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Academic Paper

Title: On measuring phonetic precursor robustness: a response to Moreton
Author: Alan C.L Yu
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Chicago
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Phonology; Typology
Abstract: Much debate in recent years has focused on the relative contribution of analytic and channel biases in shaping the typology of sound. Moreton (2008) argues forcefully for the strength of analytic bias, such as Universal Grammar and other non-modality-specific cognitive biases that facilitate the learning of some phonological patterns and inhibit that of others, in creating typological asymmetries on its own, unassisted by the robustness of phonetic precursors. This article focuses on the assessment of phonetic precursor robustness. The main goal of this article is two-fold: (i) to establish the inadequacy of Moreton's method of evaluating relative phonetic precursor robustness and to offer an alternative to his approach; (ii) to report the results of a cross-linguistic study comparing the nature of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation and the interaction between obstruent voicing and vowel height with the same languages – no previous studies have directly compared these two phonetic precursors.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 28, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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