Phonetics and phonology of the three-way laryngeal contrast in Madurese
Madurese, a Western Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on the Indonesian island of Madura, exhibits a three-way laryngeal contrast distinguishing between voiced, voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated stops and an unusual consonant-vowel (CV) co-occurrence restriction. The CV co-occurrence restriction is of phonological interest given the patterning of voiceless aspirated stops with voiced stops rather than with voiceless unaspirated stops, raising the question of what phonological feature they may share. Two features have been linked with the CV co-occurrence restriction: Advanced Tongue Root [ATR] and Lowered Larynx [LL]. However, as no evidence of voicing during closure for aspirated stops is observed and no other acoustic measures except voice onset time (VOT), fundamental frequency (F0), frequencies of the first (F1) and the second (F2) formants and closure duration relating to the proposed features have been conducted, it remains an open question which acoustic properties are shared by voiced and aspirated stops. Three main questions are addressed in the thesis. The first question is what acoustic properties voiced and voiceless aspirated stops share to the exclusion of voiceless unaspirated stops. The second question is whether [ATR] or [LL] accounts for the patterning together of voiceless aspirated stops with voiced stops. The third question is what the implications of the results are for a transparent phonetics-phonology mapping that expects phonological features to have phonetic correlates associated with them. In order to answer the questions, we looked into VOT, closure duration, F0, F1, F2 and a number of spectral measures, i.e. H1*-A1*, H1*-A2*, H1*-A3*, H1*-H2*, H2*-H4* and CPP. We recorded fifteen speakers of Madurese (8 females, 7 males) reading 188 disyllabic Madurese words embedded in a sentence frame. The results show that the three-way voicing categories in Madurese have different VOT values. The difference in VOT is robust between voiced stops on the one hand and voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated stops on the other. Albeit statistically significant, the difference in VOT values between voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated stops is relatively small. With regard to closure duration, we found that there is a difference between voiced stops on the one hand and voiceless unaspirated and aspirated stops on the other. We also found that female speakers distinguish F0 for the three categories while male speakers distinguish between F0 for voiced stops on the one hand and voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated stops on the other. The results for spectral measures show that there are no significant differences in H1*-A1*, H1*-A3*, H1*-H2*, H2*-H4* and CPP between vowels adjacent to voiced and voiceless aspirated stops. In contrast, there are significant differences in these measures between vowels adjacent to voiced and voiceless unaspirated stops and between vowels adjacent to voiceless aspirated and voiceless unaspirated stops. Regarding the question whether voiced and voiceless aspirated stops share certain acoustic properties, our findings show that they do. The acoustic properties they share are H1*-A1* for both genders, H1*-H2* for females, H1*-A3* and H2*-H4* for males, and CPP for females at vowel onset and for males at vowel midpoint. However, they do not share such acoustic properties as VOT, closure duration and F0. Voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated stops can be distinguished by VOT, F0 and spectral measures, i.e. H1*-A1*, H1*-A3*, H1*-H2*, H2*-H4* and CPP. However, these two voiceless stop categories have similar closure durations. As regards the question if [+ATR] or [+LL] might be responsible for the patterning together of voiceless aspirated stops with voiced stops, our findings suggest that either feature appears to be plausible. Acoustic evidence that lends support to the feature [+ATR] includes lower F1 and greater spectral tilt measures, i.e. H1*-A1*, H1*-A3*, H1*-H2* and H2*-H4*, and lower CPP values. Acoustic evidence that supports the feature [+LL] includes lower F1 and greater spectral tilt measures, i.e. H1*-A1*, H1*-A3*, H1*-H2* and H2*-H4*, and lower CPP values. However, the fact that voiceless aspirated stops are voiceless during closure raises a problem for the feature [+ATR] and the fact that F0 for voiceless aspirated stops is higher than for voiced stops also presents a problem for the feature [+LL]. The fact that not all acoustic measures fit in well with either feature is problematic to the idea that the relationship between phonetics and phonology is transparent in the sense that phonological features can be directly transformed into their phonetic correlates. Following the view that not all phonological features may not be expected to be phonetically grounded, for example, when they are related to historical sound change, we hold the idea of a phonetics-phonology mapping which allows for other non-phonetic factors to account for a phonological phenomenon. We also provide historical and loanword evidence which could support that voiceless aspirated stops in Madurese may have derived from earlier voiced stops, which probably retain their historical laryngeal contrast through phonologisation.