Interaction between breathy tones and aspirated consonants in S'gaw Karen

Xiaole Sun


This instrumental study first describes the five lexical tones in S’gaw Karen and their interaction with breathy, creaky and modal phonation types. It is found that there is a phonotactic restriction on onset consonant and phonation. The combination of an aspirated onset with a breathy high tone is exceptionally rare and an aspirated onset does not co-occur with a breathy low tone. Acoustically, the aspiration release causes breathiness at vowel onset, while tonal breathiness is distinguished from the consonant breathiness in terms of timing and magnitude. In addition, an aspirated stop has a shorter VOT with a breathy tone than with a modal tone. It appears that onset VOT is correlated with tones in S’gaw Karen. These findings demonstrate that the gap of CʰV̤ might result from avoidance of the ambiguity between the phonological vowel breathiness and the phonetic breathiness overlapped from the aspirated onset.


DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2016-26

Cite as

Sun, X. (2016) Interaction between breathy tones and aspirated consonants in S'gaw Karen. Proc. Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016, 121-124.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Sun2016,
author={Xiaole Sun},
title={Interaction between breathy tones and aspirated consonants in S'gaw Karen},
year=2016,
booktitle={Tonal Aspects of Languages 2016},
doi={10.21437/TAL.2016-26},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2016-26},
pages={121--124}
}