Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

The evolution of auditory dispersion in bidirectional constraint grammars*

  • Paul Boersma (a1) and Silke Hamann (a2)
Abstract

This paper reconciles the standpoint that language users do not aim at improving their sound systems with the observation that languages seem to improve their sound systems. If learners optimise their perception by gradually ranking their cue constraints, and reuse the resulting ranking in production, they automatically introduce a prototype effect, which can be counteracted by an articulatory effect. If the two effects are of unequal size, the learner will end up with a sound system auditorily different from that of her language environment. Computer simulations of sibilant inventories show that, independently of the initial auditory sound system, a stable equilibrium is reached within a small number of generations. In this stable state, the dispersion of the sibilants of the language strikes an optimal balance between articulatory ease and auditory contrast. Crucially, these results are derived within a model without any goal-oriented elements such as dispersion constraints.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Apoussidou, Diana (2007). The learnability of metrical phonology. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
Avery, Peter, Dresher, Elan & Rice, Keren (eds.) (2008). Contrast in phonology: theory, perception, acquisition. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Blevins, Juliette (2004). Evolutionary Phonology: the emergence of sound patterns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Blutner, Reinhard (2000). Some aspects of optimality in natural language interpretation. Journal of Semantics 17. 189216.
Boer, Bart de (1999). Self-organisation in vowel systems. PhD dissertation, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Boersma, Paul (1997). How we learn variation, optionality, and probability. Proceedings of the Institute of Phonetic Sciences of the University of Amsterdam 21. 4358.
Boersma, Paul (1998). Functional phonology: formalizing the interactions between articulatory and perceptual drives. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
Boersma, Paul (2003a). The odds of eternal optimization in Optimality Theory. In Holt (2003). 3165.
Boersma, Paul (2003b). Review of Tesar & Smolensky (2000). Phonology 20. 436446.
Boersma, Paul (2006). Prototypicality judgements as inverted perception. In Fanselow, Gisbert, Féry, Caroline, Vogel, Ralf & Schlesewsky, Matthias (eds.) Gradience in grammar: generative perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 167184.
Boersma, Paul (2007a). Some listener-oriented accounts of h-aspiré in French. Lingua 117. 19892054.
Boersma, Paul (2007b). Cue constraints and their interactions in phonological perception and production. Available as ROA-944 from the Rutgers Optimality Archive.
Boersma, Paul (2007c). The emergence of auditory contrast. Paper presented at the 30th GLOW Colloquium, Tromsø.
Boersma, Paul & Escudero, Paola (2008). Learning to perceive a smaller L2 vowel inventory: an Optimality Theory account. In Avery et al. (2008). 271301.
Boersma, Paul, Escudero, Paola & Hayes, Rachel (2003). Learning abstract phonological from auditory phonetic categories: an integrated model for the acquisition of language-specific sound categories. In Solé et al. (2003). 10131016.
Boersma, Paul & Hayes, Bruce (2001). Empirical tests of the Gradual Learning Algorithm. LI 32. 4586.
Boersma, Paul & Pater, Joe (2008). Convergence properties of a gradual learning algorithm for Harmonic Grammar. Available as ROA-970 from the Rutgers Optimality Archive.
Boersma, Paul & Weenink, David (1992–2008). Praat: a system for doing phonetics by computer. http://www.praat.org.
Borgstrøm, Carl H. (1940). A linguistic survey of the Gaelic dialects of Scotland. Vol. 1: The dialects of the Outer Hebrides. Oslo: Aschehoug.
Bosch, Louis ten (1991). On the structure of vowel systems: aspects of an extended vowel model using effort and contrast. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
Bradlow, Ann R. (1995). A comparative acoustic study of English and Spanish vowels. JASA 97. 19161924.
Breen, Gavan & Dobson, Veronica (2005). Central Arrernte. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35. 249254.
Broersma, Mirjam (2005). Perception of familiar contrasts in unfamiliar positions. JASA 117. 38903901.
Carlton, Terence R. (1991). Introduction to the phonological history of the Slavic languages. Columbus: Slavica.
Choi, John D. (1991). An acoustic study of Kabardian vowels. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21. 412.
Dart, Sarah N. (1991). Articulatory and acoustic properties of apical and laminal articulations. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. Distributed as UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 79.
Darwin, Charles (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray.
Denes, P. (1955). Effect of duration on the perception of voicing. JASA 27. 761764.
Dupoux, Emmanuel, Kakehi, Kazuhiko, Hirose, Yuki, Pallier, Christophe & Mehler, Jacques (1999). Epenthetic vowels in Japanese: a perceptual illusion? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 25. 15681578.
Emeneau, M. B. (1944). Kota texts. Part 1. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Escudero, Paola & Boersma, Paul (2003). Modelling the perceptual development of phonological contrasts with Optimality Theory and the Gradual Learning Algorithm. In Arunachalam, Sudha, Kaiser, Elsi & Williams, Alexander (eds.) Proceedings of the 25th Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania. 7185. Available as ROA-439 from the Rutgers Optimality Archive.
Escudero, Paola & Boersma, Paul (2004). Bridging the gap between L2 speech perception research and phonological theory. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 26. 551585.
Fischer, Markus (2005). A Robbins-Monro type learning algorithm for an entropy maximizing version of stochastic Optimality Theory. Master's thesis, Humboldt University, Berlin. Available as ROA-767 from the Rutgers Optimality Archive.
Fisher, R. A. (1922). On the mathematical foundations of theoretical statistics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A 222. 309368.
Flemming, Edward (1995). Auditory representations in phonology. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. Published 2002, London & New York: Routledge.
Flemming, Edward (2003). The relationship between coronal place and vowel backness. Phonology 20. 335373.
Flemming, Edward (2004). Contrast and perceptual distinctiveness. In Hayes et al. (2004). 232276.
Flemming, Edward (2005). Speech perception and phonological contrast. In Pisoni, David & Remez, Robert (eds.) The handbook of speech perception. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. 156181.
Flemming, Edward (2006). The role of distinctiveness constraints in phonology. Ms, MIT.
Forrest, Karen, Weismer, Gary, Milenkovic, Paul & Dougall, N. Ronald (1988). Statistical analysis of word-initial voiceless obstruents: preliminary data. JASA 84. 115123.
Goldwater, Sharon & Johnson, Mark (2003). Learning OT constraint rankings using a Maximum Entropy model. In Spenader, Jennifer, Eriksson, Anders & Dahl, Östen (eds.) Variation within Optimality Theory: Proceedings of the Stockholm Workshop. Stockholm: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University. 111120.
Gordon, Matthew (1999). Syllable weight: phonetics, phonology, and typology. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Gordon, Matthew, Barthmaier, Paul & Sands, Kathy (2002). A cross-linguistic acoustic study of voiceless fricatives. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 32. 141174.
Hamann, Silke (2003). The phonetics and phonology of retroflexes. PhD dissertation, University of Utrecht.
Hamann, Silke (2004). Retroflex fricatives in Slavic languages. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34. 5367.
Hardcastle, W. J. (1976). Physiology of speech production: an introduction for speech scientists. London: Academic Press.
Harris, James W. (1969). Spanish phonology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Harrison, Phil (1997). The relative complexity of Catalan vowels and their perceptual correlates. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 9. 358402.
Hayes, Bruce, Kirchner, Robert & Steriade, Donca (eds.) (2004). Phonetically based phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hayes, Bruce & Steriade, Donca (2004). Introduction: the phonetic bases of phonological markedness. In Hayes et al. (2004). 133.
Heffner, Roe-Merrill S. (1937). Notes on the length of vowels. American Speech 12. 128134.
Hirose, Hajime & Gay, Thomas (1972). The activity of the intrinsic laryngeal muscles in voicing control. Phonetica 25. 140164.
Holt, Eric (ed.) (2003). Optimality Theory and language change. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
House, Arthur S. & Fairbanks, Grant (1953). The influence of consonant environment upon the secondary acoustical characteristics of vowels. JASA 25. 105113.
Hoyt, Donald F. & Taylor, Richard C. (1981). Gait and the energetics of locomotion in horses. Nature 292. 239240.
Hutters, B. (1985). Vocal fold adjustments in aspirated and unaspirated stops in Danish. Phonetica 42. 124.
Jacquemot, Charlotte, Pallier, Christophe, LeBihan, Denis, Dehaene, Stanislas & Dupoux, Emmanuel (2003). Phonological grammar shapes the auditory cortex: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Journal of Neuroscience 23. 95419546.
Jäger, Gerhard (2003). Learning constraint sub-hierarchies: the Bidirectional Gradual Learning Algorithm. In Zeevat, Henk & Blutner, Reinhard (eds.) Optimality Theory and pragmatics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 251287.
Jäger, Gerhard (2007). Maximum entropy models and Stochastic Optimality Theory. In Zaenen, Annie, Simpson, Jane, King, Tracy, Grimshaw, Jane, Maling, Joan & Manning, Chris (eds.) Architectures, rules, and preferences: variations on themes by Joan W. Bresnan. Stanford: CSLI. 467479.
Jakobson, Roman (1941). Kindersprache, Aphasie, und allgemeine Lautgesetze. Uppsala: Lundequist.
Jassem, Wiktor (2003). Polish. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33. 103107.
Johnson, Keith (1997). Speech perception without speaker normalization: an exemplar model. In Johnson, Keith & Mullennix, John (eds.) Talker variability in speech processing. San Diego: Academic Press. 145165.
Johnson, Keith, Flemming, Edward & Wright, Richard (1993). The hyperspace effect: phonetic targets are hyperarticulated. Lg 69. 505528.
Jones, Mark (2001). The historical development of retroflex fricatives in Polish: markedness, functionality, phonology and phonetics. Ms, Trinity College, Cambridge.
Jongman, Allard, Wayland, Ratree & Wong, Serena (2000). Acoustic characteristics of English fricatives. JASA 108. 12521263.
Keating, Patricia A. (1979). A phonetic study of a voicing contrast in Polish. PhD dissertation, Brown University.
Keating, Patricia A. (1985). Universal phonetics and the organization of grammars. In Fromkin, Victoria (ed.) Phonetic linguistics: essays in honor of Peter Ladefoged. Orlando: Academic Press. 115132.
Keating, Patricia A., Linker, Wendy & Huffman, Marie (1983). Patterns in allophone distribution for voiced and voiceless stops. JPh 11. 277290.
Kirchner, Robert (1998). An effort-based approach to consonant lenition. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. Published 2001, New York & London: Routledge.
Kochetov, Alexei (2008). Self-organization through misperception: secondary articulation and vowel contrasts in language inventories. In Avery et al. (2008). 193216.
Kruschke, John K. (1992). ALCOVE: an exemplar-based connectionist model of category learning. Psychological Review 99. 2244.
Lacerda, Francisco (1997). Distributed memory representations generate the perceptual-magnet effect. Ms, Stockholm University.
Ladefoged, Peter (2001). Vowels and consonants. Malden, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell.
Ladefoged, Peter (2003). Phonetic data analysis: an introduction to fieldwork and instrumental techniques. Malden, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell.
Ladefoged, Peter, Ladefoged, Jenny, Turk, Alice, Hind, Kevin & Skilton, St. John (1997). Phonetic structures of Scottish Gaelic. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 95. 114153.
Ladefoged, Peter & Maddieson, Ian (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ladefoged, Peter & Wu, Zongji (1984). Places of articulation: an investigation of Pekingese fricatives and affricates. JPh 12. 267278.
Liljencrants, Johan & Lindblom, Björn (1972). Numerical simulation of vowel quality systems: the role of perceptual contrast. Lg 48. 839862.
Lindblom, Björn (1986). Phonetic universals in vowel systems. In Ohala, John & Jaeger, Jeri (eds.) Experimental phonology. Orlando: Academic Press. 1344.
Lindblom, Björn (1990a). Explaining phonetic variation: a sketch of the H&H theory. In Hardcastle, W. J. & Marchal, A. (eds.) Speech production and speech modelling. Dordrecht: Kluwer. 403439.
Lindblom, Björn (1990b). Models of phonetic variation and selection. Phonetic Experimental Research, Institute of Linguistics, University of Stockholm 11. 65100.
Luce, Paul A. & Charles-Luce, Jan (1985). Contextual effects on vowel duration, closure duration, and the consonant/vowel ratio in speech production. JASA 78. 19491957.
Luce, Paul A. & Pisoni, B. David (1998). Recognizing spoken words: the neighborhood activation model. Ear and Hearing 19. 136.
McCarthy, John J. (2002). A thematic guide to Optimality Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Maddieson, Ian (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Maddieson, Ian (1987). The Margi vowel system and labiocoronals. Studies in African Linguistics 18. 327355.
Manuel, Sharon Y. (1990). The role of contrast in limiting vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in different languages. JASA 88. 12861298.
Mees, Inger & Collins, Beverley (1982). A phonetic description of the consonant system of Standard Dutch (ABN). Journal of the International Phonetic Association 12. 212.
Mielke, Jeff (2004). The emergence of distinctive features. PhD dissertation, Ohio State University.
Moore, Brian C.J. & Glasberg, R. Brian (1983). Suggested formulae for calculating auditory-filter bandwidths and excitation patterns. JASA 74. 750753.
Morrison, Geoffrey Stewart (2002). Effects of L1 duration experience on Japanese and Spanish listeners' perception of English high front vowels. MA dissertation, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby.
Navarro Tomás, T. (1932). Manual de pronunciación española. 4th edn. Madrid: Centro de Estudios Históricos.
Nosofsky, Robert M. (1988). Exemplar-based accounts of relations between classification, recognition, and typicality. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 14. 700708.
Nowak, Paweł M. (2006). The role of vowel transitions and frication noise in the perception of Polish sibilants. JPh 34. 139152.
Ohala, John J. (1981). The listener as a source of sound change. In Masek, C. S., Hendrick, R. A. & Miller, M. F. (eds.) Papers from the parasession on language and behavior. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society. 178203.
Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves (2006). Self-organization in the evolution of speech. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Padgett, Jaye (2001). Contrast dispersion and Russian palatalization. In Hume, Elizabeth & Johnson, Keith (eds.) The role of speech perception in phonology. San Diego: Academic Press. 187218.
Padgett, Jaye (2003a). The emergence of contrastive palatalization in Russian. In Holt (2003). 307335.
Padgett, Jaye (2003b). Contrast and post-velar fronting in Russian. NLLT 21. 3987.
Padgett, Jaye (2004). Russian vowel reduction and Dispersion Theory. Phonological Studies 7. 8196.
Padgett, Jaye & Zygis, Marzena (2003). The evolution of sibilants in Polish and Russian. ZAS Working Papers in Linguistics 32. 155174.
Pater, Joe (2004). Bridging the gap between receptive and productive development with minimally violable constraints. In Kager, René, Pater, Joe & Zonneveld, Wim (eds.) Constraints in phonological acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 219244.
Pater, Joe (2008). Gradual learning and convergence. Linguistic Inquiry 39. 334345.
Pierrehumbert, Janet (2001). Exemplar dynamics: word frequency, lenition and contrast. In Bybee, Joan & Hopper, Paul (eds.) Frequency and the emergence of linguistic structure. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins. 137157.
Polivanov, E. D. (1931). La perception des sons d'une langue étrangère. Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague 4. 7996. Translated as ‘The subjective nature of the perceptions of language sounds’ in E. D. Polivanov (1974). Selected works: articles on general linguistics. The Hague: Mouton. 223237.
Prince, Alan & Smolensky, Paul (1993). Optimality Theory: constraint interaction in generative grammar. Ms, Rutgers University & University of Colorado, Boulder. Published 2004, Malden, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell.
Puppel, Stanisław, Nawrocka-Fisiak, Jadwiga & Krassowska, Halina (1977). A handbook of Polish pronunciation for English learners. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
Raphael, Lawrence J. (1972). Preceding vowel duration as a cue to the perception of the voicing characteristic of word-final consonants in American English. JASA 51. 12961303.
Repp, Bruno H. (1981). Two strategies in fricative discrimination. Perception and Psychophysics 30. 217227.
Ringen, Catherine & Helgason, Pétur (2004). Distinctive [voice] does not imply regressive assimilation: evidence from Swedish. International Journal of English Studies 4.2. 5371.
Romani, Gian Luca, Williamson, J. Samuel & Kaufman, Lloyd (1982). Tonotopic organization of the human auditory cortex. Science 216. 13391340.
Rospond, Stanisław (1971). Gramatyka historyczna języka polskiego. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
Sanders, Nathan (2003). Opacity and sound change in the Polish lexicon. PhD dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Schwartz, Jean-Luc, Boë, Louis-Jean, Vallée, Nathalie & Abry, Christian (1997). The Dispersion-Focalization Theory of vowel systems. JPh 25. 255286.
Shalev, Michael, Ladefoged, Peter & Bhaskararao, Peri (1993). Phonetics of Toda. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 84. 89125. Also published (1994) in PILC Journal of Dravidic Studies 4. 2156.
Smolensky, Paul (1996). On the comprehension/production dilemma in child language. LI 27. 720731.
Smolensky, Paul & Legendre, Géraldine (2006). The harmonic mind: from neural computation to optimality-theoretic grammar. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Soderstrom, Melanie, Mathis, Donald & Smolensky, Paul (2006). Abstract genomic encoding of Universal Grammar in Optimality Theory. In Smolensky & Legendre (2006: vol. 2). 403471.
Solé, M. J., Recasens, D. & Romero, J. (eds.) (2003). Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Barcelona: Causal Productions.
Stieber, Zdzisław (1952). Rozwój fonologiczny języka polskiego. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. Translated by E. Schwartz (1968) as The phonological development of Polish. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.
Stone, Maureen, Faber, Alice, Raphael, J. Lawrence & Shawker, H. Tomas (1992). Cross-sectional tongue shape and linguopalatal contact patterns in [s], [ʃ], and [l]. JPh 20. 253270.
Tesar, Bruce (1997). An iterative strategy for learning metrical stress in Optimality Theory. In Hughes, Elizabeth, Hughes, Mary & Greenhill, Annabel (eds.) Proceedings of the 21st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla. 615626.
Tesar, Bruce & Smolensky, Paul (1998). Learnability in Optimality Theory. LI 29. 229268.
Tesar, Bruce & Smolensky, Paul (2000). Learnability in Optimality Theory. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Tingsabadh, M. R. Kalaya & Abramson, S. Arthur (1999). Thai. In Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 147150.
Toda, Martine (2005). Effect of palate shape on the spectral characteristics of coronal fricatives. Paper presented at the Conference on Turbulences, ZAS Berlin.
Wedel, Andrew B. (2004). Self-organization and categorical behavior in phonology. PhD dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Wedel, Andrew B. (2006). Exemplar models, evolution and language change. The Linguistic Review 23. 247274.
Wedel, Andrew B. (2007). Feedback and regularity in the lexicon. Phonology 24. 147185.
Zeevat, Henk & Jäger, Gerhard (2002). A reinterpretation of syntactic alignment. In de Jongh, Dick, Nilsenová, Marie & Zeevat, Henk (eds.) Proceedings of the 4th International Tbilisi Symposium on Language, Logic and Computation. University of Amsterdam.
Zygis, Marzena (2003). The role of perception in Slavic sibilant systems. In Kosta, Peter, Błaszczak, Joanna, Frasek, Jens, Geist, Ljudmila & Zygis, Marzena (eds.) Investigations into formal Slavic linguistics: contributions of the 4th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 137153.
Zygis, Marzena & Hamann, Silke (2003). Perceptual and acoustic cues of Polish coronal fricatives. In Solé et al. (2003). 395398.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Phonology
  • ISSN: 0952-6757
  • EISSN: 1469-8188
  • URL: /core/journals/phonology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed