Acoustic Evidences for Glottalization of Word-Initial Vowels in Shughni

| June 6, 2013

July 2013
Volume 7 Issue 1

| July 2013 home | PDF version |

Acoustic evidences for glottalization of word-initial vowels in Shughni

Mingzhen Bao
University of Kentucky

Biodata: Mingzhen Bao, Ph.D. (University of Florida), is currently an assistant professor and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Phonetics and Advanced Phonetics at the University of Kentucky. Her primary research interests are speech prosody, tonal production and perception, language processing and acquisition.


Shughni belongs to the Pamir languages of the Indo-European family of languages. It is an under-documented language with little written tradition. Previous research explored the grammar of the language with few descriptions of its sound system. The current study examined the acoustic implementation of vowels at the word-initial position in comparison to medial and final positions to investigate phonetic realizations of a possible word-initial glottal stop. Acoustic parameters examined in the vowel part included periodicity, duration, intensity, spectral tilts (h1-h2, h1-a1, h1-a2, and h1-a3), fundamental frequency (f0), and formant frequencies (F1 and F2). Results indicated that vowels were glottalized at the word-initial position as evidenced through aperiodic waveforms; low average intensity, pitch and second formant; and a soft decrease of spectral tilts at the first one-third part of vowels.

Key words: glottalization, Shughni, Pamir languages, phonetic realization, acoustic analysis

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Category: Volume 7 Issue 1 June 2013