On the phonetics of schwa in Sliammon (M. Comox Salish): Implications for the representations of Salish vowels
Keywords:Query languages, Common findings
AbstractThe implications for the representations of Salish vowels, and full vowels (Vs) in the language, in stressed and unstressed position were investigated. The study aimed to determine the distinction between the reduced variants of the full Vs in Sliammon. The Vs in unstressed position are typically called 'reduced', given the crosslinguistically common finding that Vs are shorter, quieter, and more central in quality in unstressed than in stressed position. The language studied include M. Comox (Homalco/Klahoose/Sliammon) Salishan languages, and is spoken in the region of Malapina Penninsula. The study indicates a functional limitation on V reduction, that it is blocked if the language has a very small V inventory. The results are presented as an acoustic study of Schwa in Mainland Comox, which further supports previous crosslinguistic findings that Vs are shorter and quieter when reduced, showing that V reduction does not always involve neutralization of quality contrast.
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