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An Acoustic Description of Mixean Basque

Abstract : This paper presents an acoustic analysis of Mixean Low Navarrese, an endangered variety of Basque. The manuscript includes an overview of previous acoustic studies performed on different Basque varieties in order to synthesize the sparse acoustic descriptions of the language that are available. This synthesis serves as a basis for the acoustic analysis performed in the current study, in which the various acoustic analyses given in previous studies are replicated in a single, cohesive general acoustic description of Mixean Basque. The analyses include formant and duration measurements for the six-vowel system, voice onset time measurements for the three-way stop system, spectral center of gravity for the sibilants, and number of lingual contacts in the alveolar rhotic tap and trill. Important findings include: a centralized realization ([ʉ]) of the high-front rounded vowel usually described as /y/; a data-driven confirmation of the three-way laryngeal opposition in the stop system; evidence in support of an alveolo-palatal to apical sibilant merger; and the discovery of a possible incipient merger of rhotics. These results show how using experimental acoustic methods to study under-represented linguistic varieties can result in revelations of sound patterns otherwise undescribed in more commonly studied varieties of the same language.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 18, 2022 - 9:12:20 PM
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Ander Egurtzegi, Christopher Carignan. An Acoustic Description of Mixean Basque. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Acoustical Society of America, 2020, 147 (4), pp.2791-2802. ⟨10.1121/10.0000996⟩. ⟨hal-02553626⟩



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