Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Probabilistic underspecification in nasal place assimilation*

  • John Coleman (a1), Margaret E. L. Renwick (a2) and Rosalind A. M. Temple (a1)
Abstract

According to many works on English phonology, word-final alveolar consonants – and only alveolar consonants – assimilate to following word-initial consonants, e.g. ran quicklyra[ŋ] quickly. Some phonologists explain the readiness of alveolar consonants to assimilate (vs. the resistance of velar and labial articulations) by proposing that they have underspecified place of articulation (e.g. Avery & Rice 1989). Labial or dorsal nasals do not undergo assimilation because their place nodes are specified. There are reports that velar and labial consonants sometimes assimilate in English, but these are anecdotal observations, with no available audio and no statistics on their occurrence. We find evidence of assimilation of labial and velar nasals in the Audio British National Corpus, motivating a new, quantitative phonological framework: a statistical model of underspecification and variation which captures typical as well as less common but systematic patterns seen in non-coronal assimilation.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: john.coleman@phon.ox.ac.uk, mrenwick@uga.edu, rosalind.temple@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.
Footnotes
Hide All
*

We thank our co-workers, Ladan Baghai-Ravary, Greg Kochanski and John Pybus, for their invaluable contributions to the creation, forced alignment and curation of the Audio BNC, without which the analyses presented here would not have been possible. We are grateful also to the referees, editors, colleagues, students and conference attendees who have read or heard earlier presentations of this work and have tested our claims and reasoning at each turn, forcing us to strive for maximum clarity. We claim all faults. Financial support for the research presented here was provided by the UK Economic and Social Science Research Council under award number RES-062-23-2566.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Peter Avery & Keren Rice (1989). Segment structure and coronal underspecification. Phonology 6. 179200.

R. Harald Baayen , D. J. Davidson & D. M. Bates (2008). Mixed-effects modeling with crossed random effects for subjects and items. Journal of Memory and Language 59. 390412.

C. Simon Blackburn & Steve Young (2000). A self-learning predictive model of articulator movements during speech production. JASA 107. 16591670.

Cynthia G. Clopper (2014). Sound change in the individual: effects of exposure on cross-dialect speech processing. Laboratory Phonology 5. 6990.

Steve Crowdy (1993). Spoken corpus design. Literary and Linguistic Computing 8. 259265.

Steve Crowdy (1994). Spoken corpus transcription. Literary and Linguistic Computing 9. 2528.

Laura C. Dilley & Mark A. Pitt (2007). A study of regressive place assimilation in spontaneous speech and its implications for spoken word recognition. JASA 122. 23402353.

Osamu Fujimura (1962). Analysis of nasal consonants. JASA 34. 18651875.

Matthew Goldrick , H. Ross Baker , Amanda Murphy & Melissa Baese-Berk (2011). Interaction and representational integration: evidence from speech errors. Cognition 121. 5872.

John Harris (1994). English sound structure. Oxford: Blackwell.

Patricia A. Keating (1990). The window model of coarticulation: articulatory evidence. In John Kingston & Mary E. Beckman (eds.) Papers in laboratory phonology I: between the grammar and physics of speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 451470.

Paul Kiparsky (1985). Some consequences of Lexical Phonology. Phonology Yearbook 2. 85138.

Kathleen Kurowski & Sheila E. Blumstein (1987). Acoustic properties for place of articulation in nasal consonants. JASA 81. 19171927.

William Labov (1989). The child as linguistic historian. Language Variation and Change 1. 8597.

Benoit Mandelbrot (1961). On the theory of word frequencies and on related Markovian models of discourse. In Roman Jakobson (ed.) Structure of language and its mathematical aspects. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society. 190219.

Richard Ogden (1999). A declarative account of strong and weak auxiliaries in English. Phonology 16. 5592.

Bruno H. Repp & Katyanee Svastikula (1988). Perception of the [m]–[n] distinction in VC syllables. JASA 83. 237247.

Linda Shockey (2003). Sound patterns of spoken English. Malden, Mass. & Oxford: Blackwell.

Frank Zimmerer , Henning Reetz & Aditi Lahiri (2009). Place assimilation across words in running speech: corpus analysis and perception. JASA 125. 23072322.

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: 10
Total number of PDF views: 224 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 252 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 16th January 2017 - 26th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.