Intrinsic f0 and Sound Change: Evidence from Australian Languages

Sarah Babinski


In this paper, a study is presented investigating two types of intrinsic f0 effects in sixteen Australian languages. Vowels are known to vary systematically in their mean f0 as a function of vowel height as well as voicing of the previous consonant, a property known as intrinsic f0. Vowel height has been known to have a positive correlation with f0, in which high vowels have a higher intrinsic f0 than low vowels on average. Differences in intrinsic f0 also vary systematically based on the voicing of a preceding stop, with voiceless stops correlating with higher intrinsic f0 and voiced stops with lower. Using automatic data processing methods on archival audio data, this study shows wide variation in the presence and robustness of intrinsic f0 effects in the Australian langauges investigated.


Phonetics; Typology; Pama Nyungan; Australia; Language Variation; Language Change

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