Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

John M. Clifton

Abstract

Embera Katío is a Chocó language of Colombia. This thesis presents the results of an acoustic analysis of the stops as produced by speakers from the departments of Córdoba and Antioquia. The analysis of the stops allows me to establish more conclusively their actual physical correlates and corresponding phonological categories.

Five male adult native speakers of Embera Katío were recorded on location. Each one pronounced sixty-one words in a constant sentential frame, five times each. The utterances were analyzed acoustically, measuring duration, formant onset time, pre-voicing, and burst.

Analysis of the data verifies that Embera Katío has three series of stops: aspirated, unaspirated and voiced. There are clear indications of systematic variation between the Katío of Córdoba and the Katío of Antioquia. As found in other languages, duration of the closure is the longest for bilabials and the shortest for velars. Conversely, FOT is the shortest for bilabials and the longest for velars. A preceding nasal vowel correlates with longer duration and shorter FOT. The most significant finding that differs from widespread tendencies in the world's languages is the fact that stress correlates with shorter FOT.

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