Project

Locality and variability in cross-word alternations: a production planning account

Goal: The alternation in English between coronal stops /t,d/ and alveolar flap when intervocalic is nearly categorical when the VTV sequence is within a word, but is variable when a word boundary intervenes and occurs only rarely across a large boundary such as a clause edge. This pattern is common across many processes cross-linguistically – but why are segmental processes at word edges often more variable, and what influences the rate of variability? Previous literature that addressed phonological variability has proposed that phonological rules have to make reference to syntactic structure or that phonological process are tied to certain prosodic domains. In contrast, we propose that phonological variability is only indirectly influenced by syntax and prosody through the locality of production planning (LPP). This hypothesis is motivated based on psycholinguistic models of speech production, and we test its predictions for English flapping in a corpus study and a production experiment. Results show that syntax may have an effect above and beyond prosodic boundary strength, and that the lexical frequency of the following word has a significant influence on rate of flapping, both effects being consistent with and explained by the LPP hypothesis.

Updates
0 new
1
Recommendations
0 new
0
Followers
0 new
2
Reads
0 new
23

Project log

Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron
added an update
Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron
added a project goal
The alternation in English between coronal stops /t,d/ and alveolar flap when intervocalic is nearly categorical when the VTV sequence is within a word, but is variable when a word boundary intervenes and occurs only rarely across a large boundary such as a clause edge. This pattern is common across many processes cross-linguistically – but why are segmental processes at word edges often more variable, and what influences the rate of variability? Previous literature that addressed phonological variability has proposed that phonological rules have to make reference to syntactic structure or that phonological process are tied to certain prosodic domains. In contrast, we propose that phonological variability is only indirectly influenced by syntax and prosody through the locality of production planning (LPP). This hypothesis is motivated based on psycholinguistic models of speech production, and we test its predictions for English flapping in a corpus study and a production experiment. Results show that syntax may have an effect above and beyond prosodic boundary strength, and that the lexical frequency of the following word has a significant influence on rate of flapping, both effects being consistent with and explained by the LPP hypothesis.