Emphatic vowel length in Cebuano

Kevin Samejon

Date of publication:

December 31, 2019


Phonetic length has been generally observed to indicate emphasis also as in the Cebuano utterance, Lamiiiiii kaayo ang sud-an, trans. ‘The dish is veeeeeery delicious’, a pragmatic use of phonetic length. Following the observation of an earlier experiment in English, the present study investigated this phonetic behavior on Cebuano vowels. An experimental production task was administered. Responses were recorded, annotated, described, and acoustically analyzed. Results revealed positive correlation between emphasis levels and phonetic duration but no other significant comparisons across levels of emphasis were found. These suggest that, based on the articulatory facility of speakers, they can produce and seem to prefer binary phonetic length distinction, and find it inconsequential to maintain clear durational distinction on other levels of emphasis.

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