Perception of laryngeal contrast in Madurese

James Kirby, Misnadin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We investigate native speaker perception of cues to voiceless plosives in the Malayo-Polynesian language Madurese. Madurese is described as having a three-way laryngeal contrast between voiced, voiceless aspirated, and voiceless unaspirated plosives. However, voiceless aspirated and unaspirated plosives are always followed by vowels of different but predictable height, and their VOT distributions overlap heavily, raising the question of whether VOT or F1 is primary perceptual cue to this contrast. The trading relation between VOT and F1 in Madurese was investigated using 2AFC identification and AXB discrimination paradigms. Results indicate that the VOT differences between voiceless plosives which exist in production are not exploited in perception, suggesting that Madurese speakers may not have distinct phonetic targets for aspirated and unaspirated plosives. The surface VOT distributions may instead be a result of differences in following vowel height.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019
EditorsSasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabain, Paul Warren
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 5 Aug 20199 Aug 2019


Conference19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Abbreviated titleICPhS 2019
Internet address


  • voiving
  • laryngeal contrast
  • speech perception
  • Austronesian
  • phonology


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