Payne, Elinor; Eftychiou, Eftychia; Post, Brechtje; Astruc, Lluïsa; Prieto, Pilar and Vanrell, Maria
The status of variable phonetic output in early speech.
In: The 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS XVII), 17-21 August 2011, Hong Kong, China.
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This paper presents an analysis of variable outputs in the speech of English-, Spanish- and Catalanspeaking 2 year-olds, to evaluate the evidence for multiple targets. Temporal analysis shows syllable duration is determined by actual segmental composition, compatible with either multiple targets or a process of categorical deletion. However, spectral analysis suggests deletions may be ‘gradient’, with the possibility of a single target subject to variable implementation. This mismatch between (pervasively categorical) temporal and (optionally gradient) articulatory behaviour suggests variable output is not due to a multipleentry lexicon as such, but to a shifting association between articulation and timing tiers, possibly as a result of competing structural templates.
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