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ItemProsodically Conditioned Consonant Duration in Djambarrpuyŋu.Jepson, K ; Fletcher, J ; Stoakes, H (SAGE Publications, 2019-03-01)Cross-linguistically, segments typically lengthen because of proximity to prosodic events such as intonational phrase or phonological phrase boundaries, a phrasal accent, or due to lexical stress. Australian Indigenous languages have been claimed to operate somewhat differently in terms of prosodically conditioned consonant lengthening and strengthening. Consonants have been found to lengthen after a vowel bearing a phrasal pitch accent. It is further claimed that this post-tonic position is a position of prosodic strength in Australian languages. In this study, we investigate the effects of proximity to a phrasal pitch accent and prosodic constituent boundaries on the duration of stop and nasal consonants in words of varying lengths in Djambarrpuyŋu, an Australian Indigenous language spoken in northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. Our results suggest that the post-tonic consonant position does not condition longer consonant duration compared with other word-medial consonants, with one exception: Intervocalic post-tonic consonants in disyllabic words are significantly longer than word-medial consonants elsewhere. Therefore, it appears that polysyllabic shortening has a strong effect on segment duration in these data. Word-initial position did not condition longer consonant duration than word-medial position. Further, initial consonants in higher-level prosodic domains had shorter consonant duration compared with domain-medial word-initial consonants. By contrast, domain-final lengthening was observed in our data, with word-final nasals preceding a pause found to be significantly longer than all other consonants. Taken together, these findings for Djambarrpuyŋu suggest that, unlike other Australian languages, post-tonic lengthening is not a cue to prosodic prominence, whereas prosodic domain-initial and -final duration patterns of consonants are like those that have been observed in other languages of the world.
ItemThe inconspicuous substratum Indigenous Australian languages and the phonetics of stop contrasts in English on Croker IslandMailhammer, R ; Sherwood, S ; Stoakes, H (John Benjamins Publishing, 2020-01-01)Descriptions of Australian Aboriginal English list the neutralisation of the Standard English contrast between so-called voiced and voiceless stops as one characteristic feature. This paper reports on the results of an acoustic analysis of data collected in a production task by monolingual speakers of Standard Australian English in Sydney, of Aboriginal English on Croker Island, Northern Territory, and bilingual speakers of Iwaidja/Aboriginal English and Kunwinjku/Aboriginal English on Croker Island. The results show that average values for Voice Onset Time, the main correlate of the “stop voicing contrast” in English, and Closure Duration collected from Aboriginal speakers of English do not significantly differ from that of speakers of Standard Australian English, irrespective of language background. This result proves that the stop contrast is not neutralised by these Aboriginal speakers of English. However, it can be shown that phonetic voicing manifesting itself in Voice Termination Time is a prevalent and characteristic feature of Aboriginal English on Croker Island. This feature aligns Aboriginal English on Croker Island with local Aboriginal languages and differentiates it from Standard Australian English.
ItemNasal coarticulation in Bininj Kunwok: An aerodynamic analysisStoakes, HM ; Fletcher, JM ; Butcher, AR (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020-12-01)Bininj Kunwok (BKw), a language spoken in Northern Australia, restricts the degree of anticipatory nasalization, as suggested by previous aerodynamic and acoustic analyses (Butcher 1999). The current study uses aerodynamic measurements of speech to investigate patterns of nasalization and nasal articulation in Bininj Kunwok to compare with Australian languages more generally. The role of nasal coarticulation in ensuring language compre-hensibility a key question in phonetics research today is explored. Nasal aerodynamics is measured in intervocalic, word-medial nasals in the speech of five female speakers of BKw and data are analyzed using Smoothing Spline Analysis of Variance (SSANOVA) and Functional Data Analysis averaging techniques. Results show that in a VNV sequence there is very little anticipatory vowel nasalization with no restriction on carryover nasalization for a following vowel. The maximum peak nasal flow is delayed until the oral release of a nasal for coronal articulations, indicating a delayed velum opening gesture. Patterns of anticipatory nasalization appears similar to nasal airflow in French non-nasalized vowels in oral vowel plus nasal environments (Delvaux et al. 2008). Findings show that Bininj Kunwok speakers use language specific strategies in order to limit anticipatory nasalization, enhancing place of articulation cues at a site of intonational prominence which also is also the location of the majority of place of articulation contrasts within the language. Patterns of airflow suggest enhancement and coarticulatory resistance in prosodically prominent VN and VNC sequences which we interpret as evidence of speakers maintaining a phonological contrast to enhance place of articulation cues.
ItemPointing out directions in MurrinhpathaBlythe, J ; Mardigan, KC ; Perdjert, ME ; STOAKES, H (De Gruyter Open, 2016)Rather than using abstract directionals, speakers of the Australian Aboriginal language Murrinhpatha make reference to locations of interest using named landmarks, demonstratives and pointing. Building on a culturally prescribed avoidance for certain placenames, this study reports on the use of demonstratives, pointing and landmarks for direction giving. Whether or not pointing will be used, and which demonstratives will be selected is determined partly by the relative epistemic incline between interlocutors and partly by whether information about a location is being sought or being provided. The reliance on pointing for the representation of spatial vectors requires a construal of language that includes the visuo-corporal modality.