Distinctiveness of Aspiration in Bangla
Barman, Dr. Binoy
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Aspiration plays an important role in the pronunciation of Bangla words. It not only brings variety in pronunciation, but also distinguishes meanings in words. Some pairs of similar-sounding words are differently recognized in Bangla only because of the aspiration trait. Hence it is claimed that aspiration is a distinctive feature in Bangla. In this paper the distinctiveness of Bangla has been tested with minimal pairs, in order to establish the distinct linguistic fact in question. Examples have been drawn widely from contemporary Bangla language in sufficient number with utmost care and contemplation. Phonemic and phonetic transcriptions, as necessary, have been provided beside the words along with meanings for a better grasp of the contrast in minimal pairs. The relevant aspects of phonetics and phonology of Bangla have also been compared with those of English to bring into focus the aspirational characteristics. The elaboration of the concept ‘intonation’ at the beginning of thesis will be helpful for a clear understanding of technicalities involved in the Bangla-specific analysis of the subject.