Assessing the representation of phonological rules by a production study of non-words in Coratino

Abstract : Phonological regularities in a given language can be described as a set of formal rules applied on logical expressions (e.g. the value of a distinctive feature) or rather as distributional properties emerging from the phonetic substance. An indirect way to assess how phonology is represented in a speaker’s brain consists in testing how phonological regularities are transferred to non-words. This is this objective of this study, focusing on Coratino, a dialect from southern Italy spoken in the Apulia region. In Coratino, a complex process of vowel reduction operates, characterized by four major properties: (1) /i e ɛ u o ɔ/ are reduced in unstressed position while /a/ is maintained; (2) all initial vowels are maintained, even unstressed; (3) unstressed vowels /i e ɛ u o ɔ/ are protected against reduction when they are adjacent to a consonant that shares articulation (labiality and velarity for /u o ɔ/ and palatality for /i e ɛ/); (4) when they are reduced, high vowels are reduced to /ɨ/ and mid vowels to /ə/. A production experiment was carried out on 19 speakers of Coratino to test whether these properties were displayed with non-words. The production data display a complex pattern, in which each of the four properties do transfer to non-words, though in a different way, which seems to imply both either explicit/formal rules (for maintenance in initial position and the reduction to two targets) and distributional properties transferred in a statistical way to non-words (for consonantal protection and robustness of /a/). Furthermore, the speakers appear as largely variable in this task. Altogether, this suggests that both formal rules and distributional principles participate to the encoding of Coratino phonology in the speakers’ brain.
Type de document :
Pré-publication, Document de travail
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Contributeur : Jonathan Bucci <>
Soumis le : vendredi 12 octobre 2018 - 10:40:46
Dernière modification le : mercredi 26 décembre 2018 - 09:27:04


  • HAL Id : hal-01894141, version 1


Jonathan Bucci, Paolo Lorusso, Silvain Gerber, Mirko Grimaldi, Jean-Luc Schwartz. Assessing the representation of phonological rules by a production study of non-words in Coratino. 2018. 〈hal-01894141〉



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