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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Canadian French Vowel Harmony Add Dissertation
Author: Gabriel Poliquin Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Harvard University, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonology;
Subject Language(s): French
Director(s): Donca Steriade

Abstract: This thesis provides a phonological, psycholinguistic and phonetic
description of vowel harmony in Canadian French (CF), as well as a
theoretical account of the phenomenon showing that the CF facts may only be
accounted for in derivational frameworks that include the notion of
'cycle.' CF [ATR] vowel harmony is regressive, optional, and parasitic on
the feature [+high]. CF [ATR] harmony involves spreading of a [-ATR]
feature from a final [+high] vowel in a closed syllable to other [+high]
vowels within the same word that are in non-final open syllables (e.g.
[fi.lIp] or [fI.lIp] are both acceptable variants for 'Phillip'). The
thesis describes and explains the four key attributes of harmony in this

1) There is inter-speaker (and possibly intra-speaker) variation with
respect to whether harmony is applied locally and/or iteratively.
Variation with respect to these parameters leads to the existence of three
patterns of harmony, as evidenced by words of more than two syllables.
There is the local non-iterative pattern, e.g. [i.lI.sIt] 'illicit', the
non-local pattern, e.g. [] and the 'across-the-board' pattern

2) As shown in 1), there exists a pattern of non-local harmony, in which
the target vowel is separated from the trigger by another [+high] vowel.

3) Harmony is counterbled by a process of 'pre-fricative tensing,' which
leads to opaque allophony.

4) Harmony applies cyclically, but is then counterbled by another
'open-syllable tensing' process, which results in another case of opacity.
For example, harmony can apply in a word like [mY.zIk] ('music'), but if
we concatenate a resyllabifying suffix like [al], we obtain [mY.zi.kal]
('musical'). The initial [+high] vowel can be [-ATR], since harmony
applied in the stem, but the resyllabified trigger must be [+ATR], by an
open syllable tensing rule.

The thesis makes the following claim: CF vowel harmony shows very
compellingly that models of the phonological component must include
mechanisms accounting for non-local relations, derivational opacity and the
interaction between phonology and morphology.