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

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


Phonemic and Orthographic Realizations of ‘r’ and ‘w’ in Haitian Creole

Christopher Hogan (1), Jeffrey Allen (2)

(1) Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
(2) European Language Resources Association, Paris, France

This paper presents a synchronic perspective on the phonemic status of the orthographic forms ‘r’ and ‘w’ that appear in Haitian Creole (HC) texts. A survey of existing linguistic literature is presented on the status of ‘r’ and ‘w’ in HC. Other HC language researchers have postulated two phonemes (i.e., /r/ and /w/) with roundness/labialization conditioning the various allophones of /r/. Such evidence, however, is consistently contradicted by the orthographic representations of these phonemes in written corpora produced by numerous independent sources. Our analyses take into account the variation in HC found in extensive written corpora and in spoken data that we have compiled for this language. From this work, we aim to determine the status and distribution of the related phonemes and phonetic realizations in HC. Our findings have considerable bearing on speech recognition and speech synthesis systems that are currently under development for Haitian Creole.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hogan, Christopher / Allen, Jeffrey (1999): "Phonemic and orthographic realizations of ‘r’ and ‘w’ in Haitian Creole", In ICPhS-14, 1597-1600.