A phonetic study of the tongue root contrast in Buriat and Ewen

Hijo Kang, Seongyeon Ko


Compared to the relatively well-studied West-African languages, there have been rare acoustic studies on the tongue root contrast in Altaic languages. This study analyzes the seven/eight vowel phonemes of Buriat/Ewen to find the acoustic correlates of the contrast in Altaic languages. The results show that F1 (height) and the normalized A1-A2 (spectral slope) are the most reliable acoustic cues. However, in Buriat, the normalized A1-A2 was higher in retracted vowels than in their advanced counterparts, which is the opposite of the findings in the West-African ATR languages. This may support the idea of differentiating ATR and RTR as two distinct features.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.536