The phonetic realization of the plain uvular /q/ in a variety of South Bolivian Quechua

Gillian Gallagher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper presents an acoustic description of the production of the plain uvular /q/ in the speech of eight speakers of South Bolivian Quechua. While this sound patterns phonologically as a stop, its primary realization is as a voiced continuant. Variation is documented with respect to segmental and prosodic position. Segmentally, a voiced continuant is the most common realization intervocalically and after a rhotic, while a voiceless continuant is comparatively more frequent after a voiceless sibilant, and voiced stops are most common after a nasal. In post-pausal position, voiced continuant productions are still attested and are particularly common for certain speakers, suggesting that this sound category has been reanalyzed as a continuant. For other speakers, voiceless stop productions are common or preferred in post-pausal position, reflecting a standard prosodically conditioned lenition pattern. Interestingly, voiced stops also show increased frequency in post-pausal position. The production of the plain uvular is analyzed in spontaneous speech collected in an interview format, as well as in scripted speech from a word list task. A second analysis compares the realization of /q/ to the other three stops /p t k/ in the language in spontaneous speech, and finds significantly more continuant productions for /q/.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)869-887
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of the International Phonetic Association
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Dec 13 2023

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Anthropology
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing


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