Manusya, Journal of Humanities

Publication Date



High vowels tend to have higher intrinsic F0 (pitch) than low vowels (e.g. Lehiste, 1970; Whalen and Levitt, 1995). Higher intrinsic F0 occurs on vowels which follow voiceless consonants, lower intrinsic F0 occurs on vowels which follow voiced consonants. When high vowels follow voiced consonants and low vowels follow voiceless consonants, the voicing of initial consonants has been found to counterbalance the intrinsic F0 value of high and low vowels. In other words, voiced consonants will lower F0 values of high vowels, and voiceless consonants will raise F0 values of low vowels to the extent that the average F0 of these high vowels is actually lower than the average F0 of the low vowels under examination (Clark and Yallop, 1990; House and Fairbanks, 1953; Lehiste, 1970; Lehiste and Peterson, 1961; Laver, 1994). To test whether this counterbalance finding is applicable to Southeast Asian languages, the F0 values of high and low vowels following voiceless and voiced consonants were studied in a Malay dialect of the Austronesian language family spoken in Pathumthani Province, Thailand. The data was collected from three male informants, aged 30-35. The Praat program was used for acoustic analysis. The findings revealed that the low vowel /a/ following a voiceless consonant tends to have a higher intrinsic F0 value than the high vowels /i/ and /u/ when they follow voiced consonants. The results of the acoustical measurements of the F0 values confirmed the counterbalance effect. These results also demonstrate that the influence of the voicing of initial consonants on the F0 of vowels is greater than the influence of vowel height.

First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.