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Prosem Lecture: Finnish Vowel Insertion: Detailed Representations Predict Segments that Exist Without Existing
October 28, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Presenter: Dr. Robin Karlin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Waisman Center
Topic: Finnish Vowel Insertion: Detailed Representations Predict Segments that Exist Without Existing
Generative accounts of phonological representation have traditionally excluded information about articulatory movements and time, both relative (when one articulator moves relative to another) and durational (how long a particular articulatory movement lasts). This approach becomes problematic with cases where sounds are produced, but speakers do not consistently judge them as existing.
In this talk, I present data from inserted vowels in northern dialects of Finnish, which I argue are a case where unintentional (“excrescent”) segments have become intentional over time, and in some cases have not yet reached phonological (intentional) status. Evidence for this claim comes from an array of sources, which I also argue is essential for these types of edge cases: a traditional phonological analysis, a phonetic analysis of a spoken corpus, perceptual data, and interactions of the inserted vowels with distinct patterns in the language. I propose an Articulatory Phonology model to account for these vowels, which includes information on both articulatory trajectories and relative timing.