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Title:A comprehensive model of phonological variation: grammatical and non-grammatical factors in variable nasal place assimilation
Authors:Andries W Coetzee
Comment:A version of this paper will appear in "Phonology"
Length:30 pages
Abstract:The past two decades have seen the development of several constraint-based models of phonological grammar that can handle variable phenomena. Most of these models, however, are purely grammatical and do not allow for the contribution of no-grammatical factors towards determining the frequency structure of variation. This paper reviews different approaches to phonological variation, focusing on how grammatical and non-grammatical factors codetermine patterns of variation. Based on this review a model is developed that incorporates influences from both grammatical and non-grammatical factors. The proposed model is grammar dominant in the sense that grammar defines the space of possible variation while non‑grammatical factors only contribute towards the frequency with which the grammar determined forms are observed. Following Coetzee and Kawahara (2013), the model is developed in a version of noisy Harmonic Grammar that allows non-?grammatical factors to scale the weights of constraints up or down. Two experiments on the perception of variable cross-word nasal place assimilation in English are reported, showing that this phenomenon is influenced by grammatical factors (place of articulation) and non-grammatical factors (speech rate and perceptual inhibition). An account for the results of these experiments is then developed in the noisy Harmonic Grammar model developed first by Coetzee and Kawahara (2013).
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Harmonic Grammar, variation, nasal place assimilation, speech rate, priming
Article:Version 1