At this week’s P group meeting, Feb 2 12pm,  Meghan will lead a discussion on the paper “A Cross-Language Acoustic Space for Vocalic Phonation Distinctions” (Patricia Keating et al., 2021).


Many languages use multiple phonation types for phonemic or allophonic distinctions. This study examines the acoustic structure of the phonetic space for vowel phonations across languages, focusing on the acoustic phonetic space for languages with non-modal phonation on vowels (rather than on consonants, or as coarticulation from consonant contrasts). Our sample of 11 languages, from five language families, includes languages with contrastive phonation types on vowels, allophonic non-modal phonation associated with particular tones, and English as a single-category case. Together these 11 languages provide 29 instances from among the following categories: Modal, Breathy, Creaky, Lax, Tense, Harsh, and/or Pharyngealized.