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LINGUIST List 19.849

Thu Mar 13 2008

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology/Psycholing: McMillan: 'Articulatory Evide...'

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        1.    Corey McMillan, Articulatory Evidence for Interactivity in Speech Production

Message 1: Articulatory Evidence for Interactivity in Speech Production
Date: 13-Mar-2008
From: Corey McMillan <Corey.McMillaned.ac.uk>
Subject: Articulatory Evidence for Interactivity in Speech Production
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Institution: University of Edinburgh
Program: School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Corey T. McMillan

Dissertation Title: Articulatory Evidence for Interactivity in Speech Production

Dissertation URL: http://edgwiki.pbwiki.com/f/mcmillan_phd2008.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Dissertation Director(s):
Robin Lickley
Martin Corley

Dissertation Abstract:

Traditionally, psychologists and linguists have assumed that phonological speech
errors result from the substitution of well-formed segments. However, there is
growing evidence from acoustic and articulatory analyses of these errors which
suggests activation from competing phonological representations can cascade to
articulation. This thesis assumes a cascading model, and investigates further
constraints for psycholinguistic models of speech production. Two major
questions are addressed: whether such a cascading model should include feedback;
and whether phonological representations are still required if articulation is
not well-formed. In order to investigate these questions a new method is
introduced for the analysis of articulatory data, and its application for
analysing EPG and ultrasound recordings is demonstrated.

A speech error elicitation experiment is presented in which acoustic and
electropalatography (EPG) signals were recorded. A transcription analysis of
both data sets tentatively supports a feedback account for the lexical bias
effect. Crucially, however, the EPG data in conjunction with a perceptual
experiment highlight that categorising speech errors is problematic for a
cascaded view of production. Therefore, the new analysis technique is used for a
reanalysis of the EPG data. This allows us to abandon a view in which each
utterance is an error or not. We demonstrate that articulation is more similar
to a competing phonological representation when the competitor yields a real
word. This pattern firmly establishes evidence for feedback in speech production.

Two additional experiments investigate whether phonological representations, in
addition to lower-level representations (e.g., features), are required to
account for ill-formed speech. In two tongue-twister experiments we demonstrate
with both EPG and ultrasound, that articulation is most variable when there is
one competing feature, but not when there are two competing features. This
pattern is best accounted for in a feedback framework in which feature
representations feedback to reinforce phonological representations.

Analysing articulation using a technique which does not require the
categorisation of responses allows us to investigate the consequences of
cascading. It demonstrates that a cascading model of speech production requires
feedback between levels of representation and that phonemes should still be
represented even if articulation is malformed.

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