In the classification of Aslian languages, phonemic aspiration of stops is considered to be characteristic only of members of the southern branch of the Aslian group. Here I provide all available information on the presence of aspirated voiceless stops in some varieties of northern Aslian, particularly within that part of the Malay Peninsula under Thai control. In addition to the presentation of relevant lexical data, I also discuss the phonemic status, and the origin of aspiration, as well as implications for Aslian phonological typology. Cross-linguistic comparison shows that the rise of phonemic aspiration in northern Aslian is an areal phenomenon, finding close parallels in other languages in the northern Malay Peninsula, as a result of increasing contact with Thai.


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pp. 359-368
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