The Northwestern group of Indo-Aryan (Dardic) languages is generally known to have undergone consonantal shift, which resulted in the loss of voiced aspirated (VDA) stops and affricates of Sanskrit. Kalasha, an endangered Dardic language spoken in Chitral (Northern Pakistan), still preserves the Old Indo-Aryan four-way laryngeal system. The current study examines acoustic and articulatory correlates of Kalasha's four-way laryngeal contrast across places and manners of articulation, using lingual ultrasound-imaging and several acoustic measures. The analysis included the standard acoustic [voice onset time (VOT), after prevoicing interval (API), fundamental frequency onset, first four spectral moments] and articulatory (smoothing spline analysis of variance) measures, which capture laryngeal, place, and manner differences in consonants. The results showed that VOT reliably differentiated the four-way laryngeal contrast of Kalasha. VDA stops and affricates are characterized by shorter voicing lead VOT, higher API, and lower fundamental frequency onset than their voiced unaspirated (VDUA) counterparts. However, the first four spectral moments did not distinguish the two VDUA and VDA stop series. The tongue root retraction distinguishes the voiceless stops and affricates from the voiced ones.

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