ESTONIAN ACADEMY
PUBLISHERS
eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
PUBLISHED
SINCE 1965
 
Linguistica Uralica cover
Linguistica Uralica
ISSN 1736-7506 (Electronic)
ISSN 0868-4731 (Print)

A Preliminary Comparison of Estonian and Finnish Plosives; pp. 187-193

Full article in PDF format | doi:10.3176/lu.2012.3.04

Authors
Kari Suomi, Einar Meister

Abstract

It has been impressionistically suggested that Estonian short plosives are somehow ”weaker” than Finnish short plosives. This paper reports the results of an acoustic comparison of short plosives in the two languages in segmentally highly similar words. It was observed that, both in word-initial and word-medial position, closure durations were systematically shorter in Estonian than in Finnish. In word-medial position, the Estonian /k/ had shorter burst duration than Finnish /k/. Moreover, a large proportion of the Estonian /k/ tokens were burstless, i.e. completely voiced. The short burst of the velar plosive seems to be a specific characteristic of Estonian, which sets the language apart from many other languages.


References

Boersma, P., Weenink, D. 2011, Praat: doing phonetics by computer (Version 5.2.09) [Computer program]. http://www.praat.org/.

Helgason, P., Ringen, C. 2008, Voicing and Aspiration in Swedish Stops. - Journal of Phonetics 36, 607-628.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2008.02.003

Maddieson, I. 2011, Voicing and Gaps in Plosive Systems. - The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. http://wals.info/chapter/5.

Ringen, C., Suomi, K. 2012, The Voicing Contrast in Fenno-Swedish Stops. - Journal of Phonetics 40, 419-429.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2012.02.010

Suomi, K. 1980, Voicing in English and Finnish Stops. A Typological ­Comparison with an Interlanguage Study of the Two Languages in Contact, Turku (Turun yliopiston suomalaisen ja yleisen kielitieteen laitoksen julkaisuja 10).

Suomi, K., Meister, E., Ylitalo, R., Meister, L. [to appear], Durational Patterns in Northern Estonian and Northern Finnish.


Back to Issue