Linguistics job talk: The phonology of articulatory coordination
Please join the Linguistics Department for a job talk by Christopher Geissler, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Speech, Lexicon, and Modeling Lab at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU).
Traditional approaches to phonology rely on linearly-ordered sequences of discrete phonemes, but this ignores the continuously overlapping, blended nature of the speech signal. Rather than being a problem, phonetic variation can be embraced: the structure within variation provides important information about what is under phonological control. In this talk, Christopher argues that the relative timing of speech movements is a crucial part of lexical and phonological representation. In doing so, He draws from fieldwork and laboratory experiments on tone in Tibetan. Despite extensive differences, Tibetan speakers exhibit remarkably consistent patterns of timing. He also presents new data from articulatory simulations that seek to understand the dimensions along which articulation can differ across tokens of the same word. These examples illustrate the importance of phonetic data in general, and temporal information in particular, to understanding the mental representation of language.