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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.
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Abstract

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.