Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Baertsch, Karen

Abstract

This thesis reports voice onset time (VOT) of word–initial ejectives, implosives, and plain stops in Mopan, Itzaj, and Yukateko Maya. In this study, implosive bilabials and bilabial, alveolar, and velar ejectives and plain stops in word–initial position from Mopan, Itzaj, and Yukateko speakers were measured from the stop release to the onset of voicing of the following vowel, and results were compared to VOT of other languages with the same phonemes. All three languages have long average (negative) VOTs for implosives, contradicting Schumann–Galvez's claim that both Itzaj (2000) and Mopan (1997) have unaspirated rather than implosive voiced bilabials. Among other results, Yukateko had a very long VOT for plain velar stops, only slightly shorter than its velar ejective, and the average VOT of the plain bilabial voiceless stop in Mopan was actually longer than the corresponding ejective. Further study of these anomalies is warranted.

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