The effect of production planning locality on external sandhi: a study in /t/
Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron, Michael Wagner, Meghan Clayards
April 2016

In English, the coronal stops /t,d/ can be realized as an alveolar flap when they appear between vowels. When the VTV sequence is within a single word, the flap realization is nearly categorical, mod- ulo some conditions on stress placement. But when a word boundary intervenes, the flap realization is not as consistent, and becomes even more rare across a large boundary such as a clause edge. This pat- tern is common across many processes cross-linguistically – but why are segmental processes at word edges often more variable, and what influences the rate of variability? We propose that phonological variability is only indirectly influenced by syntax and prosody through the locality of production planning (Production Planning Hypothesis, PPH), and test its predictions for English flapping in a corpus study and a production experiment. Previous literature on flapping showed that it is sensitive to syntactic structure (e.g. Kaisse (1985)), and to prosodic structure (e.g. Nespor and Vogel (1986)), but did not explain why it is constrained in this way, nor why these domain effects are variable. We discuss that these effects are expected under our hypothesis, as well as certain frequency effects, and are arguably not entirely reducible to the effect of gestural overlap, based on new experimental and corpus data.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003119
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of the 52nd Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society
keywords: phonological variability, speech production planning, syntax-phonology interface, phonology
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