Sound patterns of Australian languages

Butcher, Andrew, and Fletcher, Janet (2014) Sound patterns of Australian languages. In: Koch, Harold, and Nordlinger, Rachel, (eds.) The Languages and Linguistics of Australia. The World of Linguistics, 3 . De Gruyter Mouton, Berlin, Germany, pp. 89-136.

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[Extract] At the beginning of his seminal review of the phonological characteristics of Australian languages, Evans (1995a: 723) refers to the "classical period" in the description of Australian language sound systems from the late sixties to the early eighties e.g. Capell 1967, Dixon 1980, Blake 1981, Yallop 1982). A definitive summary of Australian sound systems is also included in Dixon (2002: Ch 12). From this body of work has emerged a general picture of some of the hallmark traits of Australian language sound patterns. Some of the key features of Australian languages are that they have complex consonant inventories with multiple place of articulation contrasts in the stop and sonorant series, a notable lack of contrastive fricatives or a stop voicing contrast, coupled with small vowel inventories (e.g. see also Capell 1967; Yallop 1982; Blake 1981).

In the last twenty years, research largely undertaken within the segmental descriptive tradition, has been augmented with a growing body of experimental phonetic analysis that has looked at a range of phonological and phonetic phenomena ranging from the acoustic features of vowel inventories to intonation. This chapter aims to introduce the reader to some of the salient phonetic and phonological features of Australian languages, beginning with an overview of segmental properties, and finishing with a survey of connected speech processes, stress and prosodic prominence, and intonational phenomena. While most phonetic and phonological interest has focused on the characteristics of the consonant inventories and metrical stress patterns, a range of newer analyses have been conducted on hitherto neglected features of Australian languages, namely the vowel inventories, consonant coarticulation, and aspects of post-lexical phonetics and phonology, including intonation, rhythm and other temporal patterns such as pausing and tempo variation. The results of these studies are summarised in the sections that follow.

Item ID: 32576
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-11-027969-6
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2015 04:41
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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