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The sound of a spherical cow*

  • Julian Bradfield (a1)


I consider the use of computational simulations in phonology, and the benefits and dangers of making abstractions, or failing to make abstractions. I argue that the potential of simulation studies is not yet realised as it could be.


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I thank Bart de Boer, Paul Boersma, Kateřina Chládková and James Kirby for discussions and comments over the years, as well as attenders at the Phonetic Universals conference in Leipzig in 2010 and the 19th Manchester Phonology Meeting in 2011, where the first versions of the work in §3.3 and §4.2 were presented. I thank the anonymous reviewers for careful and expert commentary on the paper.



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Chládková, Kateřina, Boersma, Paul & Benders, Titia (2015). The perceptual basis of the feature vowel height. In The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015 (ed.) Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.
Chládková, Kateřina, Escudero, Paola & Boersma, Paul (2011). Context-specific acoustic differences between Peruvian and Iberian Spanish vowels. JASA 130. 416428.
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The sound of a spherical cow*

  • Julian Bradfield (a1)


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