Ultrasound Imaging of Gengbe Labial-Velar Stops

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Samson Alexander Lotven
Kenneth J de Jong

Abstract

Ultrasound imaging is a useful technique in visualizing the articulation of uncommon sounds in under-resourced languages. In this study, we use ultrasound to examine the properties of the dorsal constriction in Gengbe labial-velar stops. In this paper, we present data from a single male native speaker of Gengbe which suggest that, at least for this speaker, (1) the preceding vowel has a large effect on the shape of the tongue during the velar closure in /k͡p/, (2) /k/ and the velar constriction in /k͡p/ have a similar posture and dynamics, and (3) the velar closure in nasal-stop sequences comes late in the nasal segment. These observations are not intended as generalizations on the nature of labial-velars in Gengbe, let alone in other languages, but rather they are intended to suggest and inform future research on the articulation of labial-velar stops using ultrasound techniques.

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