Original Articles

The duration of the affricate /ts/ in Zulu: an experimental investigation

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 26, issue 1, 2006 , pages: 11–25
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2006.10587266
Author(s): Shamila NaidooIsiZulu Programme, South Africa


The description of phonological processes in Zulu has traditionally been based on impressionistic observations. In keeping with the trend of laboratory phonology, where phonological descriptions are experimentally verified, this article investigates the intrusive stop formation process (or affrication as it is traditionally known). In this experimental investigation the durations of the two forms of the affricate /ts/—lexical and derived—are determined. The results indicate that the lexical form is of longer duration than the derived form. These results are then used to inform a feature geometry description of affricates and the intrusive stop formation process.

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