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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Academic Paper


Title: Differences in Airstream and Posterior Place of Articulation among Nǀuu Clicks
Author: Amanda L. Miller
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://ling.ohio-state.edu/~amiller/
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Johanna Brugman
Institution: Cornell University
Author: Bonny Sands
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Northern Arizona University
Author: Levi Namaseb
Institution: University of Namibia
Author: Mats Exter
Institution: Universität zu Köln
Author: Chris Collins
Email: click here to access email
Institution: New York University
Linguistic Field: Phonetics
Abstract: This paper describes the consonant inventory of the endangered southern African language Nǀuu. Our novel approach to segment classification accounts for all 73 Nǀuu consonants with just four phonetic dimensions (place, manner, phonation, airstream) and does away with the phonetically empty category 'click accompanimen't. We provide ultrasound data showing that the posterior constrictions in clicks are not produced at the ‘velar’ place of articulation, and that posterior place differs with anterior place. We therefore argue for a terminological shift from velaric to lingual to airstream mechanism. Our data also show that the posterior place of articulation is the same in Nǀuu's five lingual ([⊙ ǀ ǃ ǁ ǂ]) and linguo-pulmonic stops. We argue that the difference between these segment classes is best captured in terms of airstream, not place. Plain clicks use only the lingual airstream, while linguo-pulmonic segments are airstream contours, in which the transition to the pulmonic airstream occurs within the segment rather than at its boundary. Our evidence suggests that the contrast between ‘velar’ and ‘uvular’ clicks proposed for the related language ǃXóõ is likely also one of airstream and that a contrast solely in terms of posterior place would be articulatorily impossible.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 39, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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