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LINGUIST List 19.653

Wed Feb 27 2008

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology: Dutta: 'Four-way Stop Contrasts in Hindi...'

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        1.    Indranil Dutta, Four-way Stop Contrasts in Hindi: An acoustic study of voicing, fundamental frequency and spectral tilt


Message 1: Four-way Stop Contrasts in Hindi: An acoustic study of voicing, fundamental frequency and spectral tilt
Date: 27-Feb-2008
From: Indranil Dutta <iduttaillinoisalumni.org>
Subject: Four-way Stop Contrasts in Hindi: An acoustic study of voicing, fundamental frequency and spectral tilt
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Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Indranil Dutta

Dissertation Title: Four-way Stop Contrasts in Hindi: An acoustic study of voicing, fundamental frequency and spectral tilt

Dissertation URL: http://indranildutta.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/thesis_body.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
                            Phonology

Subject Language(s): Hindi (hin)

Dissertation Director:
Jennifer S Cole
Chilin Shih
José Ignacio Hualde
Hans Henrich Hock

Dissertation Abstract:

In this dissertation, results from an acoustic phonetic study of the four stop types in
Hindi: voiced stops (VS), voiced aspirated stops (VAS), voiceless stops (VLS) and
voiceless aspirated stops (VLAS) are reported. The 'Standard View' on the distinction
between VS and VAS proposes that the voiced aspirated stops are VS with a breathy
murmured release and this release feature is sufficient to make the contrast between the
VS and VAS. Evidence from studies on the duration of voicing and effect of manner of
articulation on the fundamental frequency (f0) of the following vowel in Hindi questions the
characterization proposed by the standard view. This study through an examination of
durational properties of stop closure, voicing during closure and aspiration following these
stops provides evidence against the standard view.

Both VAS and VS have been shown to lower f0 of the following vowel. It has also been
shown that the VAS lower f0 even further. This evidence suggests that f0 perturbations
can be reliable acoustic cues for stop identification. The goal of this dissertation is to
understand not only the magnitude of the f0 perturbations but also the extent of this
effect in the following vowel.

Spectral intensity analysis of contrasting breathy and modal vowels in Gujarati, !Xóõ and
languages which make use of the breathy and modal phonation type as contrastive
features provide a background against which spectral analysis of the breathy/murmured
release following VAS can be conducted to test the assumptions of the standard view.
Spectral analysis based on four measures of spectral intensity of the vowel following the
stops indicate that the breathiness following the VAS permeates into a sizeable portion of
the vowel. Comparisons between durations of breathiness spread and voiceless
aspiration also show that voiceless aspiration is shorter in duration than the duration of
breathiness characterized by the difference in spectral intensity between the VAS and the
unaspirated stops (VS, VLS).

Based on these analyses, I argue that the stop distinctions in Hindi are best understood
as a cumulative effect of several acoustic cues, in contradistinction to previous
accounts, including the standard view.





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