Dentalisation as regional indicator in general South African English: an acoustic analysis of /z/, /d/ and /t/
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Drawing on Bekker's (2007) study on the dentalisation of /s/ among young middle-class females from Johannesburg, this research aims to test whether the other traditionally alveolar oral obstruents, namely /z/, /d/ and /t/, are similarly fronted. The speech of two groups, one consisting of five females from prestigious private schools in Johannesburg and the other consisting of five females from similar schools in Cape Town, was recorded and the data analysed acoustically. For /z/, a spectral moments analysis was employed (Jongman, Wayland & Wong, 2000), which examined four parameters: centre of gravity, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis. For /d/ and /t/, a metric established by Jongman, Blumstein and Lahiri (1984) was used, one which involves calculating the ratio of the root mean square (rms) amplitude at the onset of voicing against the rms amplitude of the stop burst. Results support the hypothesis that /z/ is dentalised by Johannesburg speakers, but do not support a similar hypothesis for /d/ and /t/.
- Faculty of Humanities