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A preliminary phonology of Brokpa

Abstract

A preliminary synchronic analysis of Brokpa phonology finds eleven vowel phonemes, including two degrees of vowel length; 35 consonant phonemes; and three tonal values (level low, level high, and contour falling). Based on a sample of 134 words, the phonological description is supported by a phonetic analysis investigating the acoustic correlates of phonemic distinctions: formant values for vowel quality, length measurements for vowel length, pitch measurements for tone, and voice onset time for aspiration in plosives and affricates. A presentation of the basic phonotactic patterns of the language concludes the sketch. Some noteworthy features of Brokpa phonology include its developing tonal system; the relative lack of open vowels, front rounded vowels, and voiced fricatives; the presence of five series of plosives; and some archaic consonant clusters.

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