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Title:The production of aspirated fricatives in Sgaw Karen
Author(s):Salgado, Hugo; Slavic, Jessica; Zhao, Ye
Aspirated fricatives
Sgaw Karen
Abstract:Aspirated fricatives are rare sounds cross-linguistically. This study focuses on the phonetic description of the aspirated coronal fricative /sʰ/ in Sgaw Karen. Our phonetic study found that aspiration in /sʰ/ is significantly shorter than aspiration in aspirated stops in Sgaw Karen. However, it behaves analogously to aspiration in stops in that it is significantly longer than in its unaspirated counterpart. Nevertheless, an important difference is found: while aspiration duration in stops is not affected by the height of the following vowel, aspiration in /sʰ/ significantly decreases as the height of the following vowel increases. Our research suggests that high vowels lengthen frication duration in /sʰ/, which then shortens aspiration duration. This indicates that frication and aspiration compete in the total segment duration, and that frication dominates aspiration duration. The competition between frication and aspiration may account for the rarity of aspirated fricatives cross-linguistically, since aspiration is subject to significant reduction to accommodate contexts that lengthen frication duration. When this reduction occurs, aspiration after Sgaw Karen fricatives in certain contexts is comparable to voice onset time of unaspirated stops, which means aspiration in these instances may be hard to distinguish perceptually. As a result, these aspirated fricatives may be more likely to merge with their unaspirated counterparts by losing their aspiration, as attested in modern Burmese.
Issue Date:2013
Publisher:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers 2013: 148-161
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright © 2013 Hugo Salgado, Jessica Slavic & Zhao Ye
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-10

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