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Articulatory and acoustic effects of lip-plate speech in Chai and its implications for phonological theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2002

Moges Yigezu
Department of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University & Laboratoire de Phonologie, Université Libre de


The custom of lip-plate insertion, as practiced by the Chai people, has an effect on the speech of women since it alters articulators needed for speech production: the lower lip and the lower incisors. Due to the effect of this practice, women cannot produce bilabial and dental consonants in their own language. Vowels are also affected, but the presence of the lip-plate does not affect the tonal system. This study further examines ways in which the lower lip and lower incisor mutilations are compensated for, and the acoustic effects involved in the ‘lip-plate speech’ as well as its implications for phonological theory.

Research Article
© 2001 International Phonetic Association

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