Reflections about the phonemic analysis of Yongning Na (Tibeto-Burman): perceptual transcription and acoustic data

Abstract : A preliminary phonemic inventory of the dialect of the Na language spoken in Yongning, China (a.k.a. Eastern Naxi 纳西语东部方言/ Mosuo 摩梭话) is presented, on the basis of first-hand fieldwork data. Some reflections are offered on three interrelated issues commonly encountered in fieldwork, namely (i) To what extent does perceived allophonic variation correspond to articulatory/acoustic reality, to what extent does it merely reflect the investigator's perceptual expectations? (ii) How can acoustic data help select International Phonetic Alphabet symbols for the phonemic units brought out by distributional analysis? (iii) How can acoustic data help characterise the vowels and consonants encountered in fieldwork, both in a structural (language-internal) perspective, and in a cross-language perspective?
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Alexis Michaud, Jacqueline Vaissière. Reflections about the phonemic analysis of Yongning Na (Tibeto-Burman): perceptual transcription and acoustic data. Phonetics Conference of China 2008 (PCC 2008): 第八届中国语音学学术会议, 2008, Beijing, China. (Proceedings published as a CD-ROM; no page numbers). ⟨halshs-00259335v2⟩

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