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Title:Spectral continuity and the perception of duration: Implications for phonological patterns of sonorant geminates
Authors:Shigeto Kawahara, Melanie Pangilinan, Kelly Garvey
Comment:submitted. comments welcome.
Abstract:This study begins with the observation that sonorant geminates are disfavored in many phonological systems. Podesva (2002) hypothesizes that the phonological dispreference against sonorant geminates exists because these geminates are easily confused with corresponding singletons. This confusability problem arises because sonorants are spectrally continuous with flanking vowels, and consequently their constriction durations are difficult to perceive. We report two perception experiments that test this hypothesis. The stimuli were non-speech sounds which mimicked the spectral properties of singleton-geminate contrasts in stops, fricatives, and sonorants. The results of a discrimination and an identification experiment show that spectral continuity in sonorants makes the singleton-geminate distinction less distinct. We conclude that the phonological dispreference against sonorant geminates has its roots in the perceptual imperative to avoid segments that are confusable with other segments.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1