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Stevens, Mary and Hajek, John (2008): Positional Effects on the Characterization of Ejectives in Waima’a. Interspeech 2008, 22. - 26. September 2008, Brisbane.




This paper presents results from an ongoing investigation into stop consonants in Waima’a, focusing on the issue of tense v. lax ejectives. Sources tend to describe ejectives in a given language as either tense or lax; however ejectives in Waima'a, do not fit squarely into either category [4]. Here we compare ejectives in word-initial and word-medial contexts, to specifically address the role of word-position in the tense/lax distinction. Results show that word-position affects the duration of all stop types analyzed, i.e. unaspirated, postaspirated, & ejective stops. Variability amongst the ejective tokens suggests that the notion of a tense/lax dichotomy should be replaced instead with that of a tense/lax continuum.