Journal of the International Phonetic Association

Initial and medial geminate trills in Arop-Lokep

Mary Raymond a1 and Steve Parker a2
a1 Endangered Languages Academic Programme, Department of Linguistics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
a2 SIL International, Papua New Guinea

Article author query
raymond m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
parker s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Arop-Lokep, an Austronesian language of Papua New Guinea, has a contrast between a trilled /r/ and a geminate /rr/ in both intervocalic and word-initial positions. This paper presents the results of acoustic and perceptual experiments involving these segments. Specifically, we probe the statistical characteristics of the /r/ vs. /rr/ contrast across prosodic positions from the perspective of both the speaker and the listener. We measure trills in 24 different Arop-Lokep words, so the resulting data are quite robust and give an excellent idea of the variation inherent in the language. A novel finding is that both lengths of trill consist of more apical contacts word-initially than intervocalically. The scope of this work is unprecedented in that no previous instrumental study has examined both initial and medial geminate trills in the same language.