Priestly accent?: an acoustic study of voice onset time in Hindi speakers in Bangkok
This study aims to investigate voice onset time (VOT) values of initial stops in Hindi produced by Hindi speakers in Bangkok. Hindi has four categories of stops, i.e. voiceless unaspirated stops, voiceless aspirated stops, voiced unaspirated stops, and voiced aspirated stops. Stop consonants in a monosyllabic consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) production were obtained from six Hindi native speakers, aged 27-62, who joined Geeta Ashram Thailand association. The results reveal that voiceless stops have positive VOT values or “voicing lag”. The voicing-lag patterns of voiceless unaspirated and aspirated stops are different, i.e. short and long lag respectively. Voiced stops have negative VOT values or “voicing lead”. Regarding voiced stops, there are two variants of voicing-lead patterns which do not depend on the age variable. Some informants produced both voiced unaspirated and aspirated stops with approximately the same duration of voicing lead, which corresponds to previous studies. However, this present study finds another pattern of voiced stops – voiced unaspirated stops with “long voicing lead” and voiced aspirated stops with “extra-long voicing lead” resulting from a long aspiration portion, which were all produced by Brahmins who involved in rituals. Priestly style of pronunciation tends to be distinguished in terms of obvious aspiration.
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