The 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages

Nijmegen, The Netherlands
May 13-16, 2014

Variability in Perceived Duration: Pitch Dynamics and Vowel Quality

Alan C. L. Yu, Hyunjung Lee, Jackson Lee

Phonology Laboratory, University of Chicago, USA

Why are some sound patterns more commonly attested than others? This paper explores the hypothesis that DIFFERENTIAL PHONOLOGIZATION–when one phonetic precursor gives rise to a new phonological pattern more readily than another even when both sets of phonetic precursors may give rise to sound patterns–might arise as a result of variability in how the perceptual system copes with variation in the speech signal; variations that are more robustly normalized for are less likely to lead to the phonologization. To investigate this hypothesis, we examine listeners’ perceptual responses to covariation between duration, on the one hand, and conditioning factors, such as the dynamics of the fundamental frequency and vowel height on the other. We found that, while perceived duration of syllables is modulated by the abovementioned conditioning factors, the direction and magnitude of perceptual adjustments differ across conditioning factors, thus supporting the differential compensation approach to differential phonologization.

Index Terms: Pitch, vowel quality, perceived duration, perceptual compensation

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yu, Alan C. L. / Lee, Hyunjung / Lee, Jackson (2014): "Variability in perceived duration: pitch dynamics and vowel quality", In TAL-2014, 41-44.