University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper presents an articulatory study of vowel production in three Turkic languages (Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Turkish) using ultrasound tongue imaging in order to determine what aspects of tongue position correspond to the vowel anteriority contrasts in these languages, especially regarding the tongue body (TB) and tongue root (TR).

The results of this study suggest that the Turkish vowel anteriority contrast involves mainly TB position, whereas the Kazakh and Kyrgyz vowel anteriority contrasts involve both TR and TB position. This latter pattern appears to confirm the existence of a type of vowel anteriority contrast whose existence has been hypothesised but not previously verified instrumentally.



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