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

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

Gradient Versions of Pre-, Post-, and Circum-Oralized Consonants in Kaingang (Brazil)

Wilmar da Rocha D'Angelis

LAFAPE-IEL, UNICAMP, Campinas (SP), Brazil

Nasal consonants that display voiced stop ‘phases’ or ‘contours’ while forming syllables with oral vowels do not constitute a surprising fact for phoneticians and phonologists. The Kaingang language, however, adds complexity to that pattern in that it produces, with equal ease, voiced stop contours at both ‘edges’ of nasal consonants, when these are preceded and followed by oral vowels, as in the following example:

    ti moɲ = [ t i'  bmb o jɟɲ̚ ] (his ox)

We have interpreted the process that creates such ‘contours’ as partial ‘oralizations’ of nasal consonants, through spreading of features present in the oral vowels. Instrumental analyses of those phonetic realizations reveal, however, a characteristic that poses difficulties for current models in phonology: the gradient character of the oralized ‘phase’ in syllable boundaries. We suggest that a gestural representation can provide a better interpretation of the facts, but we also point out the limitations of current gestural models.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  D'Angelis, Wilmar da Rocha (1999): "Gradient versions of pre-, post-, and circum-oralized consonants in Kaingang (Brazil)", In ICPhS-14, 1043-1046.