Journal article

They Talk Muṯumuṯu: Variable Elision of Tense Suffixes in Contemporary Pitjantjatjara

Sasha Wilmoth, Rebecca Defina, Debbie Loakes

Languages | MDPI AG | Published : 2021

Abstract

Vowel elision is common in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara connected speech. It also appears to be a locus of language change, with young people extending elision to new contexts; resulting in a distinctive style of speech which speakers refer to as muṯumuṯu (‘short’ speech). This study examines the productions of utterance-final past tense suffixes /-nu, -ɳu, -ŋu/ by four older and four younger Pitjantjatjara speakers in spontaneous speech. This is a context where elision tends not to be sociolinguistically or perceptually salient. We find extensive variance within and between speakers in the realization of both the vowel and nasal segments. We also find evidence of a change in progress,..

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Grants

Awarded by Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Australian Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Australian Research Council: CE140100041; University of Melbourne: Melbourne Research Scholarship.