruents (especially sibilants) of the same place of articulation? For example, /zs/ as in "Mrs. Stratford", /sz/ as in "cross zebra", /ʒʃ/ as in "louge shop", /td/ as in "Bret Dawson", etc. Is there assimilation? If so, is the first or the second element assimilated with the other (/zs/ -> [zz] or [ss])? Excuse the artificial examples because I can't think of anything better at the moment. Also, "subpoena" is typically transcribed as /səˈpiːnə/, without such a sequence, so it doesn't count.

  • I'll try to look it up to give you a reference, but I believe the most common type of voicing assimilation in English is devoicing, which can be progressive or regressive. Phonemically voiced consonants that are devoiced by assimilation can often be distinguished from underlyingly voiceless consonants because they don't don't cause clipping of the preceding vowel (and in the case of devoiced stops, they are never aspirated). – sumelic May 3 '16 at 14:41
  • Related, but less general: Linking: Sibilant with Other Sibilants (was + starting) – sumelic May 3 '16 at 14:56

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