When more is more: The mixed language Light Warlpiri amalgamates source language phonologies to form a near-maximal inventory
This paper presents a combined analysis of the perception and production study of the mixed language Light Warlpiri (Australia), which systematically combines elements of Warlpiri, Kriol and English. The perception and production results suggest that the Light Warlpiri phonological inventory consists of a voiced and voiceless series of stops and affricates, differentiated by Voice Onset Time (VOT) word-initially and by Constriction Duration (CD) medially, by incorporating English-like VOT differentiation and Constriction duration differences found in Kriol and also in a number of traditional Indigenous Australian languages. The results also show that Light Warlpiri speakers perceptually differentiate stops and fricatives at the same POA, but that voicing distinctions in fricatives are more difficult to discriminate than voicing distinctions in stops. The large phonological inventory of Light Warlpiri combines most features of the source languages, allowing speakers of Light Warlpiri to maintain sufficient phonemic contrasts to accommodate vocabulary items in Light Warlpiri sourced from English/Kriol as well as Warlpiri.