The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 11/16 - Trevor Driscoll (MIT)

Speaker: Trevor Driscoll (MIT)
Title: Crow Palatal Coarticulation as Gradient Feature Spreading
Time: Monday, November 16th, 5pm – 6:30pm

Abstract: The literature on Crow phonology describes two palatalization processes; one changes alveolar obstruents to alveolopalatals before front vowels. The other is progressive where a k following a front vowel or an alveolopalatal is realized with palatal coarticulation. Using acoustic measurements of F2 transitions in VCV sequences, I show that palatal coarticulation interacts with all obstruents and that the place of the constriction determines how F2 transitions from front to back vowels. Further I argue that a GA feature spreading analysis with traditional L/R edges is insufficient to represent the Crow data. I propose adopting gestural landmarks as a domain to assign GA violations; gestural landmarks provide exactly the appropriate number of alignment positions needed to characterize F2’s transition from high to low through an intervening consonant.