The Social Life of Setswana Ejectives

Daniel Duran, Jagoda Bruni, Grzegorz Dogil, Justus Roux

This paper presents a first phonetic analysis of voiced, devoiced and ejectivized stop sounds in Setswana taken from two different speech databases. It is observed that rules governing the voicing/devoicing processes depend on sociophonetic and ethnolinguistic factors. Speakers, especially women, from the rural North West area of South Africa tend to preserve the phonologically stronger devoiced (or even ejectivized) forms, both in single standing plosives as well as in the post-nasal context (NC̥). On the other hand, in the more industrialized area of Gauteng, voiced forms of plosives prevail. The empirically observed data is modelled with KaMoso, a computational multi-agent simulation framework. So far, this framework focused on open social structures ( whole world networks) that facilitate language modernization through exchange between different phonetic forms. The updated model has been enriched with social/phonetic simulation scenarios in which speech agents interact between each other in a so-called parochial setting, reflecting smaller, closed communities. Both configurations correspond to the sociopolitical changes that have been taking place in South Africa over the last decades, showing the differences in speech between women and men from rural and industrialized areas of the country.

 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-922

Cite as: Duran, D., Bruni, J., Dogil, G., Roux, J. (2017) The Social Life of Setswana Ejectives. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3787-3791, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-922.

  author={Daniel Duran and Jagoda Bruni and Grzegorz Dogil and Justus Roux},
  title={The Social Life of Setswana Ejectives},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},