The relationship of register and vowel inventories in Mon-Khmer languages (2019-)
Interactions of vowel quality and onset voicing are found across a variety of Mon-Khmer languages. For example, in these languages, vowels have lower F1 in the breathy register (derived from original voiced onsets in the proto-language) than their modal counterparts (derived from original voiceless onsets). Khmer is an example of a language that display this bifurcation.
This project focuses on the question of how the vowel quality change arose. One part of this project is a historical study of the Khmer inscriptions and rhymes, while the other part is a phonetic study of other Mon-Khmer languages which show similar behaviors.