[An-lang] Hawaiian phonetics

Yoram Meroz ymeroz at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 22 03:43:58 UTC 2003

A couple of questions on Hawaiian phonetics:

1. In several contexts, some Hawaiian vowels sound to me as if they are
pronounced with a retracted tongue root, or something like it. I notice it
with /a/ and /o/, particularly near /?/ and velarized /l/, though this might
apply to other vowels and contexts as well. Is this a known phenomenon? Does
it extend to other environments? Does it occur in other Polynesian

And if the above is true, would it have anything to do with the general
Polynesian trend for the place of articulation of consonants to move

2. In Helene Newbrand's  1943 thesis on Hawaiian phonetics, her Ni'ihau 18
year old informant's production of the /t/ phoneme is in free variation
between [t] and [k]. Is that still the case? Do speakers from Ni'ihau still
use [t]?

Thanks in advance,


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