the perceptual basis of long-distance laryngeal restrictions

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  • THE PERCEPTUAL BASIS OF LONG-DISTANCE LARYNGEAL RESTRICTIONS

    by

    Gillian Elizabeth Scott Gallagher

    B.A., Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2005

    Submitted to the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics

    at the

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2010

    2010 Gillian Gallagher. All rights reserved.

    The author hereby grants to MIT permission to reproduce and distribute publicly paper and electronic copies of this

    thesis document in whole or in part in any medium now known or hereafter created.

    Signature of Author...

    Gillian Gallagher Department of Linguistics and Philosophy

    Certified By...

    Donce Steriade Professor of Linguistics

    Thesis Supervisor

    Accepted By.......................................................... Irene Heim

    Professor of Linguistics Chair of the Linguistics Program

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    THE PERCEPTUAL BASIS OF LONG-DISTANCE LARYNGEAL RESTRICTIONS

    by

    Gillian Elizabeth Scott Gallagher

    Submitted to the Department of Linguistics and

    Philosophy on May 14, 2010 in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

    in Linguistics. ABSTRACT The two main arguments in this dissertation are 1. That laryngeal cooccurrence restrictions are restrictions on the perceptual strength of contrasts between roots, as opposed to restrictions on laryngeal configurations in isolated roots, and 2. That laryngeal cooccurrence restrictions are restrictions on auditory, as opposed to articulatory, features. Both long-distance laryngeal dissimilation, where roots may have one but not two laryngeally marked stops (MacEachern 1999), and assimilation, where stops in a root must agree in laryngeal features (Hansson 2001; Rose and Walker 2004) are given a unified account based on a grammatical pressure to neutralize indistinct contrasts. This analysis is supported by the finding that certain non-adjacent sounds interact in perception. Specifically, the perception of a contrast in ejection or aspiration is degraded in roots with another ejective or aspirate as compared to another plain stop (e.g. the pair kapi-kapi is more confusable than the pair kapi-kapi). Roots that are minimally distinguished by having one vs. two laryngeally marked stops are confusable (e.g. kapi is confusable with kapi), and thus languages may avoid having both types of roots. The analysis integrates long-distance neutralizations with analyses of local neutralizations based on phonetic cues and contrast strength (Flemming 1995, 2004; Steriade 1997), showing that both local and non-local phenomena are driven by constraints against perceptually indistinct contrasts. The interaction between ejectives and aspirates in Quechua provides evidence for auditory features. These two articulatorily disparate sounds pattern together in the cooccurrence restrictions of Quechua, showing that some feature must pick them out as a class. It is argued that ejectives and aspirates may pattern together because they share long voice onset time. It is shown that defining laryngeally marked stops based on their language specific auditory properties correctly accounts both for ejective-aspirate interactions in Quechua and also for the interaction between ejectives and implosives in Hausa and Tzutujil. Thesis supervisor: Donca Steriade Title: Professor of Linguistics

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    The perceptual basis of long-distance

    laryngeal restrictions

    2010

    Gillian Gallagher

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    For Eleanor.

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    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    I am grateful to my committee, Adam Albright, Edward Flemming and Donca Steriade for their interest in and support for this dissertation. I am also indebted to John McCarthy and Joe Pater for introducing me to phonology. Jessica Coon introduced me to my great love, the ejective, and it is mostly due to her constant friendship and positive attitude that graduate school was so enjoyable. Thesis writing has been pleasantly punctuated by lunches, runs and other pastimes with Maria Giavazzi. Omer Preminger has consistently reminded me to be happy and proud instead of only worried, and he always smiles the biggest when things go well. The research in this dissertation was partially supported by NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant #0950219, as well as by funds from MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, the Ken Hale Fund, and the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.

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    CONTENTS

    1 Introduction 13 1.1 Overview of the analysis 13 1.2 Connections to previous work 14 1.3 Insights of the analysis 16 1.4 Organization of the dissertation 17 2 Preliminaries 18 2.1 Typology and conceptual analysis 18 2.1.1 The typology of laryngeal cooccurrence restrictions 18 2.1.1.1 A brief note on the identity effect 23 2.1.2 Conceptual outline of the contrast based analysis 24 2.1.3 Comparison with previous analyses 28 2.1.3.1 Summary of previous approaches 29 2.1.3.2 Advantages of the contrast based account 32 2.1.3.3 Advantages of perceptual grounding 34 2.2 Auditory features in laryngeal cooccurrence restrictions 36 2.2.1 Auditory dimensions of contrast 36 2.2.2 Ejective and aspirate interactions 39 2.2.2.1 The auditory feature account of Quechua 41 2.2.2.2 Alternative account 1: Mackenzie (2009) 42 2.2.2.3 Alternative account 2: the laryngeal node 44 2.2.3 Ejective and implosive interactions 46 2.3 The Dispersion Theory of Contrast 48 2.3.1 Dispersion constraints and inventories of contrasts 49 2.3.2 Positional neutralization in DT 51 2.3.3 DT and laryngeal cooccurrence restrictions 55 3 The acoustics of laryngeal contrasts 57 3.1 Previous acoustic studies of laryngeal contrasts 58 3.1.1 Ejectives and aspirates 58 3.1.2 Xhosa and Zulu 63 3.1.3 Implosives 63 3.1.4 Summary 65 3.2 Laryngeal contrasts in Quechua 65 3.2.1 Background and recordings 65 3.2.2 Measurements 67 3.2.3 Results 69 3.2.3.1 Laryngeal categories and interactions with position 69 3.2.3.2 Laryngeal categories and interactions with place 73 3.2.4 Summary 76 3.3 Laryngeal contrast in Chol 77 3.3.1 Background and recordings 77 3.3.2 Measurements 79 3.3.3 Results 81

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    3.3.3.1 Laryngeal categories and interactions with position 82 3.3.3.2 Laryngeal categories and interactions with place 82 3.2.4 Summary 85 3.4 Summary and discussion of laryngeal contrasts 85 4 The effect of long-distance conditions on the perception of laryngeal contrasts 87 4.1 Experiment 1: ejectives 88 4.1.1 The hypotheses 88 4.1.2 Stimuli 90 4.1.2.1 Creating the stimuli 90 4.1.2.2 Acoustic properties of the ejective-plain contrast in the stimuli 91 4.1.3 Procedure 93 4.1.4 Results 94 4.2 Experiment 2: aspirates 97 4.2.1 The hypotheses 97 4.2.2 Stimuli 98 4.2.2.1 Creating the stimuli 98 4.2.2.2 Acoustic properties of the aspirate-plain contrast in the stimuli 98 4.2.3 Results 100 4.3 Experiment 3: ejective and aspirate interactions 102 4.3.1 The hypotheses 103 4.3.2 Stimuli 104 4.3.3 Results 104 4.4 Summary and discussion of results 105 5 Laryngeal dissimilation 109 5.1 Constraints 110 5.2 Schematic analysis of dissimilation 112 5.3 Case study 1 ejectives in Chol 116 5.4 Case study 2 ejectives and implosives in Hausa 120 5.5 Case study 3 ejectives and implosives in Tzutujil 124 5.5.1 The difference between ejectives and implosives 125 5.5.2 Tzutujil consonants in final position 127 5.6 Summary 131 6 Ordering restrictions and laryngeal dissimilation 133 6.1 Constraints 134 6.2 Schematic analysis of ordering restrictions and dissimilation 136 6.3 Case study 1 aspirates in Souletin Basque 140 6.4 Case study 2 ejectives and aspirates in Quechua 143 6.4.1 Ordering restrictions in Quechua 145 6.4.2 Dissimilation and ordering restrictions in Quechua 147 6.5 Case study 3 ejectives and aspirates in Bolivian Aymara 152 6.5.1 Ordering restrictions in Bolivian Aymara 155 6.5.2 Dissimilation and ordering restrictions in Bolivian Aymara 159 6.6 Summary 161

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    7 Laryngeal assimilation 163 7.1 Schematic analysis of assimilation 163 7.2 Case study 1 implosives in Kalabari Ijo 165 7.3 Case study 2 ejectives in Amharic 171 7.5 Case study 3 ejectives, aspirates and slack voiced stops in Zulu 174 7.6 Summary 180 8 Conclusion 182 8.1 Summary of constraint rankings 182