This monograph is an acoustic phonetic study of the four stops types in Hindi; namely the voiced stops (VS), voiced aspirated stops (VAS), voiceless and voiceless aspirated stops. The "Standard View" on the distinction between VS and VAS proposes that the VAS are VS with a breathy release and this feature is sufficient to make the contrast between the VS and VAS. Evidence from duration of voicing, effect of manner of articulation on the fundamental frequency (f0) of the following vowel, durational properties of stop closure and aspiration suggests the contrary. Both VAS and VS are known to lower f0 of the following vowel. VAS lower f0 even further. This study shows that f0 perturbations are reliable acoustic cues for stop identification and demonstrates the extent of this effect in the vowel. Spectral intensity analysis of the breathy release following VAS tests the assumptions of the standard view. Four measures of spectral intensity of the vowel following the stops indicate that the breathiness following the VAS persists for a long duration. Comparisons between durations of breathiness and aspiration show that aspiration is shorter in duration than breathiness.
Indranil Dutta teaches Asian Studies and Linguistics at Rice University in Houston. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Illinois. His areas of teaching and research are acoustic and articulatory phonetics, phonological theory, speech synthesis, corpus linguistics, historical linguistics, and linguistic theory.