Second International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP'92)

Banff, Alberta, Canada
October 13-16, 1992

The Role of Preaspiration Duration in the Voicing Contrast in Skolt Sami

Zita McRobbie-Utasi

Linguistics Department, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. Canada

This paper summarizes the results of an acoustic analysis of preaspiration duration in Skolt Sdini, an Eastern dialect of Sami (a Finno-Ugric language). It will show that the characteristic durational patterns associated with disyllabics belonging to different structural types remain the same, regardless of whether preaspiration is present or not. In Skolt Sami, durational ratios rather than absolute durational values are significant in signalling differences between the main structural types in the language [3,4]. These durational ratios remain constant, regardless of the durational values associated with preaspiration. It will be argued that the voicing contrast of stop and affricate consonants in word-medial position is not to be considered as one between voicing and voicelessness, but rather as a contrast due to the manifestation of preaspiration.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  McRobbie-Utasi, Zita (1992): "The role of preaspiration duration in the voicing contrast in skolt sami", In ICSLP-1992, 1263-1266.