Journal article Open Access

Degemination in Indonesian Phonology and Phonetics

Adisasmito-Smith, Niken

While Indonesian has no geminate consonants, identical consonants can become adjacent
through morpheme concatenation, such as the concatenation of a root and a suffix. Lapoliwa (1981) suggests that in these cases, a rule of degemination takes place. The duration measurements in the current acoustic study provide an argument against Lapoliwa.

While the differences between one and two identical consonants are not of the magnitude of a singleton-geminate contrast, identical consonant sequences tend to be longer in duration than a single consonant, suggesting that in Indonesian such sequences undergo partial neutralization.

The result of duration measurements of the vowel preceding the contrasted consonants suggests that vowels are shorter when followed by two consonants than by one consonant, though only slightly. This study extends the investigation to cases where identical consonants become adjacent at word boundaries, and shows that while the distinction between one and two identical consonants at these boundaries is not neutralized, the magnitude of the duration difference is less than that of a singleton-geminate contrast.

This paper is copyrighted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see
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