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On the r>h Shift in Kiên Giang Khmer

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Title:On the r>h Shift in Kiên Giang Khmer
Authors:Kirby, James
Đinh, Lư Giang
sound change
Date Issued:01 Dec 2017
Abstract:This paper presents an acoustic and perceptual study of the r>h shift in the variety of Khmer spoken in Giồng Riềng district, Kiên Giang province, Vietnam. In Phnom Penh Khmer, /r/ is realized as [h] in syllable onsets and onset clusters, and accompanied by lowered pitch, breathiness, and in some cases a change in the quality of the following vowel. In Kiên Giang Khmer, the r>h shift is accompanied by pitch lowering, but without changes in aspiration or vowel quality, and spectral measures did not indicate substantial differences in voice quality. Consistent with their productions, users of this dialect appear to rely solely on differences pitch to identify these lexical items. We discuss the implications of our findings for Khmer dialectology, mechanisms of sound change, and variation in the realization of rhotics more generally.
Pages/Duration:24 pages
Appears in Collections: A. Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed)

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