Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Ettien Koffi

Second Advisor

James Robinson

Third Advisor

Isolde Mueller

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Acoustics, ATR, Vowel, Linguistics, Phoneme, Phonetic


In the scholarship on the Somali language, lexical and syntactic structures have received disproportionately more attention than phonetic analyses. The goal of the present study was to empirically describe the relationship between tongue root harmony constraints and several other phonetic features of Somali vowels that affect vowel quality in the articulation of selected phonemes. To accomplish this, baseline measurements of the acoustic features of each set of [± ATR] (Advanced Tongue Root) vowel sounds were taken in spectrograms and compared across sets. The measurements made for each waveform include: fundamental frequency, formant 1, formant 2, formant 3 and vowel duration. The values were submitted to an independent samples t-tests. The tests indicate that F1 is the most reliable correlate of [ATR] followed by Duration. F2 is reliable for some vowel pairs while F3 demonstrated little significance. F0 was not a significant correlate in distinguishing between any vowel pairs.

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