LINGUIST List 13.1180

Mon Apr 29 2002

Diss: Phonetics: Jesry "Some Cognitively..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. majesryg, Phonetics: Jesry "Some Cognitively Controlled Coarticulatory..."

Message 1: Phonetics: Jesry "Some Cognitively Controlled Coarticulatory..."

Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 13:05:04 +0000
From: majesryg <>
Subject: Phonetics: Jesry "Some Cognitively Controlled Coarticulatory..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Essex
Program: Phonetics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1996

Author: Mohammad Maher Jesry 

Dissertation Title: 
Some Cognitively Controlled Coarticulatory Effects in Arabic and
English, with Particular Reference to Voice Onset Time

Linguistic Field: Phonetics 

Subject Language: English, Arabic,Standard

Dissertation Director 1: Mark Tatham

Dissertation Abstract: 

This study introduces one possible link needed to bridge the gap
between phonology and phonetics which have been noticed to lack a
cognitive component that takes account of phonological aspects that
are phonetically dominated. Traditionally, and on the one hand,
phonology is thought to represent and include all cognitive processes
involved in speech production. Whereas, on the other hand, phonetics
is thought to represent the 'physical' processes. In other words,
phonological assignments are simply thought to be realised
automatically without adding any further properties to any particular

But as there is clear evidence, from cross-language studies, that at
the phonetic level, there is systematic variation of actualisation
which cannot be attributed to the usual type of phonological
processes, a cognitive ('supervisory') factor has been suggested to be
added to the process at a lower level and folowing phonology. Because
this supervisory factor has 'knowledge' about the system limitation
and constraints, it provides a means of organising and controlling, to
some extent, voluntrarily, the manipulation of these physical
constraints inherent in the phonetic mechanism, according to different
linguistic requirements.

One consequence of incorporating this supervisory factor of component
is that, now, although a phenomenon like the occurrence of the delayed
onset of voice - or what is known as Voice Onset Time (VOT) -
following initial voiceless plosives describes automatic and
involuntary coarticulatory effect, it indicates the presence of a
decision taken for the purpose of linguistics. This result has been
reached on account of the occurrence of several 'zones' of VOT in some
languages in contrast to others with two zones. If that coarticulatory
effect were automatic, then it would be the same for all

In addition, through the supervisory factor, the congnitive and
physical aspects interact with each other in a way that reflects the
importance of the communicative function of speech production. This
role has been highlighted in the way physical limilts, physiological
economy constraints, and 'pronounceability' relate to each other to
end up striking a balance between articulatory simplification on the
part of the speech producer, and active listening on the part of the

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