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Towards quantifying lenition in Ondarroan Basque

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Title: Towards quantifying lenition in Ondarroan Basque
Author(s): Saadah, Eman
Subject(s): Basque
Abstract: This study investigates lenition of intervocalic /b d g/ in Ondarroan Basque. Previous work has suggested that intervocalic voiced stops in Spanish and other languages are produced with varying degrees of voicing, fricativization, or approximation. Based on this, voiced stops in Ondarroan Basque will be realized [β ð ɣ] in a similar environment. Productions of intervocalic voiced stops are submitted to acoustic analysis considering three independent variables: speech tempo or articulation rate, place of articulation, and position in word, and three dependent variables: Voice Onset Time (VOT) or Consonant Duration, Root-Mean-Square (RMS), and conservation of release bursts. The results show that speech tempo or articulation rate, place of articulation, and position in word are significant factors that place lenited phones in different positions along the lenition continuum. VOT measurements show that slow speech has higher mean VOT values than normal and fast speech, resulting in a longer temporal window in slower speech compared to faster one. Furthermore, RMS energy mean values decrease as the speech tempo or articulation rate becomes faster. Release bursts, however, were not present in the lenited allophonic variants due to the realization of voiced stops as fricatives intervocalically. In sum, lenition is a gradient process that is quantifiable through measuring certain acoustic correlates.
Issue Date: 2011-06
Citation Info: Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 2011: 89-107
Series/Report: Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Illinois Language and Linguistics Society
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
Description: phonetics
ISSN: 0049-2388
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-06-22

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