From May 22, 2018 we welcome Professor Louis Goldstein (University of Southern California – USA) for a series of four seminars on “Recent Developments in Articulatory Phonology”:

These seminars will take place on Tuesday, May 22nd and 29th, 5th and 12th from 5pm to 7pm at ILPGA – 19 rue des Bernardins – 75005 Paris – Salle Rousselot.


Abstracts :

Articulatory Phonology (AP) is a theoretical approach to phonological and phonetic representation first developed in the mid 80s and early 90s by Browman and Goldstein [1]. Its fundamental units are gestures, simple actions of the vocal tract articulators that are modeled as dynamical systems that achieve some goal state of the vocal tract. Over the last 10 years, the original (“classical”) theory and the task dynamics model that instantiates it (TaDA) have been substantially developed in new directions that have not yet been widely disseminated. The seminar will cover these developments, with attention to relevant phonological data.

Week 1: Introduction. This will be a tutorial introduction to dynamical systems, to classic AP, and to TaDA, the task dynamic simulation system that can be used to model AP.

Week 2: Sensorimotor Integration. Classic AP and task dynamics hypothesized that the goals of gestures were all defined with respect to vocal tract geometry, rather than its auditory (and visual) consequences, and the production of gestures was hypothesized to make no use of auditory feedback. Over the last 15 years, much has been learned about the role of sensory feedback (both actual and generated by an internal “forward model”) in speech production, though behavioral and neural experiments using altered feedback. Also relevant are recent studies using eCOG that produces cortical maps of speech in motor and sensory areas during both speech perception and production. All of these studies will be reviewed, and different ways of incorporating these findings in AP will be presented, as will a new version of TaDA that can adapt to altered auditory feedback, as speakers do. Relevance to understanding types of sound change will be presented.

Week 3: Syllable structure the coordination of speech gestures. In the 2000s, a coupled oscillator model of syllable structure within AP was formalized, in which all onset consonant gestures are coupled in-phase to the nucleus vowel, while coda consonant gestures are coupled anti-phase to the vowel and to each other. Recent evidence will be presented that shows that these principles must also interact with other constraints, such as intrinsic compatibility (or incompatibility) of temporally overlapping gestures and constraints on coordination of multiple gestures in circumstances in which the set of gestures jointly achieves an aerodynamic (or acoustic) goal. Evidence for such constraints from recent MRI experiments on Hausa implosives and ejectives will be presented. In addition, the role of relative stability of different coordination patterns will be examined, through data on speech errors and certain types of sound change, along with parallel evidence from recent studies of birdsong that illustrate qualitative shifts in coordination pattern as a function of song rate.

Week 4: Prosody. Classic AP was supplemented in the 2000s by Byrd and Saltzman’s [2] prosodic (𝜋-) gestures that act to slow the gestural clocks at the location of prosodic boundaries. More recent developments to be presented include modeling the temporal and spatial properties of stressed or accented syllables through modulation (𝜇-) gestures, and tonal accents and boundary tones through pitch gestures. In addition, the compressive effects of number of syllables per stress foot can be modeled via oscillator coupling between abstract foot and syllables oscillators. Finally, the variable location of stresses or accents in several languages (Tashlhiyt Berber, German, English) can be modeled using the tilted anharmonic oscillator, first discussed in harmony systems by Gafos & Benus [3].

[1] Browman, C.P. & Goldstein, L. (1992). Articulatory phonology: an overview. Phonetica 49 : 155–180.
[2] Byrd, D. & Saltzman, E. (2003). The elastic phrase: dynamics of boundary-adjacent lengthening. J. Phonetics, 31:149–180. [3] Gafos, A. & Benus, S. (2006). Dynamics of phonological cognition. Cognitive Science, 30:905-943.