On the r>h shift in Kiên Giang Khmer

James Kirby, Giang Lư Đinh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper presents an acoustic and perceptual study of the r>h shift in the variety of Khmer spoken in Giồng Riềng district, Kiên Giang province, Vietnam. In Phnom Penh Khmer, /r/ is realized as [h] in syllable onsets and onset clusters, and accompanied by lowered pitch, breathiness, and in some cases a change in the quality of the following vowel. In the Kiên Giang dialect, the r>h shift is accompanied by pitch lowering, but without changes in aspiration or voice and vowel quality, and consistent with their productions, listeners of this dialect are not sensitive to these cues in perception. We discuss the implications of our findings for Khmer dialectology and possible mechanisms of sound change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-85
JournalJournal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Khmer
  • sound change
  • rhotics
  • phonetics


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