Comparative Acoustic – Phonetic Analysis of Retroflex Consonants of Some Indian Languages
* Presenting author
Retroflexion is an important phonological category in many Indian languages. In this paper an effort has been made to present those findings of acoustic characteristics of retroflex sounds which significantly describe and differentiate them from other sounds. The retroflex sounds acoustically analyzed for 3 Indian languages i.e. Hindi, Nepali and Punjabi are /t./, /t.h/, /d./, /d.h/,/ŋ./ /sh/ /r./ /r.h/. Selected words containing each of these consonants in different positions were recorded by 50 native Male and Female speakers of these three languages. Parameters such as spectral properties of burst and formants transition, durational measures etc. were analyzed. It has been observed that the formants F2, F3 & F4 of the burst and adjoining transitions, particularly the rising of F2 and falling of F3 & F4 are significant. The minimal difference in F3 and F2, strong release of burst, shorter duration of silence and VOTs etc. are noteworthy. The retroflex sounds /r/ and /r.h/ which appear in medial and final positions of a word are mostly heard as rhetoric /r/. Some of the linguistic differences observed include /ŋ./ pronounced as /ŋ/ and /r.h/ as /rh/.in Nepali and /d.h/ as /dh/ in Punjabi. Detailed results are discussed in the paper.