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Laryngeal phenomena in Tahltan Bob, Tanya Marie

Abstract

This thesis investigates the phonetic and phonological properties of laryngeal distinctions in the consonant inventory of Tahltan, a northern Athapaskan language. This thesis does not examine the phonetic properties of all Tahltan consonants. Instead, this thesis focuses on the phonetic acoustic properties of plain stop consonants, which have been described inconsistently in Tahltan, to determine their laryngeal specification. This thesis also examines the observed patterns of behavior governing syllable structure to help determine the laryngeal specification of consonants in Tahltan. In addition, several morphophonemic processes are examined to determine the phonological laryngeal specification of consonants in Tahltan. Based on the phonetic findings, and observed patterns of behavior governing syllable structure, I will argue that stop consonants in Tahltan exhibit four laryngeal articulations: voiced, voiceless unaspirated voiceless aspirated and glottalized. Based on the morphophonemic evidence, I will argue that fricative consonants exhibit two laryngeal articulations: voiced and voiceless. Furthermore, I will argue that glottal stop is specified for the laryngeal specification [constricted glottis] (henceforth [CG]) and that [h] is specified for the laryngeal specification [spread glottis] (henceforth [SG]).

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