Splunch (Speech Lunch)
Tuesdays at 12:05 noon (Fall 2011)
The phonetics lab, 623 Williams Hall
Splunch is the phonetics lab's weekly lunch meeting. This is an informal meeting where we discuss current research topics on all things related to phonetics, phonology, and the study of speech and communication in general. The usual format involves short presentations of works in progress. However, we also devote some time to random discussion of hot topics in the field.
Our diverse working group involves faculty and students from departments of linguistics, psychology, biology, computer science and the IGERT program. Everyone with an interest in speech is welcome to attend. Lunch is provided courtesy of the lab.
Fall 2011 Schedule
Oct 18, 2011: What's Really Happening to Short A Before L in Philadelphia?
Aaron Dinkin, Swarthmore College
Oct 4, 2011: Language Change Across Jimmy Carter's Lifespan
Joe Fruehwald, University of Pennsylvania
When choosing a public figure to analyze for language changes across their lifetime, Jimmy Carter is a great candidate. He has maintained a media presence for nearly 40 years, so audio is relatively easy to come by. He also speaks a relatively well understood, and stigmatized dialect. For my study, I selected 4 recordings. 2 from the late 70s (a DNC address, and a press conference), and 2 from the early 2000's (another DNC address, and a Q&A session). My analysis focused on the vowel system as a whole (as measured using forced alignment and extractFormants from the FAAV project), /ay/ monophthongization specifically, and /r/ vocalization.
Sep 27, 2011: What's up with sentential prosody?
Catherine Lai, University of Pennsylvania
In this talk I will present some (not quite settled) work on sentential prosody. More specifically, I'll present results from production and perception experiments investigating the intonation of different types of declarative responses: direct and indirect affirmations/contradictions and declarative questions. On the way we'll look at some methods for describing the differences in the data. In particular, I'll briefly present some dabblings with functional principal components analysis. The point of this was basically to see whether these different types of discourse moves are associated with particular prosodic forms, and if so, whether these could be mapped to specific types of information structural units. Various frameworks have attached quite specific meaning mappings to intonational shapes in this way. For example, Buring (2003) has argued that fall-rise type accents specifically mark contrastive topics.
The data collected in this experiment indicated that fall-rise type accents were often produced in indirect response contexts. However, while this type of accent often falls on a contrastive element in the IS ground, it doesn't have to. In fact, the main difference between direct and indirect responses seems to be that indirect responses contain a non-polarity contrast. I argue that this in turn indicates a type of discourse structure (strategy) that would make the response congruent to the current question under discussion. This seems to require prominence, but not a particular accent type (c.f. Calhoun 2006). Moreover, a perception experiment indicates that the presence of an actual rise in these fall-rise contexts is not really important. However, larger pitch gestures do appear change the perceived level of speaker engagement. This (happily!) echoes some of my previous work on prosody/semantics interaction of cue words like `really'.
Sep 20, 2011: General discussion
General discussion - All welcome
Sept 16, 2008: Uptalk and UNB Rises
Mark Lieberman, University of Pennsylvania
In my post "Uptalk anxiety", 9/7/2008, I tried to comfort an American parent who was worried about a daughter's use of rising pitch accents on statements. As part of the recommended cognitive therapy, I observed that there are regional varieties of English, known as "Urban North British", in which rising pitch accents on statements are more common than not. But Bob Ladd, who ought to know, commented that "It's important not to confuse the rises in Belfast, Glasgow, etc. with uptalk. They're phonetically and functionally very different."
Sept 23, 2008: Phonetic and Sociolinguistic Aspects of Diphthongization in Montreal French
Montreal French is known for having a process of diphthongization that affects long vowels: both those vowels that are inherently long and those that are lengthened due to a following lengthening consonant ([R] or one of the voiced fricatives). We examine the acoustic correlates of these diphthongs and situate them with regard to the Montreal French vowel system as a whole. We find that, as previously acknowledged, vowels in closed syllables are lower than vowels in open syllables; diphthongized vowels in lengthening contexts display a lowered nucleus and an offglide at roughly the same location as the non-lengthened closed-syllable vowel.
Focusing on two vowels in particular, lengthened [E] and lengthened [?], we show that lengthening consonants do not affect each vowel identically: any one of the aforementioned lengthening consonants will cause a preceding [E] to diphthongize, while only [R] has that effect on [?] (and thus words such as ?uvre, (heu)reuse display no diphthongization). We also examine the effect of length on diphthongization and find that some speakers show a robust correlation between length and diphthongization: longer vowels tend to display a greater change between nucleus and offglide. Finally, we provide results from a longitudinal analysis of several speakers' diphthongization rates over time, in an examination of speakers' potential to alter their vowel systems over their lifetimes.
Sept 30, 2008: Jackie, Jessie, and Jimmy? Sound Similarity and Cultural Evolution
Jonah Berger, Wharton/Marketing, University of Pennsylvania
Cultural tastes and practices often cycle in and out of popularity. Certain first names, music genres, clothing styles, and catchphrases may be popular one decade only to fade into oblivion in the next. But what factors might drive fluctuations in adoption and why do certain cultural items become popular when they do? In particular, how might the similarity between cultural units influence their success? We investigate this question in the domain of first names. Using over 100 years of historical data on name adoption, we examine how phonetic and other types of similarity between names might influence what becomes popular over time, and when cultural items catch on and die out.
October 7, 2008: Automated Vowel Formant Analysis
In this presentation I will compare the results of several different procedures for automatically choosing a point in time during a vowel's duration at which to extract formant measurements. I will present the results of an experiment which compared the F1 and F2 measurements provided by the automated procedures (on the output of forced alignment) with hand measurements for word list data from 26 speakers (160 words per speaker).
October 21, 2008: TBA
October 28, 2008: TBA
November 4, 2008: TBA
William Labov, University of Pennsylvania
November 18, 2008: TBA
Jiahong Yuan, University of Pennsylvania
November 25, 2008: TBA
Suzanne Van Der Feest, University of Pennsylvania
Apr 29, 2008:
Chandan Narayan, University of Pennsylvania
Apr 22, 2008:
Giang Nguyen, University of Pennsylvania
Apr 15, 2008: Mastering vowel duration: Children show intrinsic durations and post-vocalic consonant voicing cue by age 2;1
Joshua Tauberer, University of Pennsylvania
This will be a relatively short talk on corpus work I've been doing on the acquisition of two aspects vowel timing: intrinsic vowel duration and using vowel duration as a cue to post-vocalic consonant voicing. In both cases, it appears that children learn these things surprisingly (to me) early, by around age 2. But are they learning the phonological rules, or just imitating the timing of adult words? I don't have any answer to that question yet, so feedback on how to approach the problem will be welcome.
Apr 08, 2008:
Catherine Lai, University of Pennsylvania
Apr 01, 2008:
Michael Friesner, University of Pennsylvania
Mar 25, 2008:
Kyle Gorman, University of Pennsylvania
Mar 18, 2008:
Suzanne Van Der Feest, University of Pennsylvania
Mar 04, 2008:
Carolyn Quam, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Feb 26, 2008:
Feb 19, 2008: Length as a contrastive feature in Vietnamese vowels
Feb 12, 2008: Goldilocks meets the subset problem: Evaluating Error-Driven Constraint Demotion for OT language acquisition
Joshua Tauberer, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Feb 5, 2008: The Acoustic- and Visual-Phonetic Basis of Place of Articulation in Excrescent Nasals
Laurel MacKenzie, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Jan 29, 2008: Forced alignment as a tool and methodology for phonetics research
Jiahong Yuan, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Jan 22, 2008: General Discussion
Dec 4, 2007:
Ani Nenkova, University of Pennsylvania
Nov 27, 2007: Vowel Plots as a Diagnostic for the Nature of Loanword Integration in Montreal French
Michael Friesner, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Nov 13, 2007: Learning word segmentation from acoustic data
Kyle Gorman, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Nov 6, 2007: /k/ as as Sociolinguistic Variable Methodology and Results
Damien Hall, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Oct 30, 2007: Pauses in Spontaneous Speech: Does syntactic context play a role?
Josh Tauberer, University of Pennsylvania[abstract]
Oct 25, 2007:
Greg Kochanski, Oxford University (NB: this is a Thursday)
Oct 9, 2007: The effect of language shift on a sound change in progress
Maya Ravindranath, University of Pennsylvania[pdf abstract]
Oct 2, 2007: NWAV practice talksA shift of allegiance: The case of Erie and the North/Midland boundary
The spread of raising: opacity, lexicalization and diffusion
Josef Fruehwald, University of Pennsylvania[pdf abstract]
Sept 27, 2007: Perception of Disfluency: Language Differences and Listener Bias
Catherine Lai, University of Pennsylvania[paper]
Sept 20, 2007: Adaptive Training of Chinese Tones
Chilin Shih, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign[abstract]
April 12, 2007: Context and Learning in Multilingual Tone and Pitch Accent Recognition
Gina-Anne Levow, University of Chicago[abstract]
April 5, 2007: The suprasegmental features of Amharic
Aviad Eilam, Department of Linguistics[abstract]
March 29, 2007: Harmonic Grammar with linear programming
Christopher Potts, University of Massachusetts Amherst[abstract]
Mar 22, 2007: The Trochaic Requirement On the interaction of prosody and syntax in the history of English with a few spotlights on German
Augustin Speyer, Department of Linguistics[dissertation proposal]
Mar 1, 2007: American English dialect perception experiment
Keelan Evanini, Department of Linguistics[abstract]
Feb 22, 2007: Dialectal and acoustic features of Vietnamese monopthongs
Giang Nguyen, Department of Linguistics[abstract]
Feb 15, 2007:[abstract]
The Real Effect of Word Frequency on Phonetic VariationAaron Dinkin, Department of Linguistics
Feb 8, 2007:[abstract]
Phonological Variation in Multi-dialectal ItalyChristopher Cieri, Linguistic Data Consortium
Feb 1, 2007: A simpler view of Danish stød
Jonathan Gress-Wrightpdf abstract
Jan 25, 2007: Maybe tigers hibernate in Siberia
The phenomenon of Canadian Raising, as observed in Philadelphia and much of the northeastern United States, has typically been described as the centralization of the low up-gliding diphthong (ay) in pre-voiceless environments. However, some observations show that this categorical conditioning is breaking down. In my talk, I'll review some of the history of Canadian Raising and other similar phenomenon, and the motivations that have been put forward for the initial pre-voiceless conditioning. Then, I'll present the data I have collected so far, and my attempts at analyzing it. I also plan to fully embrace the informal nature of Splunch by making silly mistakes and not reading the entirety of the relevant literature
Jan 18, 2007: General discussion("wedding vowels" and "bowels of holly")
Dec 7, 2006: Emerging Tonogenesis in Korean
This thesis proposes that the conditions conducive to tonogenesis are present in modern Korean. The evidence centers on the aspirated and unaspirated voiceless stops (and affricates) and the loss of an aspiration distinction between them, with a tendency towards aspiration rather than a lack thereof. It's clear that for at least some Seoul speakers, there is no significant difference in VOT for these two obstruent series. The difference in pitch on vowels following these consonants, already noticed in the literature, seems the sole acoustic correlate maintaining the distinction. Aspirated stops have a high following pitch, unaspirated stops a low following pitch. Perception tests carried out by myself have confirmed the reliance on pitch as a cue. Recordings of Korean were modified such that the expected pitch, high or low, was reversed, and listeners then reversed their responses as expected. This state of affairs fits closely to one of the accepted causes of tonogenesis: the loss of voicing contrast between voiced and voiceless stops. For this dissertation, I plan to widen the scope of this inquiry. In terms of speakers, I hope to find the geographic and age distributions of the phonetic facts, through both further measurements and perception tests. In terms of phonetics, further relevant elements will be examined, including the acoustic correlates of other segments like the so-called tense stops, as well as prosodic/intonational patterns.
Nov 16, 2006: The Social and Linguistic Predictors of the Outcomes of Borrowing in the Speech Community of Montreal
Michael Friesnerpdf dissertation proposal
Nov 9, 2006: Phrasal tone domains in San Mateo Huave
In the San Mateo dialect of Huave (isolate), utterances are divided into phrases that each have exactly one H pitch peak. While the tone- association rules provided in Noyer (1991) correctly predict where this 'phrasal H' tone will dock, how far it will spread, and whether it will be flanked by L tones, a number of questions remain open about *how utterances are parsed into tonal domains* in the first place. The current study addresses this question in more detail, drawing on a new corpus of 325 phrases elicited from 5 native speakers. I discuss two basic findings:
1. Generally, a verb forms a single tonal domain with *all* following arguments and modifiers, while preverbal subjects and adverbs phrase separately.
2. While Huave is generally understood to have basic (S)VO word order, VOS sentences were usually accepted and were sometimes produced spontaneously. Notably, the generalization in (1) holds across V(O)S sentences: *preverbal subjects form separate tonal domains, while postverbal subjects group together with the verb.* Furthermore, the same pattern is found with time/place adverbs that can appear on either side of the verb.
One possible explanation for this asymmetry, which I provisionally adopt, is that postverbal subjects and adverbs are in fact structurally closer to the verb than their preverbal counterparts, which have raised to a clause-peripheral position. I'll talk about some implications of this type of approach for future research on Huave syntax.
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2011