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Licensing stop place before laterals : a study of acoustic cues relevant to the perception of stop-lateral sequences

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dc.contributor.advisor Adam Albright. en_US
dc.contributor.author Michaels, Jennifer M. (Jennifer Marie) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-12T19:34:10Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-12T19:34:10Z
dc.date.copyright 2011 en_US
dc.date.issued 2011 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/68518
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2011. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 175-185). en_US
dc.description.abstract In phonological analyses of both adult and child language, a *dl constraint has frequently been used as a shorthand to indicate that coronal stops are dispreferred before laterals (Dinnsen et al. 2001). This dispreference has frequently been attributed to the Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP), which prohibits sequences of adjacent identical elements (McCarthy 1979). However, this type of analysis misses the generalization that what languages really seem to lack is the contrast between TL-KL (Flemming 2002). The neutralization of TL-KL contrasts is argued to occur because acoustic cues for coronal and velar stop place are insufficiently distinct in prelateral contexts (Flemming 2002, 2007; Bradley 2006). In this dissertation I address the question of which perceptual dimensions are indistinct for surface contrasts of TL-KL. I capture the perceptual indistinctness of TL-KL contrasts by formalizing constraints that penalize stop place contrasts that crucially lack sufficiently distinct cues for place in both their release transitions and their stop burst properties (Flemming 2007), and show how coronal and velar place contrasts are predicted to be maintained in environments in which (1) at least one of the two cues is available (e.g. before vowels/rhotics) or (2) when other contextual cues are available to license the place contrast. As the threshold of distinctiveness for place contrasts that rules out TL-KL contrasts in a language is predicted to rule out any place contrast that is less distinct for the same cues, the formalization of these constraints make testable predictions about place contrasts in languages more generally, some of which are explored in this dissertation. Another puzzle that arises from adopting a contrast-based analysis for the coronal-stop lateral dispreference involves the outcome of TL-KL contrast neutralization. Why, in languages that show a neutralization of the contrast, is the outcome generally a KL sequence (Flemming 2007)? In my dissertation, I argue that the direction of the neutralization of indistinct surface contrasts, such as TL-KL, is conditioned by the avoidance of other indistinct contrasts. In addition to an indistinct pre-lateral stop place contrast (TL-KL), there are indistinct contrasts involving stop presence (TL-L) that play a role in determining the outcome of neutralizations. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Jennifer M. Michaels. en_US
dc.format.extent 185 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.title Licensing stop place before laterals : a study of acoustic cues relevant to the perception of stop-lateral sequences en_US
dc.title.alternative Study of acoustic cues relevant to the perception of stop-lateral sequences en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 770746809 en_US


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