Chapter

A law unto themselves? An acoustic phonetic study of ‘tonal’ consonants in British Panjabi

Jane Stuart‐Smith and Mario Cortina‐Borja

in Laws and Rules in Indo‐European

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609925
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741579 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609925.003.0005
A law unto themselves? An acoustic phonetic study of ‘tonal’ consonants in British Panjabi

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Despite the interesting position of Panjabi as one of the few Modern Indo-Aryan languages to show lexical tone, there has been little phonetic investigation into the phenomenon, or consideration of the synchronic phonological contrasts resulting from mergers of the PIE voiced aspirates with voiceless or voiced plosives, with tonal developments on adjacent vowels. At the same time, lexical tone in British varieties of Panjabi is informally reported to be undergoing further change and even loss. This chapter presents an acoustic phonetic study of lexical tone and stop contrasts in British Panjabi. Our results confirm the presence of tone in terms of pitch movement as expected, and suggest some attrition. They also indicate some fine differences in plosives which phonologically are assumed to be ‘the same’. This suggests that we may need to re-evaluate this Indo-European sound law as an instance of ‘the new principle of ‘near merger’’ (Labov 1994: 20).

Keywords: Panjabi; Punjabi; lexical tone; voiced aspirate (stops); Indo-European; Modern-Indo-Aryan; sound change; consonant mergers; acoustic phonetics; ‘near merger’

Chapter.  7901 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.