a1 The University of Manitoba firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper presents a pilot study of the acoustic correlates of the Plains Cree vowel system. Naturalistic recordings of speakers of mid-20th-century Plains Cree, including one monolingual speaker, provide an empirical test for the general expectations from phonological descriptions. The results demonstrate that, while the hypothesized short/long vowel pairs do indeed have a strong durational contrast, the majority of vowel pairs are also distinguished by their formants. In all cases, the long vowel occupies a more extreme position in the vowel space. Plains Cree thus appears to show both a quantity and a quality contrast in its vowel pairs. The individual speaker data are then normalized to test whether there is intra-speaker variation in these results, with the results showing variation in the relation between vowels in all three parts of the vowel space.