Chapter published in:Topics in Theoretical Asian Linguistics: Studies in honor of John B. Whitman
Edited by Kunio Nishiyama, Hideki Kishimoto and Edith Aldridge
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 250] 2018
► pp. 343–369
The status of schwa in Indonesian
Evidence from a naturalistic corpus
Cross-linguistically, the distribution of schwa is often different from other vowels. This is the case in Indonesian: While contrastive, schwa’s distribution is more restricted than the other vowels and the realization of schwa is variable. Most prior work on schwa in Indonesian has focused on Standard Indonesian; however as a formal standard, there are many normative aspects of pronunciation potentially affecting observed patterns. To understand actual patterns of usage, we investigate schwa in Jakarta Indonesian, an emerging colloquial variety spoken in Indonesia’s capital, based on a naturalistic spoken corpus. We conclude that observed patterns are due to optional deletion of underlying schwa conditioned by multiple factors including phonological and morphological structure, orthography, and stylistic factors.
Keywords: Indonesian, schwa, corpus phonology, vowel acoustics
Published online: 12 December 2018
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Cited by 1 other publications
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