Word-level prosodic and metrical influences on Hawaiian glottal stop realization

Lisa Davidson, Oiwi Parker Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Previous research on the phonetic realization of Hawaiian glottal stops has shown that it can be produced several ways, including with creaky voice, full closure, or modal voice. This study investigates whether the realization is conditioned by word-level prosodic or metrical factors, which would be consistent with research demonstrating that segmental distribution and phonetic realization can be sensitive to word-internal structure. At the same time, it has also been shown that prosodic prominence, such as syllable stress, can affect phonetic realization. Data come from the 1970s-80s radio program Ka Leo Hawai'i. Using Parker Jones' (Parker Jones, Oiwi. 2010. A computational phonology and morphology of Hawaiian. University of Oxford DPhil. thesis) computational prosodic grammar, words were parsed and glottal stops were automatically coded for word position, syllable stress, and prosodic word position. The frequency of the word containing the glottal stop was also calculated. Results show that full glottal closures are more likely at the beginning of a prosodic word, especially in word-medial position. Glottal stops with full closure in lexical word initial position are more likely in lower frequency words. The findings for Hawaiian glottal stop suggest that prosodic prominence does not condition a stronger realization, but rather, the role of the prosodic word is similar to other languages exhibiting phonetic cues to word-level prosodic structure.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numberphon-2022-0031
    StatePublished - 2023


    • creaky phonation
    • glottal stops
    • Hawaiian
    • prosodic words

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
    • Linguistics and Language


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