An Ultrasound Study of Alveolar and Retroflex Consonants in Arrernte: Stressed and Unstressed Syllables

Marija Tabain, Richard Beare


This study presents ultrasound data from six female speakers of the Central Australian language Arrernte. We focus on the apical stop contrast, alveolar /t/ versus retroflex /ʈ/, which may be considered phonemically marginal. We compare these sounds in stressed and unstressed position. Consistent with previous results on this apical contrast, we show that there are minimal differences between the retroflex and the alveolar at stop offset; however, at stop onset, the retroflex has a higher front portion of the tongue, and often a more forward posterior portion of the tongue. This difference between the alveolar and the retroflex is particularly remarked in unstressed prosodic context. This result confirms our previous EPG and EMA results from two of the speakers in the present study, which showed that the most prototypical retroflex consonant occurs in the unstressed prosodic position.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-578

Cite as: Tabain, M., Beare, R. (2017) An Ultrasound Study of Alveolar and Retroflex Consonants in Arrernte: Stressed and Unstressed Syllables. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3003-3007, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-578.


@inproceedings{Tabain2017,
  author={Marija Tabain and Richard Beare},
  title={An Ultrasound Study of Alveolar and Retroflex Consonants in Arrernte: Stressed and Unstressed Syllables},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={3003--3007},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-578},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-578}
}