Phonological and phonetic properties of nasal substitution in Sasak and Javanese

Diana ARCHANGELI, Jonathan YIP, Lang QIN, Kwing Lok Albert LEE

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Austronesian languages such as Sasak and Javanese have a pattern of morphological nasal substitution, where nasals alternate with homorganic oral obstruents—except that [s] is described as alternating with [ɲ], not with [n]. This appears to be an abstract morphophonological relation between [s] and [ɲ] where other parts of the paradigm have a concrete homorganic relation. Articulatory ultrasound data were collected of productions of [t, n, ʨ, ɲ], along with [s] and its nasal counterpart from two languages, from 10 Sasak and 8 Javanese speakers. Comparisons of lingual contours using a root mean square analysis were evaluated with linear mixed-effects regression models, a method that proves reliable for testing questions of phonological neutralization. In both languages, [t, n, s] exhibit a high degree of articulatory similarity, whereas postalveolar [ʨ] and its nasal counterpart [ɲ] exhibited less similarity. The nasal counterpart of [s] was identical in articulation to [ɲ]. This indicates an abstract, rather than concrete, relationship between [s] and its morphophonological nasal counterpart, with the two sounds not sharing articulatory place in either Sasak or Javanese. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalLaboratory Phonology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 04 Sept 2017


Archangeli, D., Yip, J., Qin, L., & Lee, A. (2017). Phonological and phonetic properties of nasal substitution in Sasak and Javanese. Laboratory Phonology, 8(1). Retrieved from


  • Sasak
  • Javanese
  • Nasal substitution
  • Ultrasound language research
  • Abstract phonological relations
  • Place of articulation


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