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Title:Evidence for the representation of syllables and syllable structure in the production of normal speech
Author(s):Sevald, Christine Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dell, Gary S.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Theories of speech production embrace a number of views of the syllable. Some theories do not use syllables. Those that do, differ on whether syllables are chunks that specify their phonological content or schemas that specify an abstract consonant-vowel (CV) frame apart from other phonological content. A third view uses both schemas and chunks and is called a mixed view. In four experiments, speakers repeated a pair of words or pronounceable nonwords as often as possible in 4-s. Each pair consisted of a monosyllable followed by a disyllable. Subjects' speech rate was faster when both the frame and the content of the monosyllable were repeated in the first syllable of the disyllable, relative to a condition in which the syllables' sounds were repeated but the frame was not. There was no additional advantage for repeating both content and structure over repeating structure alone. The results support the view that there is an abstract syllable frame that is separable from phonemic content, and are consistent with the view that syllables are abstract schemas rather than chunks or chunks-plus-schemas.
A final experiment tested two additional views about syllable schemas. According to the CV-tier view, the vowel or consonant status of phonemes is the only featural information represented in the syllable frame. According to an alternative view, the X-slot model, only phonological quantity is specified in the frame, that is, the duration and number of phonemes in the syllable. According to this view, a long vowel occupies two slots, for instance. Part of the new design tested for effects of repeating phonological quantity without repeating CV structure while the rest replicated the non phoneme-sharing conditions of Experiments 2 and 3. As before, there was a benefit for repeating the abstract CV structure. There was also a small benefit for repeating only phonological quantity. The results lend support to both views of the schema, with the CV view receiving stronger support.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Sevald, Christine Ann
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9625190
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9625190

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