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Informativity affects consonant duration and deletion rates

Informativity affects consonant duration and deletion rates Abstract The duration and occasional deletion rate of consonants differ from one language to another. What causes a language to preserve and lengthen some consonants but shorten and delete others? I show that the typology of consonant duration and occasional deletion in American English is affected by consonants’ informativity – their average local predictability. Informativity can explain why usually-predictable segments such as American English /t/ are likely to be reduced even when they are locally unpredictable, but usually-predictable segments are preserved even when they are redundant. I use four corpus studies to demonstrate that higher informativity leads to longer duration and reduced likelihood to delete even when other important factors such as the phonetic features, frequency, and local predictability of consonants are controlled for. The role of informativity in the duration and deletion rates of consonants can bridge the gap between phonetic performance and the actuation of phonological processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Laboratory Phonology de Gruyter

Informativity affects consonant duration and deletion rates

Laboratory Phonology , Volume 6 (2) – May 1, 2015

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by the
ISSN
1868-6346
eISSN
1868-6354
DOI
10.1515/lp-2015-0008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The duration and occasional deletion rate of consonants differ from one language to another. What causes a language to preserve and lengthen some consonants but shorten and delete others? I show that the typology of consonant duration and occasional deletion in American English is affected by consonants’ informativity – their average local predictability. Informativity can explain why usually-predictable segments such as American English /t/ are likely to be reduced even when they are locally unpredictable, but usually-predictable segments are preserved even when they are redundant. I use four corpus studies to demonstrate that higher informativity leads to longer duration and reduced likelihood to delete even when other important factors such as the phonetic features, frequency, and local predictability of consonants are controlled for. The role of informativity in the duration and deletion rates of consonants can bridge the gap between phonetic performance and the actuation of phonological processes.

Journal

Laboratory Phonologyde Gruyter

Published: May 1, 2015

References