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Voice Register in Mon: Acoustics and Electroglottography

Arthur S. Abramson, Mark K. Tiede and Theraphan Luangthongkum
From the journal Phonetica


Mon is spoken in villages in Thailand and Myanmar. The dialect of Ban Nakhonchum, Thailand, has 2 voice registers, modal and breathy; these phonation types, along with other phonetic properties, distinguish minimal pairs. Four native speakers of this dialect recorded repetitions of 14 randomized words (7 minimal pairs) for acoustic analysis. We used a subset of these pairs in a listening test to verify the perceptual robustness of the register distinction. Acoustic analysis found significant differences in noise component, spectral slope and fundamental frequency. In a subsequent session 4 speakers were also recorded using electroglottography, which showed systematic differences in the contact quotient. The salience of these properties in maintaining the register distinction is discussed in the context of possible tonogenesis for this language.

*Dr. Arthur S. Abramson, Haskins Laboratories, 300 George Street, Suite 900, New Haven, CT 06511 (USA), E-Mail


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Received: 2014-07-11
Accepted: 2015-10-14
Published Online: 2015-12-04
Published in Print: 2016-02-01

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