Re: A question for the ejective gurus: strong~weak ejectives
|From:||Paul Roser <pkroser@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 16, 2004, 15:52|
On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 22:25:38 -0500, Trebor Jung <treborjung@...> wrote:
>Someone-- Dirk?-- mentioned awhile back some natlangs have a phonetic
>distinction between strong/weak ejectives. Would it be possible to
>distinguish the two types on a phonemic level? How exactly are they
>pronounced again (I forget)?
I remember talking about Paul Fallon's research on ejectives a while ago -
he wrote his thesis on ejectives, noting that there are tense/strong and
lax/weak ejectives - but if i gave the impression they occur in the same
language, I apologize, since my understanding is that a language with
ejectives either has tense ejectives or lax ones. I don't recall all of the
characteristics that distinguish the two types, but one that I do recall is
that tense ejectives have a longer gap between stop release and glottal
release, and a longer Voice Onset Time, while lax ejectives have a very
short gap (or none at all).
While no known language makes this distinction (so far as I'm aware), I'm
not sure that it's impossible from a phonological view, though most studies
I've read theorize that a given language will only have two glottalic
series (ejective vs implosive or, more rarely, voiced and voiceless
implosives are attested cross-lingusitically), so a language could
theoretically have two ejectives, which might be characterized as 'voiced'
and 'voiceless', though in fact they'd both be voiceless, and simply differ
in degree of VOT.
Hope that helps.