14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Fundamental Frequency as a Cue to Word-Initial Consonant Length: Pattani Malay

Arthur S. Abramson

Haskins Laboratories and the University of Connecticut, CT, USA

All word-initial Pattani Malay consonants are distinctively short or long. The dominant perceptual cue is consonant-closure duration. In voiceless plosives, however, closure-duration is audible only utterance-medially after a vowel, yet native speakers identify such words in isolation well and so must be using other cues. Disyllabic words beginning with long consonants seem to have greater salience on the first syllable. Measurements revealed significant differences in both peak amplitude and fundamental frequency (F0). Relative amplitude had a significant perceptual effect but was not a sufficient cue by itself. In this study increments of F0 were imposed on words with short initial consonants and decrements on words with long initial consonants. The stimuli were played to 30 native speakers for identification. The effect for voiceless stops was highly significant; nevertheless, F0 too is not a sufficient cue by itself. The next step is to combine the two properties, amplitude and F0.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Abramson, Arthur S. (1999): "Fundamental frequency as a cue to word-initial consonant length: Pattani Malay", In ICPhS-14, 591-594.