An electropalatographic study of variability in Arrernte consonant production Academic Article uri icon


  • Arrernte is a language with a relatively large consonant inventory, and a relatively small vowel inventory. In this study, electropalatography is used to examine lingual consonant production according to lexical stress, in the context of the two most common vowels in the language, the central vowels /a/ and /ə/. The consonants examined are /t̪ n̪ l̪ t n l ʈ ɳ ɭ ɻ c ɲ ʎ j k ŋ w/. Data are for two female speakers and are taken from a large database of read texts. Results show very little articulatory variation in consonant production depending on the contexts examined. Although consonants before a stressed vowel have greater duration than consonants before an unstressed vowel, there is no consistent difference in tongue-palate contact patterns between the two prosodic contexts. The main exception to this pattern is the retroflex stop, nasal and lateral, which show a more posterior contact before an unstressed vowel: it is suggested that this is because the preceding stressed vowel contains the primary cues to retroflex place of articulation.

publication date

  • 2019