LINGUIST List 15.1220

Fri Apr 16 2004

Diss: Phonetics: Herrick: 'An acoustic...'

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  1. dylan, An acoustic analysis of phonological vowel reduction...

Message 1: An acoustic analysis of phonological vowel reduction...

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 06:27:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: dylan <dylanhuman.mie-u.ac.jp>
Subject: An acoustic analysis of phonological vowel reduction...

Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Dylan Herrick

Dissertation Title: An acoustic analysis of phonological vowel
reduction in six varieties of Catalan

Dissertation URL: http://ling.ucsc.edu/research/SLUGPubs/

Linguistic Field: Phonetics, Phonology 

Subject Language: Catalan-valencian-balear (code: CLN)

Dissertation Director 1: Jaye Padgett
Dissertation Director 2: Junko Ito
Dissertation Director 3: Armin Mester
Dissertation Director 4: Pilar Prieto

Dissertation Abstract:

The empirical focus of this dissertation is a quantitative acoustic
study of six regional varieties of Catalan - a Romance language spoken
primarily in northeastern Spain. Chapter One provides a brief
historical background on Catalan as well as a description of the
patterns of vowel reduction found in each of the six regional
varieties; Bages (Eastern: Central Catalan), Girona (Eastern: Central
Catalan), Palma (Eastern: Balearic Catalan), Lloseta (Eastern:
Balearic Catalan), Ciutadella (Eastern: Balearic Catalan), and Lleida
(Western: North-western Catalan). The remaining chapters provide more
detail on the theoretical background (Chapter Two), the experimental
methodology (Chapter Three), the acoustic data (Chapter Four), and a
discussion of some of the theoretical implications of the data
(Chapter Five). Appendix IV presents the F1-F3 data for each of the
2640 vowel tokens measured.

The principal findings of this dissertation are that i) the acoustic
data (largely) support the impressionistic descriptions of the six
varieties studied, ii) the primary characteristic of Catalan vowel
reduction is raising (not centralization) and therefore supports the
phonetic explanation to vowel raising given in Crosswhite (1999, to
appear), Flemming (1995, to appear), and Barnes (2002), iii) the F1
raising attested in the data matches the predicted amount of raising
(and never exceeds this amount) for all six varieties, iv) vowels are
not evenly spaced throughout the vowel space, and v) the attested
minimal distance between neighboring vowels is always smaller than the
theoretically predicted minimal distance.
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