South African Journal of African Languages

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Perceived duration in vowel-length based Civili minimal pairs

HS Ndinga-Koumba-Binza, Justus C Roux


Several authors have established the existence of short and long vowels on the basis of minimal pairs occurring in Civili. These works however simply refer to impressionistic phonetic observations and do not rely on experimentally-gathered and verified data. This article focuses on the perceived duration of components of minimal pairs. It is intended to assess the validity of claims on vowel length and minimal pairs in the language. The article gives an account of a perception experiment that was conducted and describes the administration of perception tests. The perceptual data gathered are then statistically analysed and discussed in terms of phonological implications.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang.,2009, 2

AJOL African Journals Online