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Vowel Length Distinctions in Plains Cree

Angeliki Athanasopoulou, Darin Flynn

Abstract


This is a pilot acoustic study of the distinction between short and long vowels in Plains Cree, based on publically available recordings of two noted teachers of this Algonquian language. Both speakers strongly differentiate all pairs of short/long vowels in terms of duration: long vowels are 2 to 2.5 times longer than short ones. Moreover, both speakers differentiate pairs in terms of vowel quality, but one of the speakers shows considerable overlap in the vowel space. Finally, durational differences between short/long pairs are preserved when vowels occur with a coda consonant, but the overall rhyme shows considerable contrast reduction.


Keywords


PHONETICS; ACOUSTICS; VOWELS; VOWEL DURATION; VOWEL FORMANTS; INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES; CREE; PLAINS CREE

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