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Perceptual Organization in Intonational Phonology: A Test of Parallelism J. Devin McAuley 1 & Laura C. Dilley 2 Department of Psychology Bowling Green.

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Presentation on theme: "Perceptual Organization in Intonational Phonology: A Test of Parallelism J. Devin McAuley 1 & Laura C. Dilley 2 Department of Psychology Bowling Green."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Perceptual Organization in Intonational Phonology: A Test of Parallelism J. Devin McAuley 1 & Laura C. Dilley 2 Department of Psychology Bowling Green State University 1 The Ohio State University 2 10 th Conference on Laboratory Phonology, Paris July 1, 2006

3 Patterns in prosodic systems Patterns are widespread in prosodic systems Patterns are widespread in prosodic systems Example: Repetition in accentual sequences Example: Repetition in accentual sequences Why does accentual repetition occur? Why does accentual repetition occur? Other kinds of patterning have been central to phonological theory Other kinds of patterning have been central to phonological theory Correspondence Theory (McCarthy & Prince 1995) : Patterning arises from Universal Grammar Correspondence Theory (McCarthy & Prince 1995) : Patterning arises from Universal Grammar Proposal: Perception provides the basis for patterning in prosodic systems Proposal: Perception provides the basis for patterning in prosodic systems I wanted to read it to Julia. H H HL L L HL Ladd (1986):

4 Prosodic patterns In pitch: “…nothing like the full set [of accents] generated by the grammar has ever been documented. For three accent phrases, the typical pattern is either to use the same accent type in all three positions, or else to use one type of accent in both prenuclear positions, and a different type in nuclear position.” (Pierrehumbert 2000: 27) In time? cf. perceptual isochrony (Lehiste 1977) Why are accentual sequences repeated? What mechanisms underlie perceptual isochrony?

5 Perceptual organization Repeating patterns in pitch and time lead to: Repeating patterns in pitch and time lead to: Perception of structure: grouping and meter Perception of structure: grouping and meter Generation of expectations Generation of expectationsPitch: H L H L H L … Time: H (L* H) (L* H) (L* …) (H* L) (H* L) (H* L) … (Woodrow 1911, Povel and Essens 1985, Handel 1989)  ( ) ( )( ) ……* ** 

6 Parallelism Principle “When two or more stretches of speech can be construed as parallel, they preferably form parallel parts of groups with parallel metrical structure.” (cf. Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983) Parallelism depends on regularity in pitch or in time Parallelism depends on regularity in pitch or in time Parallelism aids in communication Parallelism aids in communication Creates metrical structure Creates metrical structure Causes expectations to be generated, drawing attention to important parts of utterances Causes expectations to be generated, drawing attention to important parts of utterances H (L* H) (L* H) (L* …) H (L* H) (L* H) (L* …) (H* L) (H* L) (H* L) … H L H L H L … H L H L H L … (H*) (L* H L) (H* L) … () ( )( ) … * ** … ( ) ( )( … * **) ( ) ( )( ) * **… …

7 Stimuli and Task 20 target sequences consisted of two disyllabic trochaic words (e.g., worthy vinyl) followed by a final four syllable string that could be organized into words in more than one way (e.g., lifelong handshake versus life longhand shake). 20 target sequences consisted of two disyllabic trochaic words (e.g., worthy vinyl) followed by a final four syllable string that could be organized into words in more than one way (e.g., lifelong handshake versus life longhand shake). 80 filler sequences consisted of 6 – 10 syllables; an equal number ended with a disyllabic or monosyllabic final word. 80 filler sequences consisted of 6 – 10 syllables; an equal number ended with a disyllabic or monosyllabic final word. Task: Participants listened to target and filler sequences and reported the final word they heard in each sequence. Task: Participants listened to target and filler sequences and reported the final word they heard in each sequence.

8 Condition I: “Pitch” F0 alternated between H and L F0 alternated between H and L HL expectancy: worthy vinyl life long hand shake H L H L HL LH expectancy: worthy vinyl life long hand shake L H L H L “handshake” “shake” H L H

9 Condition II: “Duration” F0 was flat; interval between syllables 5, 6 varied F0 was flat; interval between syllables 5, 6 varied weak-strong expectancy: worthy vinyl life S W S W S (W) S W S strong-weak expectancy: worthy vinyl life S W S W S W S W “handshake” “handshake” “shake” “shake” lengthened shortened long hand shake

10 Condition III: “Pitch + Duration” F0 alternated between H and L; interval between syllables 5, 6 varied F0 alternated between H and L; interval between syllables 5, 6 varied HL + weak-strong expectancy: worthy vinyl life H L H L H L S W S W S (W) S W S LH + strong-weak expectancy: worthy vinyl life L H L H L S W S W S W S W “handshake” “handshake” “shake” “shake” lengthened shortened long hand shake H L H

11 Participants One-hundred thirty-eight native speakers of American English attending Ohio State University. One-hundred thirty-eight native speakers of American English attending Ohio State University. Assigned to one of the three prosodic context conditions. Assigned to one of the three prosodic context conditions. Pitch (n = 57) Pitch (n = 57) Duration (n = 40) Duration (n = 40) Pitch + Duration (n = 41) Pitch + Duration (n = 41)

12 Procedure Practice Practice Participants listened to six filler sequences and wrote down the final word they heard. Participants listened to six filler sequences and wrote down the final word they heard. Test Test Participants listened to 100 sequences (20 targets / 80 fillers) and wrote down the final word they heard. Participants listened to 100 sequences (20 targets / 80 fillers) and wrote down the final word they heard. 10 targets paired with a disyllabic context 10 targets paired with a disyllabic context 10 targets paired with a monosyllabic context 10 targets paired with a monosyllabic context Target sequence / context pairing counterbalanced across participants. Target sequence / context pairing counterbalanced across participants.

13 Predictions ‘HL’, ‘weak-strong’, and ‘HL + weak-strong’ expectations (“monosyllabic contexts”) should produce monosyllabic final word reports: ‘HL’, ‘weak-strong’, and ‘HL + weak-strong’ expectations (“monosyllabic contexts”) should produce monosyllabic final word reports: e.g., worthy vinyl life longhand shake ‘LH’, ‘strong-weak’, and ‘LH + strong-weak’ expectations (“disyllabic contexts”) should produce disyllabic final word reports: ‘LH’, ‘strong-weak’, and ‘LH + strong-weak’ expectations (“disyllabic contexts”) should produce disyllabic final word reports: e.g., worthy vinyl lifelong handshake

14 Results

15 Perceptual sensitivity analysis Could subjects simply be reporting more disyllabic words across the board? Could subjects simply be reporting more disyllabic words across the board? How much prosodic context affects word reports vs. Bias for reporting disyllables vs. monosyllables d' = z(Hits) – z(False Alarms) Hit = Reporting a disyllabic word in a disyllabic context Hit = Reporting a disyllabic word in a disyllabic context False Alarm = Reporting a disyllabic word in a monosyllabic context False Alarm = Reporting a disyllabic word in a monosyllabic context Low d' (≈0) if Hits≈False Alarms; Higher d' (> 0 – 4.0) indicates that disyllabic words are more often reported only in disyllabic contexts Low d' (≈0) if Hits≈False Alarms; Higher d' (> 0 – 4.0) indicates that disyllabic words are more often reported only in disyllabic contexts

16 Results Duration Pitch Pitch+Duration

17 Results Duration Pitch Pitch+Duration

18 Summary Regularity in pitch and time affected perceived syllable grouping into words Regularity in pitch and time affected perceived syllable grouping into words More disyllabic responses when prior context favored a disyllabic grouping More disyllabic responses when prior context favored a disyllabic grouping Both pitch and duration were effective cues to structure; combined cues were most effective Both pitch and duration were effective cues to structure; combined cues were most effective Supports the relevance of auditory perception to prosodic phenomena Supports the relevance of auditory perception to prosodic phenomena Supports the Parallelism Principle Supports the Parallelism Principle Prosodic regularity is not simply due to “Universal Grammar” Prosodic regularity is not simply due to “Universal Grammar”

19 Mechanisms underlying Parallelism Listeners generate expectations about upcoming auditory events which affect attention (Jones 1976, McAuley and Jones 2003) Listeners generate expectations about upcoming auditory events which affect attention (Jones 1976, McAuley and Jones 2003) Confirming expectation  Habituation (“Nothing new…”) Confirming expectation  Habituation (“Nothing new…”) Violating expectation  Heightened attention (“Here’s something new!”) Violating expectation  Heightened attention (“Here’s something new!”) Parallelism Principle describes a special case of these general processes Parallelism Principle describes a special case of these general processes Patterns lead to maximal violation of expectation and maximally heightened attention at location of a change Patterns lead to maximal violation of expectation and maximally heightened attention at location of a change

20 Intonational phonology: Implications Why do accents tend to repeat? Why do accents tend to repeat? Repeating sequences have special status in effectively creating perceptual structure (Parallelism) Repeating sequences have special status in effectively creating perceptual structure (Parallelism) Observation: Narrow focus and/or nuclear position leads to a different accent. Why? Observation: Narrow focus and/or nuclear position leads to a different accent. Why? Change draws attention to important locations Change draws attention to important locations What factors limit possible accentual sequences? What factors limit possible accentual sequences? Fixed inventory of single-toned and bitonal accents (Pierrehumbert 1980) Fixed inventory of single-toned and bitonal accents (Pierrehumbert 1980) Language-universal principles (cf. Parallelism) + language-specific restrictions (Dilley 2005) Language-universal principles (cf. Parallelism) + language-specific restrictions (Dilley 2005)

21 Language acquisition Studies of segmentation have focused primarily on local cues to stress and word boundaries Studies of segmentation have focused primarily on local cues to stress and word boundaries An experiment showed that listeners “carry forward” expectations based on perceived parallel structure An experiment showed that listeners “carry forward” expectations based on perceived parallel structure Infants may use global prosodic structure to develop candidate word segmentations Infants may use global prosodic structure to develop candidate word segmentations Parallelism provides initial “hook” into prosodic structure Parallelism provides initial “hook” into prosodic structure Parallelism likely supplements acoustic cues to stress, which are variable, plus phoneme sequence probabilities Parallelism likely supplements acoustic cues to stress, which are variable, plus phoneme sequence probabilities

22 Conclusions A Parallelism principle was proposed to explain prosodic patterning A Parallelism principle was proposed to explain prosodic patterning Experimental evidence supported this principle Experimental evidence supported this principle Parallelism is a special case of general processes involving generation of expectations and allocation of attention Parallelism is a special case of general processes involving generation of expectations and allocation of attention These processes help to explain repetition and change in accentual sequences These processes help to explain repetition and change in accentual sequences Parallelism may play a role in language acquisition Parallelism may play a role in language acquisition

23 References Handel, S. (1989) Listening: An introduction to the perception of auditory events. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Ladd, D. R. (1986) Intonational phrasing: the case for recursive prosodic structure. Phonology Yearbook 3, Lehiste, I. (1977) Isochrony revisited. Journal of Phonetics 5, Lerdahl, F. and Jackendoff, R. (1983) A Generative Theory of Tonal Music. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Jones, M. R. (1976). Time, our lost dimension: Toward a new theory of perception, attention, and memory. Psychological Review, 83, McAuley, J. D. and Jones, M. R. (2003). Modeling effects of rhythmic context on perceived duration: A comparison of interval and entrainment approaches to short- interval timing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 29, McCarthy, J. and Prince, A. (1995) Faithfulness and Reduplicative Identity, in University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 18: Papers in Optimality Theory. Ed. by Jill Beckman, Suzanne Urbanczyk and Laura Walsh Dickey. Pp. 249–384. Pierrehumbert, J. (2000) Tonal elements and their alignment. In Prosody: Theory and Experiment, M. Horne (ed.), Kluwer, pp Povel, D. J., and Essens, P. (1985) Perception of temporal patterns. Music Perception 2(4), Woodrow, H. (1911). The role of pitch in rhythm. Psychological Review, 18,


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