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Covert articulation of Scottish English /r/ now you see and hear it… now you don’t MFM 14 2006 Manchester James M Scobbie Speech Science Research Centre,

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Presentation on theme: "Covert articulation of Scottish English /r/ now you see and hear it… now you don’t MFM 14 2006 Manchester James M Scobbie Speech Science Research Centre,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Covert articulation of Scottish English /r/ now you see and hear it… now you don’t MFM 14 2006 Manchester James M Scobbie Speech Science Research Centre, QMUC Jane Stuart-Smith English Language, Glasgow

3 Overview Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose  When is phonological change phonological?  How is fine phonetic detail grammaticalised?  What are phonological features?  What is a phonological inventory? Coda /r/ derhoticisation in Scottish English  Study 1: Auditory and acoustic – socially stratified  Study 2: Ultrasound Tongue Imaging – pilot

4 Coda /r/ in Scottish English Scottish English is typically described as rhotic (e.g. Wells, 1982: 10-11) Coda /r/ is “phonetically” variable  [  ] - trills are rare and/or stereotypical (Ladefoged and Maddieson, 1996: 236)  [  ] - alveolar taps are more often noted (e.g. Johnston 1997)  [  ] [  ] – approximants – retroflex and post-alveolar - are also common (e.g. Johnston 1997)

5 Coda /r/ is changing Changes to coda /r/ have been reported in working-class speakers in Edinburgh (e.g. Romaine 1978) and Glasgow (Johnston 1997; Stuart-Smith 2003) to  a very weak approximant  vowels produced with secondary articulation (e.g. pharyngealization / uvularization)  vowels without any audible secondary articulation, i.e. similar to vowels in syllables without /r/

6 Characteristics of /r/ Differing acoustic properties for approximants (e.g. Ladefoged and Maddieson 1996)  lowered F3 – retroflex and post-alveolar approximants  high F3 – uvular articulations Coda /r/ in Dutch also shows variable ‘deletion’ (Plug and Ogden 2003; Scobbie & Sebregts 2005)  longer vowels  differing vowel and consonantal quality  covert post-alveolar articulations

7 Study 1: Coda /r/ in Glaswegian 12 male working-class informants  1m = 10-11 years  2m = 12-13 years  3m = 14-15 years  4m = 40-60 years Words selected from larger wordlist hatbanfancat heartbarnfarmcardfarcar

8 Study 1: Coda /r/ in Glaswegian Impressionistic auditory analysis  transcription Acoustic analysis  duration of vocalic portion  vowel quality by formant analysis (midpoint; every 5 pulses up to and including end of vocalic portion)

9 Auditory results Older speakers showed most articulated /r/ - [  ] [  ] [  ]: [  ] 4m1_farm and even [  ]: [  ] 4m2_car

10 Auditory results Younger speakers showed: weakly approximated [  ] [  ] [  ]: [  ] 3m1_far pharyngealized/uvularized vowels: [a  ] 2m1_card

11 Auditory results Younger speakers showed - vowels with no audible ‘colouring’ [  ] 1m3_car odd instances of vowels followed by [h] or [  ] [  ] 3m3_far

12 Acoustic analysis - duration Overall, the vocalic portion of words with /r/ is longer than those without /r/ (p =.0039). Age group 1

13 Acoustic analysis - duration This is regardless of whether an apical /r/ is heard (red dots) or not. There is also some variation. Age group 3

14 Acoustic analysis – vowel quality Midpoint formant values show that words with /r/ are generally more retracted than for words without /r/. Age group 1

15 Acoustic analysis – vowel quality Words heard with /r/ (red dots), tend to be even more retracted. Age group 3

16 Acoustic analysis – vowel quality Sample tracks (3m1 ‘rhotic’) shows slight dip in (high) F3 in most words with /r/.

17 Acoustic analysis – vowel quality Sample tracks (3m3 ‘pharyngealized /r/’) shows high, flat F3.

18 Phonological Implications Has /r/ changed phonologically?  How can we tell?  If only from neutralisation then “phonology” is thin What is changing in speakers’ grammars?  Features and phonotactics? oPlace, manner, timing, duration, phonation all affected  Fine-grained phonetic targets? oArticulatory or acoustic? oHow is variation encoded?

19 Why ultrasound? Ultrasound Tongue Imaging (UTI)  Relatively informal  Dynamic  Real-time  Image of whole mid-sagittal tongue surface  Impressionistic and objective analyses /r/ is characterised by  Open approximation  Multiple articulations

20 Study 2. Pilot 1. Field transcription Glasgow Science Centre, QM open days, Edinburgh International Science Festival  Live qualitative analysis  Numerous subjects (dozens)  All age groups, wide spectrum of social mix  Handheld probe plus microphone  Possible to record data for re-analysis Visual and auditory transcription

21 Pilot 1. Preliminary results Lots of inter-speaker variation Acoustically derhoticised /r/ is often  Acoustically something else (cf. Study 1)  Articulatorily present oMay involve retracted tongue root oMay be anterior –retroflex or bunched (inter & intra-speaker variation) Little or no meta-linguistic self-awareness of change or variation in /r/ among Scots  Cf. labiodental /r/, vocalised /l/ and others

22 Study 2. Pilot 2. Lab study Laboratory recordings  Still piloting method  Head stabilisation  Higher sampling rate to become available Subject read from semantic-class wordlist  e.g. “eyes, hair, teeth, nose, ear, mouth”

23 Study 2. Pilot 2. UTI lab subjects Control rhotic speaker, female (23) Argyll UTI shows characteristic retroflex /r/ bar harm Paham

24 Study 2. Pilot 2. continued Derhoticiser, male (22) Edinburgh Impressionistically  Coda /r/ vary from weak approximants to vocalisation  Onset /r/ is approximant or fricative  Medial /r/ may be tap  Onset clusters are tapped, approx, affricated Other variables also suggest he is comparable to derhoticisers from Study 1

25 Pilot 2. Vowel space & inventory

26 Pilot 2. UTI – derhoticising speaker He has acoustic (and articulatory) rhotics Approximants  rain Taps  ferry

27 Pilot 2. Acoustics – higher V + /r/ Weakly rhoticised forms shading into derhoticised centring glides & diphthongs

28 Pilot 2. continued – lower vowels + /r/ Derhoticisation is more frequent, with relatively monophthongal productions – yet no mergers? Weak syllables may sound highly vocalised

29 Articulatory dynamics with UTI Scobbie & Sebregts (2005) at MFM  Dutch derhoticisation  Covert /r/ reflex oeasier to see, harder to hear olate, devoiced, weakened, coarticulated Scottish pilot speaker also has visible but not so audible anterior lingual constrictions


31 UTI orientation A frame of [  ] from rain Tongue surface is the clearest feature – white line Internal structures are visible and help gin transcription

32 UTI – derhoticising speaker Covert anterior rhotic-like post-alveolar tongue movement in derhoticised words  car, storm, suburb car towards end of phonation car target 120ms later covert tip raising

33 Summary & discussion Fairly extreme auditory derhoticisation  Listeners hear little rhoticity from speakers like this  Probably can acquire “same” contrasts, lexical sets Articulatory evidence of an [  ] (and an /r/)  Anterior gestures are delayed and/or weak  Posterior (pharyngeal?) gestures also seen

34 Targets We assume acoustic derhoticisation and covert articulatory targets are required in the grammar  Are the targets compatible or incompatible?  Speaker-hearer models suggest there is no need to give either priority… they are in equilibrium Various models  Demands from speech production tend to make speakers economical with effort and reduce contrastivity  Perceptual demands from listeners tend to make speakers enhance contrasts Covert articulation is the opposite Speakers / hearers have social demands too (Foulkes & Docherty 2005)

35 Rough exemplar model A shared lexicon is crucial  Highly detailed lexical entries (exemplars)  Quantity of stored memories causes overlap and abstraction of commonalities  Abstraction = formation of ocategorical features (recurrent if functionally-motivated) ogradient tendencies (may also be recurrent) Sociophonetic variation is crucial  It stretches and structures phonetic variation  Learning and abstraction are not replication of input

36 Rough exemplar model Within a prosodic position, nothing is gained by positing independent labels such as “/r/” in addition to the fine social and phonetic detail plus recognising emergent recurrent categories (cf. Docherty 1992, Scobbie 2006)

37 Rough Model We create a system mediated by the input Our intended output is mediated by our articulation Cognitive knowledge has to reflect all three loci The Speaker Hearer The Community

38 Conclusion Derhoticisation is a typical phenomenon of central phonological interest To merely describe the linguistic situation in Scottish English  We need more phonetic detail  We need more social detail To develop theories of the traditional core topics of phonology  We need new quantitative evidence of all sorts

39 THE END Thanks for listening and watching

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