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Linking speech errors and phonological grammars: Insights from Harmonic Grammar networks

By Matthew Goldrick and Robert Dal


Phonological grammars characterize distinctions between relatively well-formed (unmarked) and relatively ill-formed (marked) phonological structures. We review evidence that markedness influences speech error probabilities. Specifically, although errors result in both unmarked as well as marked structures, there is a markedness asymmetry: errors are more likely to produce unmarked outcomes. We show that stochastic disruption to the computational mechanisms realizing a Harmonic Grammar (HG) can account for the broad empirical patterns of speech errors. We demonstrate that our proposal can account for the general markedness asymmetry. We also develop methods for linking particular HG proposals to speech error distributions, and illustrate these methods using a simple HG and a set of initial consonant errors in English. 1. Phonological markedness and linguistic behavior * A central concern of generative phonological theory is to characterize the relative well-formedness of phonological structures. In this paper we will use the term markedness to refer to distinctions in well-formedness (where well-formed structures ar

Year: 2009
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