Endangered Language Initiative: Christian DiCanio (Haskins Laboratorie)
MAR 14, 2013 | 4:15 PM TO 6:15 PM
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
March 14, 2013: 4:15 PM-6:15 PM
Coarticulatory variation in Trique tone
The production of speech involves substantial variation. How a single sound is produced may vary with speech context, speech rate, stress, and with socio-indexical factors across speakers, and a primary aim of phonetic research is to discover and understand the principles governing such variation. In this talk, I address the factors which influence variability in tone production using fieldwork data that I have collected on Itunyoso Trique, an Oto-Manguean language spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico, which has a large inventory of lexical tone contrasts. I examined the influence of tonal context, speech rate, and stress on the production of tone using elicited natural sentences from Trique speakers. I find that stressed syllables both induce greater anticipatory coarticulation and resist coarticulatory influences as well, even when durational factors are considered. While the literature on tonal coarticulation has shown that both anticipatory and perseveratory coarticulatory effects occur within tone languages, the results here argue that the strength of such effects is mediated by prominence. This finding is novel as it offers an explanation for the directionality and strength of tonal coarticulatory effects. It is also consistent with recent work on prosodic prominence in tone sandhi domains in Malaysian Hokkien (Chang & Hsieh, 2012). These and other effects are examined with respect to processes of contrast maintenance in speech production.