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Uvular rhotic weakening in Yiddish adjectival suffixes
Guy Tabachnick, 2020, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: In traditional Yiddish dialects, the presence vs. absence of word-final rhotics after [ɜ] in adjectival suffixes carries a heavy functional load, making distinctions of gender, number, and case. Belk et al. (2019) note that some Yiddish speakers with uvular rhotics do not fully articulate them word-finally, endangering this crucial distinction and perhaps contributing to the loss of gender and case in the Yiddish of contemporary Hasidic communities. This study analyzes adjectival endings in publicly available recordings of for speakers with uvular rhotics. The majority of speakers generally do not produce an audible [ʀ] or [ʁ] before consonants, but the rhotic leaves its mark: for some, an underlying rhotic conditions higher F1 on the preceding vowel; others have lowered F2. F1 raising of [ɜ] can also occur when followed by the dorsal fricative [x/χ], suggesting that it is the uvularity of the rhotic that causes F1 raising; F2 lowering is limited to following rhotics, suggesting that this is a rhoticity effect. In addition, vowels followed by underlying coda rhotics are longer in duration. Results indicate that the rhotic triggers phonologized changes in the preceding vowel, while its own realization is weakened, perhaps to an approximant, and masked in the acoustic signal.
Keywords: Phonetics, Human voice, Phonology, Consonants, Vowel systems
Published in RUNG: 04.03.2024; Views: 639; Downloads: 2
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Yat-alternation and the imperfect tense in Bulgarian. A rule-based analysis.
Danil Khristov, 2022, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The paper proposes a rule-based feature analysis of the ya/e phenomenon in Bulgarian. Special attention is paid to the variable ya/е observed in the forms of the imperfect tense. First and second-conjugation verbs whose imperfect forms involve yat-alternation are compared with third-conjugation verbs where this alternation is not observed. The analysis also addresses the role of morphology in the process of adding different imperfect endings to the verb base and the effect of these endings on the variable ya/e. Finally, the phonemic status of soft consonants is discussed in relation to the proposed analysis.
Keywords: yat vowel, yat-alternation, variable ya/e, imperfect tense, rule-based analysis, features
Published in RUNG: 06.09.2022; Views: 1496; Downloads: 0
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Categorical Perception of a vowel contrast in native speakers and second language learners.
Alessandra Zappoli, 2022, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: The perceptual space of a speaker is shaped in infancy according to the phonological inventory of the L1. Phonological categories correlate with Categorical Perception (CP) and Perceptual Magnet (PM) effects, lowering the discrimination rate between the same category’s sounds and increasing it at the Category Boundaries (Liberman et al., 1967; Kuhl et al., 1992). Second Language (L2) learning in adulthood requires creating new categories, some overlapping with the existing ones. When L2 and L1 categories overlap, the PM and CP effects might block the creation of the target L2 sounds, linked to Foreign Accented speech. In this study, I investigate with the CP paradigm, the categorization, and discrimination of two German words: ʃɔːn] (‘already’) vs. [ʃøːn] (‘beautiful’) distinguished by a vowel contrast existing in German but not in Italian. I tested: i) 20 L1 speakers of German (L1); 34 L2 learners of German, L1 speakers of Italian – ii) 14 exposed to native speech (Tandem); iii) 18 not exposed to it; iv) 20 L1 speakers of Italian (Naïve). The oddball discrimination task presented the stimuli in 6 orders: AAB, ABA, ABB, BAA, BAB, BBA. L2 learners performed the LEXTALE in German (Lemhöfer & Broersma, 2012). Results show that the categorization and discrimination performance linearly increase with language proficiency. Categorization only correlates with LEXTALE. Exposure to native speech is relevant. The presence of CP - as classically reported in the literature - is affected by the order of presentation of the stimuli in the oddball paradigm, emerging with BAB, ABA, BBA orders.
Keywords: vowel categorization, speech categorization, naive listeners, native speakers, L2 learners, categorical perception paradigm, perceptual space
Published in RUNG: 30.08.2022; Views: 1525; Downloads: 0
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On the Distribution of Imperfective Suffixation and the Position of Theme Vowels in Slovenian
Vesna Plesničar, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: There are different views regarding the exact position of the Theme Vowel (TH) in the verb structure within Distributive Morphology (DM). One is that THs are realisations of a TH position that is added to v0 (and other functional heads) (e.g. Oltra-Massuet 1999 and Embick and Halle 2005), another, argued for in Marvin (2002), is that THs are attached directly to the ROOT. The most recent proposal for Slovenian is the one made by Božič (2016, 2017), where he argues that TH is adjoined to Aspectual head (ASP0). On the other hand, Marvin has claimed, contra Božič (2017), that TH could only adjoin to category-defining heads, i.e. that adjunction to any other functional head, such as Tense head, Aspect or Passive is not possible in Slovenian. Our data suggest that contrary to Božič, it is -va- rather than -av- that is an imperfectivizing morpheme in Slovenian, and contrary to previous literature more widely, -va- is not just a secondary imperfective morpheme but more generally an imperfective morpheme. Our idea is supported by the clear distribution patterns shown by -va- in verbs which receive an imperfective interpretation. This suggestion makes further predictions on the position of TH vowel in Slovenian. We argue that TH precedes the imperfective suffix -va-, and thus cannot be a component of the imperfective morpheme, as assumed in Božič (2016, 2017). TH is rather a part of the ROOT (or verbalizing head to which it is attached).
Keywords: Distributive Morphology, Theme Vowel, Imperfective Suffixation, Slovenian
Published in RUNG: 14.10.2020; Views: 2480; Downloads: 78
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