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mar. 11/06/2019 Atelier Phonological Typology: Kalasha laterals in a cross-linguistics perspective (Alexei Kochetov, University of Toronto / GIPSA-Lab, Grenoble)
14:00-15:30
ISH - Salle Ennat Léger

Kalasha, a Northwestern Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Hindu-Kush region of Pakistan, is unusual among languages of South Asia in having laterals contrasting in secondary articulation – velarization and palatalization. Given the paucity of previous phonetic work on the language and some discrepancies between descriptive accounts, the nature of the Kalasha lateral contrast remains poorly understood. This talk brings together some language-internal and cross-linguistic acoustic evidence bearing on the phonetic classification of Kalasha laterals. First, the laterals produced by 4 male speakers in various phonetic contexts were investigated by comparing their acoustic properties (formants during closures and transitions) to those of other place distinctions within the language. Second, the Kalasha laterals were compared to laterals produced by 76 speakers of 6 languages which crucially differ in the types of their place contrasts. The results demonstrate that the lateral contrast in Kalasha belongs to the palatalization/velarization type (which distinguishes laterals along the F2 dimension), and not to the retroflexion type (which distinguishes laterals along F3 and F4). In addition to documenting an understudied language, the study provides cross-linguistic evidence for discrete acoustic differences among and gradient language-particular variation within the phonemic categories of palatal(ized), velarized, and retroflex laterals. [Joint work with Jan Heegård Petersen and Paul Arsenault]


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