This paper uses a 2AFC identification task experiment to test listener perception of voiceless fricative-stop contrasts with minimal pairs modified along a 10-step continuum. Here, the authors focus on the uniqueness and near-uniformity of the phonological systems found in Australia. The languages involved in this study include Roper Kriol (an English-lexifier creole language), Gurindji Kriol (a mixed language derived from Gurindji and Kriol), with Standard Australian English (Indo-European) used as a baseline. Results reveal that just over 50% of the Roper Kriol and Gurindji Kriol listeners identified differences in the stop-fricative pairs with a high degree of consistency while nearly a quarter consistently identified the fricative-like stimuli as such, but showed random responses to the stop-like stimuli. The remaining participants showed a preference toward the fricatives across the entire continuum. The authors conclude that the fricative-stop contrast is not critical to the functionality of the phonologies in Roper Kriol or Gurindji Kriol, which could explain the high degree of variability. In addition, there is some evidence that the degree of exposure to English may have an effect on the degree of contrastability.

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