LINGUIST List 13.1802

Thu Jun 27 2002

Diss: Phonology: Guion 'Velar Palatalization...'

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. guion, Phonology: Guion 'Velar Palatalization...'

Message 1: Phonology: Guion 'Velar Palatalization...'

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 13:28:09 +0000
From: guion <>
Subject: Phonology: Guion 'Velar Palatalization...'

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1994

Author: Susan Guignard Guion 

Dissertation Title: 
Velar Palatalization: Coarticulation, Perception, and Sound Change 

Linguistic Field: 
Phonology, Phonetics, Historical Linguistics, Cognitive Science 

Dissertation Director 1: Nicola Bessell
Dissertation Director 2: Andrew Garrett 
Dissertation Director 3: Bjorn Lindblom 
Dissertation Director 4: Scott Myers

Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation investigates the sound change of velar
palatalization (e.g., k > tS __ [front vowel]) for insights into
the nature of sound change. From the premise that sound change is
phonetically conditioned, the hypothesis is constructed that velar
palatalization is the result of a perceptual reanalysis of faster,
reduced speech. This hypothesis makes several testable predictions
that are pursued experimentally.

The prediction that fronted velars are acoustically similar to
coronals, especially in faster speech is investigated. The focus is on
one of the most common outcomes of the sound change, namely the
palatoalveolar affricate. The spectral and temporal properties of
velars and palatoalveolars are investigated. The locus equation
methodology is also used to compare the F2 transitions of velars and
palatoalveolars. In this study, two speech styles (citation and
faster) are used to determine whether or not the faster speech tokens
of the velars are more like palatoalveolars than the citation speech
tokens. The results of two perception experiments investigating the
prediction that velars will be heard as palatoalveolars before front
vowels are also reported. The results of the experimental work support
the hypothesis.

A theory of sound change is proposed which expands the Lindblom et
al. (1995) model of sound change to allow a role for phonetic
categories. The addition of phonetic categories has advantages over a
word-based model since it predicts the regularity of sound change and
allows investigation into adaptive forces which act on systems as a
whole such as auditory enhancement (Diehl and Kluender 1989, Diehl et
al. 1990) and adaptive dispersion (Lindblom 1986).

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