Stop voicing in Drehu: Effects of place of articulation, speaker sex, and language attitudes

Catalina Torres*, Jeremy Steffman

*Corresponding author for this work

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

Abstract / Description of output

This study investigates a potential ongoing sound change in the language Drehu, spoken by a small community in the South Pacific. We focus on the voiceless and voiced stop series in the language. Data from teenage female and male speakers was analysed in relation to voice onset time (VOT), percent voicing, and self reported language proficiency and attitudes. We find that the velar stops show substantial aspiration and de-voicing, led by female speakers. The voiceless velar stop shows the greatest VOT duration whereas voiced velars display the greatest devoicing. Interestingly, female and male speakers’ increased use of VOT and devoicing are differently correlated to their language attitudes. This shows that in this small and rural community, the same features may have different socio-linguistic associations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
EditorsRadek Skarnitzl, Jan Volín
Place of PublicationPrague
PublisherGuarant International
ISBN (Electronic)9788090811423
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023
Event20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) - Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Aug 202311 Aug 2023


Conference20th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)
Abbreviated titleICPhS 2023
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • stop voicing
  • voice onset time
  • Oceanic languages
  • language attitudes
  • sound change


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