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He nui nā ala e hiki aku ai: Factors influencing phonetic variation in the Hawaiian word kēia

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Title: He nui nā ala e hiki aku ai: Factors influencing phonetic variation in the Hawaiian word kēia
Authors: Comstock, Bethany Kaleialohapau‘ole Chun
Kneubuhl, Hina Puamohala
Drager, Katie
Issue Date: 01 Jun 2017
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Drager, Katie, Bethany Kaleialohapau‘ole Chun Comstock and Hina Puamohala Kneubuhl. 2017. He nui nā ala e hiki aku ai: Factors influencing phonetic variation in the Hawaiian word kēia. In Hildebrandt, Kristine A., Carmen Jany, and Wilson Silva. (Eds) Documenting Variation in Endangered Languages. Language Documentation & Conservation Special Publication no. 13. [PP 65-93] Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press
Series/Report no.: LD&C Special Publication
Abstract: Apart from a handful of studies (e.g., Kinney 1956), linguists know little about what variation exists in Hawaiian and what factors constrain the variation. In this paper, we present an analysis of phonetic variation in the word kēia, meaning ‘this’, examining the social, linguistic, and probabilistic factors that constrain the variation. The word kēia can be pronounced with a constricted glottis (e.g., as creak or a glottal stop) or without one (Pukui & Elbert 1986: 142) and, like many words in Hawaiian, it can undergo phonetic reduction. The analysis was conducted on interviews with eight native-speaking kūpuna (elders) who were recorded in the 1970s. We find that the likelihood of the word being realized with a constricted glottis decreases if the word immediately following kēia begins with an oral stop or if the speaker is a man. Additionally, we observe a higher likelihood of phonetic reduction as word sequences (kēia + the following word(s)) are repeated during the interaction. The results contribute to current models of speech production and planning, and they inform work aimed at supporting the ongoing efforts to conserve and revitalize the Hawaiian language.
Sponsor: National Foreign Language Resource Center
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24749
ISBN: 978­0­9973295­0­6
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License
Appears in Collections:LD&C Special Publication No. 13: Documenting Variation in Endangered Languages



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