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Language, Individual & Society, Volume 12, 2018

AN ACOUSTIC APPROACH TO ‘Ğ’ SOUND IN TURKISH
Aybüke Uzunca
Pages: 123-139
Published: 25 Sep 2018
Views: 559
Downloads: 110
Abstract: The main aim of this study is to specify the phonological role of ‘Ğ’ ([ɣ]) sound in Turkish by approaching it from an acoustic perspective and to confirm whether it has any acoustic difference from long vowels in Turkish. In this way, it aims to contribute to an ongoing discussion on whether the letter ‘’Ğ’’ is really necessary in Turkish alphabet or not. Within the frame of this objective, the study is composed of two parts which are perception and production. In perception task, the participants choose between two options after listening to word pairs repeated by a computerized voice. In production task, they repeat the word pairs reflected on a computer screen. The voice recordings of production task are analyzed through the program PRAAT. According to the results of perception task, native speakers of Turkish have difficulty in differentiating between the words with long vowels and with the sound ‘Ğ’. As opposed to our expectations, ‘Ğ’ happens to be perceived best when it is in coda position in the middle of a word instead of in onset position. As for the results of production task, the spectrogram pattern of ‘Ğ’ sound differs depending on the pattern of the long vowels preceding it. Although ‘Ğ’ sound seems to assimilate depending on the properties (e.g. backness or height) of the preceding vowel, it has been confirmed that its formant values differ from those of long vowels, which proves that it stands for a separate sound we cannot ignore in Turkish alphabet.
Keywords: turkish phonology, acoustic phonetics, turkish phonetics, turkish consonants
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