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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: The Perceptual Processing of Second Language Consonant Clusters Add Dissertation
Author: Barış Kabak Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Delaware, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonetics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): William Idsardi

Abstract: Listeners perceive epenthetic vowels within consonant clusters that violate the phonotactics of their first language (L1) (Dupoux et al., 1999). The present study tests two approaches towards phonotactics for their predictions about perceptual epenthesis (PE) effects. While the string-based approach predicts PE due to consonantal contact restrictions in the L1, the syllable-based approach predicts PE as a result of L1 syllable structure conditions. These two approaches are tested with Korean ESL speakers whose L1 bans certain consonants in coda position (e.g., *[c], *[g]) while allowing others (e.g., [k], [l]). Korean also disallows certain heterosyllabic contacts such as *[km] and *[ln], which are realized as [nm] and [ll] due to nasalization and lateralization, respectively. In a perceptual experiment, clusters that contain (1) coda violations (e.g., *[cm], *[gm]), and (2) contact violations (e.g., *[km], *[ln]) in Korean are used in nonce pairs comparing these clusters with their vowel-present counterparts (e.g., *[phakma] vs. [phakuma]), and also to their likely output forms (e.g., *[phakma] vs. [phaNma]). The results from a discrimination experiment using English and Korean listeners indicate that the English group successfully discriminates all clusters. The Korean group is also successful in most clusters except for those where the cluster incurs a coda violation (e.g., *[c.m], *[j.t]). Finally, the Korean group does not confuse illicit clusters with their likely output forms. These results show that PE arises when there is a syllable structure violation, rather than a contact violation, confirming the syllable-based approach. The successful discrimination of clusters with voiced codas (e.g., *[gt]) suggests that voicing is perceptually suppressed leading to a licit coda (i.e., [g.t] as /k.t/). That illicit clusters are not misperceived as their likely output forms indicates that assimilation rules are not relevant for perception. Therefore, theories that explain phonological alterations based on perceived similarity between input and output forms (e.g., Steriade, 2001b) cannot account for Korean listeners' perception. Finally, frequency cannot explain present findings because, despite their zero frequency in Korean, only certain illicit clusters induce PE. Instead, a perceptual model using onset and coda detectors is proposed and is shown to account for PE effects in a straightforward way.