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Language and Speech

Yu-Fu Chien, Joan A Sereno, Jie Zhang
underlying representations play a crucial role in capturing predictable relations among different phonetic categories in phonological theory. Tone sandhi is a tonal alternation phenomenon in which a tone changes to a different tone in certain phonological environments. This study investigates whether Taiwanese listeners are more sensitive to the surface form of the tones or the underlying tonal representations of tone sandhi words. An auditory lexical decision experiment was conducted to examine priming effects between monosyllabic primes and disyllabic target words (tone sandhi T51 → T55 and sandhi T24 → T33)...
February 1, 2017: Language and Speech
Kazuya Saito, Jean-Marc Dewaele, Keiko Hanzawa
The current study set out to examine the role of learner motivation in second language (L2) speech learning in English-as-a-Foreign-Language classrooms. The motivational orientations of 40 first-year university Japanese students were surveyed via a tailored questionnaire and linked to their spontaneous speech development, elicited via a timed picture description task at the onset and end of one academic semester, in terms of perceived comprehensibility (i.e., ease of understanding) and accentedness (i.e., linguistic nativelikeness)...
January 1, 2017: Language and Speech
Christy Choi-Ting Lai, Sam-Po Law, Anthony Pak-Hin Kong
Right Dislocation (RD) has been suggested to be a focus marking device carrying an affective function motivated by limited planning time in conversation. The current study investigated the effects of genre type, planning load and affective function on the use of RD in Cantonese monologues. Discourse data were extracted from a recently developed corpus of oral narratives in Cantonese Chinese containing language samples from 144 native Cantonese speakers evenly distributed in age, education levels and gender...
January 1, 2017: Language and Speech
Vahid Sadeghi
Previous literature on the phonetics of stress in Persian has reported that fundamental frequency is the only reliable acoustic correlate of stress, and that stressed and unstressed syllables are not differentiated from each other in the absence of accentuation. In this study, the effects of lexical stress on duration, overall intensity and spectral tilt were examined in Persian both in the accented and unaccented conditions. Results showed that syllable duration is consistently affected by stress in Persian in both the accented and unaccented conditions across all vowel types...
January 1, 2017: Language and Speech
Sylvia Moosmüller, Carolin Schmid, Christian H Kasess
A comparison of alveolar and velarized lateral realizations in two language varieties, Albanian and the Viennese dialect, has been performed. Albanian distinguishes the two laterals phonemically, whereas in the Viennese dialect, the velarized lateral was introduced by language contact with Czech immigrants. A categorical distinction between the two lateral phonemes is fully maintained in Albanian. Results are not as straightforward in the Viennese dialect. Most prominently, female speakers, if at all, realize the velarized lateral in word-final position, thus indicating the application of a phonetically motivated process...
December 2016: Language and Speech
Charalambos Themistocleous
Although tonal alignment constitutes a quintessential property of pitch accents, its exact characteristics remain unclear. This study, by exploring the timing of the Cypriot Greek L*+H prenuclear pitch accent, examines the predictions of three hypotheses about tonal alignment: the invariance hypothesis, the segmental anchoring hypothesis, and the segmental anchorage hypothesis. The study reports on two experiments: the first of which manipulates the syllable patterns of the stressed syllable, and the second of which modifies the distance of the L*+H from the following pitch accent...
December 2016: Language and Speech
Heather Willson Sturman, Wendy Baker-Smemoe, Sofía Carreño, Bradley B Miller
The current study determines the influence of cross-language similarity on native English speakers' perception and production of Marshallese consonant contrasts. Marshallese provides a unique opportunity to study this influence because all Marshallese consonants have a secondary articulation. Results of discrimination and production tasks indicate that learners more easily acquire sounds if they are perceptually less similar to native language phonemes. In addition, the degree of cross-language similarity seemed to affect perception and production and may also interact with the effect of orthography...
December 2016: Language and Speech
Charles Clifton, Lyn Frazier
A dialog consisting of an utterance by one speaker and another speaker's correction of its content seems intuitively to be made more acceptable when the new information is pitch accented or otherwise focused, and when the utterance and correction have the same syntactic form. Three acceptability judgment studies, one written and two auditory, investigated the interaction of focus (manipulated by sentence position and, in Experiments 2 and 3, pitch accent) and syntactic parallelism. Experiment 1 indicated that syntactic parallelism interacted with position of the new (contrastive) term: nonparallel forms were relatively acceptable when the new term appeared in object position, a position that commonly contains new information (a 'default focus' position)...
December 2016: Language and Speech
Leendert Plug
This paper presents a study of the temporal organization of lexical repair in spontaneous Dutch speech. It assesses the extent to which offset-to-repair duration and repair tempo can be predicted on the basis of offset timing, reparandum tempo and measures of the informativeness of the crucial lexical items in the repair. Specifically, we address the expectations that repairs that are initiated relatively early are produced relatively fast throughout, and that relatively highly informative repairs are produced relatively slowly...
December 2016: Language and Speech
Christelle Robert, Florence Cousson-Gélie, William Faurous, Stéphanie Mathey
The present study investigated the subjective lexical characteristics of words stemming from a medical context by comparing estimations of the target population (age range = 46-89) and of doctors. A total of 58 members of the target population and 22 oncologists completed measures of subjective frequency and emotional valence for words previously collected in interviews of announcement of cancer diagnosis. The members of the target population also completed tests of word definitions, without and within context...
December 2016: Language and Speech
Amandine Michelas, Cristel Portes, Maud Champagne-Lavau
Recent studies on a variety of languages have shown that a speaker's commitment to the propositional content of his or her utterance can be encoded, among other strategies, by pitch accent types. Since prior research mainly relied on lexical-stress languages, our understanding of how speakers of a non-lexical-stress language encode speaker commitment is limited. This paper explores the contribution of the last pitch accent of an intonation phrase to convey speaker commitment in French, a language that has stress at the phrasal level as well as a restricted set of pitch accents...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Helen Buckler, Paula Fikkert
The voicing contrast is neutralized syllable and word finally in Dutch and German, leading to alternations within the morphological paradigm (e.g., Dutch 'bed(s)', be[t]-be[d]en, German 'dog(s)', Hun[t]-Hun[d]e). Despite structural similarity, language-specific morphological, phonological and lexical properties impact on the distribution of this alternation in the two languages. Previous acquisition research has focused on one language only, predominantly focusing on children's production accuracy, concluding that alternations are not acquired until late in the acquisition process in either language...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Linda Jose, Jennifer Read, Nick Miller
Neurogenic foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is diagnosed when listeners perceive speech associated with motor speech impairments as foreign rather than disordered. Speakers with foreign accent syndrome typically have aphasia. It remains unclear how far language changes might contribute to the perception of foreign accent syndrome independent of accent. Judges with and without training in language analysis rated orthographic transcriptions of speech from people with foreign accent syndrome, speech-language disorder and no foreign accent syndrome, foreign accent without neurological impairment and healthy controls on scales of foreignness, normalness and disorderedness...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Chris Davis, Colin Schoknecht, Jeesun Kim, Denis Burnham
Three naming aloud experiments and a lexical decision (LD) experiment used masked priming to index the processing of written Thai vowels and tones. Thai allows for manipulation of the mapping between orthography and phonology not possible in other orthographies, for example, the use of consonants, vowels and tone markers in both horizontal and vertical orthographic positions (HOPs and VOPs). Experiment I showed that changing a vowel between prime and target slowed down target naming but changing a tone mark did not...
June 2016: Language and Speech
James Sneed German, Mariapaola D'Imperio
This study addresses the relationship between information structure and intonation in French. Using an interactive speech production experiment, it tests the hypothesis that the French initial rise (LHi) is used to mark the left edge of a contrastively focused constituent. Since the occurrence of the initial rise is also known to be sensitive to the length of an Accentual Phrase (AP), AP length was manipulated within the same experiment in a 2 x 2 design. This made it possible to explore the issue of whether the initial rise represents a true marker of focus in the traditional sense, or whether the association is less direct...
June 2016: Language and Speech
Daniel Recasens
Abstract This study uses acoustic energy measures for /b, d, g/ after /f, s, ∫, l, r/ in Catalan in order to test whether postconsonantal voiced stop lenition is ruled by minimization of articulatory effort, acoustico-perceptual continuity of an ongoing prosodic constituent or some other principle of articulatory organization. Data for eight speakers reveal that lenition is more prone to operate on /g/ than on /b, d/, after a sonorant than after a fricative, and when the two cluster consonants are heterorganic than when they are (quasi)-homorganic...
March 2016: Language and Speech
David Roberts, Stephen L Walter, Keith Snider
The experiment reported here tests the Lexical Orthography Hypothesis, that is, the notion that the output of the lexical phonology is the most promising phonological depth for an exhaustive representation of tone by means of diacritics in the orthography of atone language. We conducted a controlled classroom experiment with 97 secondary school pupils learning written Kabiye, a Gur language of northern Togo. After testing their baseline skills in writing the standard orthography, the pupils participated in an eleven-hour transition course spread over three weeks in four parallel groups: DEEP (an experimental orthography representing the input of the lexical phonology), LEXICAL (representing the output of the lexical phonology), PHONEMIC (representing a level between the output of the lexical phonology and the output of the post-lexical phonology), and a control group...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Sandra Kotzor, Allison Wetterlin, Adam C Roberts, Aditi Lahiri
Six cross-modal lexical decision tasks with priming probed listeners' processing of the geminate-singleton contrast in Bengali, where duration alone leads to phonemic contrast ([pata] 'leaf' vs. [pat:a] 'whereabouts'), in order to investigate the phonological representation of consonantal duration in the lexicon. Four form-priming experiments (auditory fragment primes and visual targets) were designed to investigate listeners' sensitivity to segments of conflicting duration. Each prime derived from a real word ([k(h)[symbol: see text]m]/[g(h)en:]) was matched with a mispronunciation of the opposite duration (*[k(h)[symbol: see text]m:]/*[g(h)en]) and both were used to prime the full words [k(h)[symbol: see text]ma] ('forgiveness') and [g(h)en:a] ('disgust') respectively...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Seth Wiener, Rory Turnbull
Previous studies have shown that when speakers of European languages are asked to turn nonwords into words by altering either a vowel or consonant, they tend to treat vowels as more mutable than consonants. These results inspired the universal vowel mutability hypothesis: listeners learn to cope with vowel variability because vowel information constrains lexical selection less tightly and allows for more potential candidates than does consonant information. The present study extends the word reconstruction paradigm to Mandarin Chinese--a Sino-Tibetan language, which makes use of lexically contrastive tone...
March 2016: Language and Speech
Eric Hoekstra, Arjen Versloot
Abstract Interference Frisian (IF) is a variety of Frisian, spoken by mostly younger speakers, which is heavily influenced by Dutch. IF exhibits all six logically possible word orders in a cluster of three verbs. This phenomenon has been researched by Koeneman and Postma (2006), who argue for a parameter theory, which leaves frequency differences between various orders unexplained. Rejecting Koeneman and Postma's parameter theory, but accepting their conclusion that Dutch (and Frisian) data are input for the grammar of IF, we will argue that the word order preferences of speakers of IF are determined by frequency and similarity...
March 2016: Language and Speech
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