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Vowel Laxing in Ngaju Daya

Brunelle, Marc; Riehl, Anastasia

Ngaju Dayak, an Austronesian language of Borneo, exhibits a process of vowel laxing, realized as centralization, which is sensitive to morphological structure.  A phonetic study with a native speaker reveals that a vowel in a final syllable closed by a consonantal suffix (CV+C) is more centralized than a vowel in a syllable closed by a consonant in the same morpheme (CVC).  This process appears stronger at the beginning of the vowel than at its end.  

We further conclude that this centralization is less evident at the end of the vowel due to the strong influence of the final consonant on the vowel’s formant structure. 

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