The Nature of Laryngealization in St’át’imcets Laryngealized Resonants




Bird, Sonya

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International Journal of American Linguistics


Phonetic variability—the variability with which we speak—has recently received much attention because of its implications for how sounds are represented lexically. This paper considers phonetic variability in laryngealized resonants, which are rare cross-linguistically but common in the Pacific Northwest languages (Salish and Wakashan). Previous literature on these sounds has focused primarily on variability in timing between the oral and laryngeal gestures. This paper explores instead variability in the realization of the laryngeal gesture, focusing on St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish). Pitch, amplitude, and duration measurements are taken to characterize the laryngeal gesture of intervocalic laryngealized resonants. Results exhibit a high degree of variability but show that, overall, realization depends primarily on the location of the laryngealized resonant with respect to word stress: the correlates of laryngealization are acoustically stronger in post-stress than in pre-stress position. Results are discussed in terms of their possible causes and in terms of their implications for how sound structure is lexically encoded.



St’át’imcets, Salish, laryngealized resonants, phonetic realization, phonetic variability


Brid, S. (2011). The Nature of Laryngealization in St’át’imcets Laryngealized Resonants. International Journal of American Linguistics, 77(2), 159-184.