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Article: Individual-level contact limits phonological complexity: Evidence from bunched and retroflex /ɹ/

TitleIndividual-level contact limits phonological complexity: Evidence from bunched and retroflex /ɹ/
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherLinguistics Society of America.
Citation
Language, 2016, v. 92 n. 1, p. 101-104 How to Cite?
AbstractWe compare the complexity of idiosyncratic sound patterns involving American English /ɹ/ with the relative simplicity of clear/dark /l/ allophony patterns found in English and other languages. For /ɹ/, we report an ultrasound-based articulatory study of 27 speakers of American English. Two speakers use only retroflex /ɹ/, 16 use only bunched /ɹ/, and nine use both /ɹ/ types, with idiosyncratic allophonic distributions. These allophony patterns are covert, because the difference between bunched and retroflex /ɹ/ is not readily perceived by listeners. We compare this typology of /ɹ/ allophony patterns to clear/dark /l/ allophony patterns in 17 languages. On the basis of the observed patterns, we show that individual-level /ɹ/ allophony and language-level /l/ allophony exhibit similar phonetic grounding, but that /ɹ/ allophony patterns are considerably more complex. The low complexity of language-level /l/ allophony patterns, which are more readily perceived by listeners, is argued to be the result of individual-level contact in the development of sound patterns. More generally, we argue that familiar phonological patterns (which are relatively simple and homogeneous within communities) may arise from individual-level articulatory patterns, which may be complex and speaker-specific, by a process of koineization. We conclude that two classic properties of phonological rules, phonetic naturalness and simplicity, arise from different sources.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/212346

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorArchangeli, DB-
dc.contributor.authorMielke, J-
dc.contributor.authorBaker, A-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-21T02:33:09Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-21T02:33:09Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationLanguage, 2016, v. 92 n. 1, p. 101-104-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/212346-
dc.description.abstractWe compare the complexity of idiosyncratic sound patterns involving American English /ɹ/ with the relative simplicity of clear/dark /l/ allophony patterns found in English and other languages. For /ɹ/, we report an ultrasound-based articulatory study of 27 speakers of American English. Two speakers use only retroflex /ɹ/, 16 use only bunched /ɹ/, and nine use both /ɹ/ types, with idiosyncratic allophonic distributions. These allophony patterns are covert, because the difference between bunched and retroflex /ɹ/ is not readily perceived by listeners. We compare this typology of /ɹ/ allophony patterns to clear/dark /l/ allophony patterns in 17 languages. On the basis of the observed patterns, we show that individual-level /ɹ/ allophony and language-level /l/ allophony exhibit similar phonetic grounding, but that /ɹ/ allophony patterns are considerably more complex. The low complexity of language-level /l/ allophony patterns, which are more readily perceived by listeners, is argued to be the result of individual-level contact in the development of sound patterns. More generally, we argue that familiar phonological patterns (which are relatively simple and homogeneous within communities) may arise from individual-level articulatory patterns, which may be complex and speaker-specific, by a process of koineization. We conclude that two classic properties of phonological rules, phonetic naturalness and simplicity, arise from different sources.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherLinguistics Society of America.-
dc.relation.ispartofLanguage-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleIndividual-level contact limits phonological complexity: Evidence from bunched and retroflex /ɹ/-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailArchangeli, DB: darchang@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityArchangeli, DB=rp01748-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1353/lan.2016.0019-
dc.identifier.hkuros244572-

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