The Phonology and Phonetic Manifestations of the Glottal Stop in Pendau

Phil Quick Phil.Quick at
Wed Dec 8 23:10:15 UTC 1999

Glottal Stop Friends,

I have been following the glottal stop discussion with some interest as I
gave a seminar paper in our department earlier this year, "The Phonology
and Phonetic Manifestations of the Glottal Stop in Pendau".  This includes
some acoustic analysis which revealed that the glottal stop in Pendau is
often realized phonetically as 'creaky voice'.  Below is a short abstract
of this paper:

In Sulawesi languages the glottal stop has presented linguists with some
interesting and unusual phonological problems.  Acoustic analyses of the
glottal stop in Pendau reveals some new information for Western
Austronesian researchers.
The glottal stop phoneme in Pendau appears as several possible phonetic
manifestations.  Most of these manifestations have no particularly fixed
environment that they occur in.  These manifestations can be thought of as
a continuum of phonation types that are prototypically aimed at a complete
glottal stop, but may fail in actualizing the actual stop.  The most common
phonetic manifestation of the glottal stop phoneme is a creak phonation (or
laryngealization).  This can occur as either a transition between two
vowels, or as creak on the edge of the first vowel (prevocalic
laryngealization) of a word which begins with the glottal stop phoneme, or
as creak on the final vowel  (either the entire vowel or the end of the
vowel).  Two words alternate with creak phonation on vowel initial words
and appears to range between voiceless glottal fricative [h] and the voiced
glottal fricative [h] (read with a hook on top of the h).
In addition to these phonetic variations the glottal stop assimilates
voicing following a nasal environment, where it becomes a [k].  This can be
described naturally with autosegmental phonology and feature geometry.
Finally, the various phonetic variations of the glottal stop, particularly
creaky voice provides synchronic clues to how tonogenesis has begun in
another Central Sulawesi language, Uma.
 <end of abstract>

In the interest of academic research I would be willing to send a copy of
this large document (just over 2 Megabytes--but smaller if I zip it--in
WORD format--lots of graphics with sound waves and spectrograms, etc. make
this huge)--if I'm not overwhelmed by requests (a revised copy will become
available via the internet in the next few months through our department if
you can wait).

Salient points about Pendau (and described in this workpaper):

**Pendau has final consonants (unlike most Sulawesi languages) which
includes most of its consonants, including the glottal stop.

**The glottal stop can 'overlay' vowels as 'creaky voice'.  (this allows
other interesting morphophonemic things to happen)

**Creaky voice still triggers vowel epenthesis between consonantal phonemes
(i.e. creaky voice is still functioning phonemically as the glottal stop
consonant), but on the other hand a syllabic nasal of the following word
can become the coda of a word that phonemically has a final glottal stop,
but phonetically occurs as creaky voice.

**The glottal stop occurs 581 times out of 24321 instances (that is the
total number of phonemes in the primary lexicon of about 4000 mostly unique
lexemes), and appears to have a normal frequency compared to other
consonants.  For example, /k/ also occurs 543 times in this corpus.  The
glottal stop is cognate with /k/ in many Kaili languages (the Kaili-Pamona
language group neighbors the Tomini-Tolitoli languages of which Pendau
belongs).  For example, ['api] and [kapi] 'wing' in Pendau and Ledo
respectively (note that ['api] 'wing' is a minimal pair with [api] fire in
Pendau). (full details of these statistics are in the workpaper)

**Tonogenesis appears to have followed this pathway (i.e. from creak
phonation as evidenced by analogy in Pendau) in the Central Sulawesi called
Uma (also in Kaili-Pamona languages) and is analyzed by Martens as the only
final consonant in Pendau.  However he admits that it has word level
suprasegmental features, such that the orthographic glottal stop must move
to the end of the word when certain suffixes are added (speakers admit to
'tense' words versus 'non-tense' words for minimal pairs).

**Glottal stop becomes a /k/ following a prefix with a nasal coda.  Compare
ro-'omung 'carry (Inverse voice)' and mong-komung 'carry (Active voice)
Word initially the glottal stop is not written orthographically, so the
imperative is Omung! 'carry!'.

** [h] is a rare phoneme (except in borrowed Indonesian words), but occurs
in a few instances and occurs commonly in altenation with the first person
pronoun ['a'u] as [ha'u] (apostrophe used as glottal stop phone here).

Some salient references from Sulawesi languages on the glottal stop:

Himmelmann, Nikolaus P.  1991.  Tomini-Tolitoli sound structures. In
Sneddon, J.N., ed., Studies in Sulawesi linguistics Part II.  Linguistic
studies of Indonesian and other languages in Indonesia, NUSA volume 33.
Jakarta:  Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa.

Martens, Michael and Martha Martens.  1988.  Some notes on the inelegant
glottal:  a problem in Uma phonology.  In Papers in Western Austronesian
Linguistics No. 4, Hein Steinhauer.  Pacific Linguistics Series A, No. 79.

Nivens, Richard, and David Andersen.  1996.  Ihwal-ihwal yang khas pada
sejumlah bahasa Daerah di Indonesia:  Tantangan bagi keuniversalan bahasa.
In Pertemuan Linguistik Lembaga Bahasa Atma Jaya:  Kesembilan (PELLBA 9),
Bambang Kaswanti Purwo, ed.  Yogyakarta, Indonesia:  Penerbit Kanisius.

Sneddon, J.N., ed.  1991.  Studies in Sulawesi linguistics Part II.
Linguistic studies of Indonesian and other languages in Indonesia, volume
33.  Jakarta:  Badan Penyelenggara Seri Nusa.

Steinhauer, H.  1991.  Problems of Gorontalese phonology.  In Harry A.
Poeze and Pim Schoorl, ed., Excursies in Celebes.  Leiden:  KITLV.

I have appended Jean-Paul's last email message as some of the points above
correspond to some of his comments below (expecially points 1) and 2)
below).  Please let me know if you know of any studies in Austronesian
languages that have identified 'creaky voice' (or laryngealization) as this
may be relevant to this chapter of my thesis.

Phil Quick
Linguistics Department, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
Australian National University

At 19:29 8/12/99 +0100, you wrote:
>Just a few modest remarks in relation to Daniel's message.
>1) I must explain I do not see the final phone [q] as the realization of  a
>phoneme /q/ but of the phoneme /h/. Yes, my opinion is that the Tagalog
>phoneme /h/ is realized as [h] in the initial, post-consonantic and
>intervocalic positions, and as [q] (the glottal stop) in the final position.
>2) Daniel's opinion that "it seems easier to consider [the final glottal
>stop in Tagalog] as a quality of the final vowel rather than a regular
>consonant" must have been that of the Spanish clerical linguists because
>they never resolved to represent it with a consonantic letter, but with an
>accent - generally the acute accent, but sometimes the grave or the
>circumflex - probably  under the influence of Greek studies - so that I
>eventually came to the conclusion these scholars regarded the final glottal
>stop as part of the word prosody or its melody, not its consonantic
>    Although I do not share this view, I am not averse to contemplating this
>possibility for I find it quite interesting. If I understand Danny well - he
>is the only one who can answer, his worthy predecessors being all dead now -
>the final glottal stop is part of the vowel, say, the way _h_ is part of
>the realization [ph-] of Eng. /p/ in "pit" as opposed to [p-] in "spit" and
>[-p] in "tip", or /t/ > [th] in "tip", or /k/ > [kh-] in "kill" etc.
>3) Interestingly enough, in his _The Tagalog Language_ (1902)_ Constantino
>LENDOYRO deplores the fact that the Spanish monks didn't add the final H:
>"The importance of appending _h_ to a final sharply-accented vowel does not
>seem to have happened to their minds, nor they seemed [did they seem] to
>realize the simplicity resulting from writing _gandah_, _batoh_ etc. instead
>of _ganda_, _bato_ etc." (see the original for Lendoyro's accents, which are
>quite odd).
>4) I have only two Spanish loanwords of CVC-CVq type: Span. [ban]co > Tag.
>ban[koq] "bench" and Span. [pa]tio > Tag. _pat[yoq]_  > _pa[tyoq]_ (TY
>realized as CH in English) "inner yard".
>PS. Just let me know if you are interested in my little corpus of Sanskrit
>loanwords in Tagalog. The glosses and explanations are in French, but this
>should be no great problem with a dictionary.

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