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Title: Shekgalagari stop contrasts : a phonetic and phonological study
Author: Monaka, Kemmonye Collete
ISNI:       0000 0001 3414 5767
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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The aim of this thesis is to investigate the voicing structure, articulatory and co- articulatory properties of stops in Shekgalagari, a South-eastern Bantu language of the Sotho group, which is discussed in details in Chapter Two. Particular reference is given to the Shengologa dialect. The study is based on spectrographic, electrolaryngographic (ELG) and electropalatographic (EPG) techniques. Spectrography and electrolaryngography provide acoustic information, (with ELG providing limited amount of information about the production of the sound) and electropalatography provides articulatory information. The acoustic results are examined in the light of specified feature theories presented on Chapter Three, and of speech production, and electropalatographic results are examined against some theories of co-articulation, also presented in Chapter Three. Shekgalagari, like all South-eastern Bantu languages, has traditionally been said to have ejectives in its stop system. In addition to deciding, amongst other things, the category of stop voicing contrast to which this language belongs, this thesis attempts to examine whether Shekgalagari does actually have ejectives. A literature review of Shekgalagari taxonomy is provided in Chapter Two of the thesis, also detailing the situation with ejectives in the language. A detailed analysis of larynx activity by means of both forms of the electrolaryngograph, Lx (which monitors vocal fold vibration) and Gx (which monitors larynx movement) is performed in Chapter Four. Quantitative examination, mainly on Voice Onset Time (VOT) is done in Chapter Five. The results obtained in these chapters are used to argue that these so-called 'ejectives' are, in fact, plain, voiceless unaspirated stops, and not ejectives. Chapters Four and Five also examine laryngeal characteristics of the other stops in the language, the voiceless aspirated and the voiced stops, and establish Shekgalagari as a three-way contrasting language. Other factors are also investigated: the language-specific phonetic characteristics of its stop system, how the language-specific properties of voicing in Shekgalagari are different from or similar to the phonetic realisation of stops in other languages reported in the literature - e.g. English, Korean, Thai, Burmese, Hausa etc, in order to determine which feature system (presented in Chapter Three) can best describe the phonetic realizations of Shekgalagari stops. The implications of the results obtained in Chapters Four and Five for feature theories are discussed in Chapter Seven. Articulatory and co-articulatory characteristics of the stops are examined in Chapter Six, as well as their implication for the theories of co-articulation, which, as mentioned above, are also presented in Chapter Three. Chapter Eight concludes by way of summarising the main findings of the thesis and also pointing out some suggestions for future research. Chapter One mainly introduces the dissertation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bantu language