This paper reports results of a quantitative phonetic study of Kabardian, a Northwest Caucasian language that is of typological interest from a phonetic standpoint. A number of cross-linguistically rare properties are examined. These features include the phonetic realization of Kabardian's small vowel inventory, which contains only three contrastive vowel qualities (two short vowels and one long vowel), spectral characteristics of the ten supralaryngeal voiceless fricatives of Kabardian, as well as the acoustic, palatographic, and aerodynamic characteristics of ejective fricatives, an extremely rare type of segment cross-linguistically. In addition, basic properties of the consonant stop series are explored, including closure duration and voice onset time, in order to test postulated universals linking these properties to place of articulation and laryngeal setting.
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