A re-evaluation of the Zulu implosive [ɓ]

  • Shamila Naidoo


In the course of experimental study of related linguistic areas, Traill, Khumalo and Fridjhon (1987), Giannini and Toscano (1988) and Best, McRoberts and Goodell (2001) suggest that the classification of [ɓ] as an implosive in Zulu is not accurate as this sound exhibits the traits of an explosive. Using the experimental framework, this article assesses the accuracy of this assertion. The corpus for this investigation is based on Doke’s (1926) set of minimal pairs containing the Zulu explosive [b] and implosive [ɓ] sounds. A qualitative and quantitative examination of the parameters burst amplitude, Voice Onset Time (VOT) and closure duration (CD) are used to determine whether the Zulu [ɓ] is indeed an implosive. The results thereof find in favour of Doke.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang., 2010, 1

Author Biography

Shamila Naidoo
School of IsiZulu Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, King George V Avenue, Durban, 4041, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117