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Hajek, John and Stevens, Mary (2004): Tonal Activity in Kara, an Austronesian language spoken in New Britain. Proceedings of the 10th Australian International Conference on Speech Science & Technology. Sydney: Macquarie University. pp. 295-300 [PDF, 379kB]


This paper presents the results of a small phonetic investigation of tonal activity in Kara, a little-known Austronesian language spoken in Papua New Guinea. Sketchy reports of some kind of tonal contrast in this language surfaced in the 1960s and 1970s, only to disappear in later published references to the language. Our auditory and acoustic investigations confirm the existence of contrastive tone in Kara. Native speaker intuitions also support such a conclusion. At least two tonemes (high and low) are identified. A third tone level (mid) is also noted but appears to be a variant of the low toneme.

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