15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Local and Global Influences on Vowel Formants in Three Australian Languages

Janet Fletcher (1), Andrew Butcher (2)

(1) University of Melbourne, Australia
(2) Flinders University, Australia

Indigenous Australian languages typically have small vowel inventories. In this paper we investigate the effects of prosodic structure in highlighting paradigmatic contrasts among vowels in three languages: Kayardild, Dalabon, and Mayali (Bininj Gun-wok). Our results suggest that all three languages illustrate the principal of sufficient rather than maximal dispersion. However in some cases, vowel targets are sharpened in phrase-final position, suggesting that this is a prosodically prominent position in these languages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fletcher, Janet / Butcher, Andrew (2003): "Local and global influences on vowel formants in three Australian languages", In ICPhS-15, 905-908.