Phonologisation of vowel duration and nasalised /æ/ in Australian English

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper


An allophonic split in height between oral and nasalised /æ/ is an ongoing sound change in Australian English. Speakers participating in this change produce phonetically raised [ã] that overlaps the F1/F2 /e/ space, achieving [ã]/[ẽ] contrast through duration. We tested listeners’ sensitivity to this production change using forced-choice identification. Listeners responded to long and short synthetic /bVn/ and /bVd/ tokens constructed to simulate variation from /æ/ to /e/. Oral vowels were primarily identified according to F1 whereas listeners relied on length for nasalised vowels. This finding confirms the primacy of duration in cueing [ã]/[ẽ] contrast and indicates phonologisation of length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-36
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the 15th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAustralasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (15th : 2014) - Christchurch
Duration: 2 Dec 20145 Dec 2014


  • Australian English
  • vowels
  • duration
  • speech perception
  • sound change

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