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Title:Explaining sonority projection effects
Authors:Robert Daland, Bruce Hayes
Abstract:Sonority projection refers to behavioral distinctions speakers make between unattested phonological sequences on the basis of sonority. For example, among onset clusters, the well-formedness relation [bn] > [lb] is observed in speech perception, speech production, and nonword acceptability (Albright, in preparation; Berent, Steriade, Lenertz, & Vaknin, 2007; Davidson 2006, 2007). We begin by replicating the sonority projection effects in a nonword acceptability study. Then we evaluate the extent to which sonority projection is predicted by existing computational models of phonotactics (Coleman & Pierrehumbert 1997; Hayes & Wilson 2008; et alia). We show that a model based only on lexical statistics can explain sonority projection in English without a pre-existing sonority sequencing principle. To do this, a model must possess (i) a featural system supporting sonority-based generalizations and (ii) a context representation including syllabification or equivalent information.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1