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Stevens, Mary; Hajek, John (2004): A preliminary investigation of some acoustic characteristics of ejectives in Waima’a: VOT and closure duration. 10. Australian International Conference on Speech Science & Technology, 8. - 10. Dezember 2004, Sydney.


Waima’a is a little known language spoken in East Timor. From a typological perspective, its stop system is unusual for an Austronesian language: it has a fourway stop system which includes a set of voiceless ejectives. In this paper, we report on the results of our first experimental investigation of Waima’a, in which ejectives and pulmonic voiceless aspirated and unaspirated stops are compared. After first presenting some qualitative observations about ejectives, we examine voice onset time (VOT) duration, closure duration and overall duration i.e. closure + VOT. We then turn to a cross-linguistic comparison, looking in particular at the behaviour of ejectives relative to other voiceless stop types, and at possible place of articulation dependencies concerning VOT and closure duration.