Inducing Epenthesis: Phonetic, Phonological and Morphological Considerations

Rebecca Morley
2010 LSA Annual Meeting Extended Abstracts  
This work investigates the question of how phonological systems might arise from phonetic cues, focusing on the contribution of the language learner. Specifically, I present a series of experiments on the learning of morphologically conditioned epenthesis patterns. A theoretical account that situates synchronic phonological systems as the product of natural sound changes (such as Evolutionary Phonology (Blevins 2004) ) would attribute the emergence of an epenthetic consonant to the listener's
more » ... sperception of the natural transition between two adjacent vowels: ratu+əәk, pronounced as ratuʷəәk, re-analyzed as ratuwəәk. The proposed origins of such a pattern guarantee that such epenthesis would be, at least at first, contextually conditioned (what I will call Type 1). A distinction has been made, however, between such systems and those in which a unique (unmarked) segment is epenthesized regardless of context (Type 2) (see, e.g., Lombardi (2002), de Lacy (2006) ). Within a phonetically-based learning model, such a system would require an additional stage of regularization or generalization on the part of the listener.
doi:10.3765/exabs.v0i0.501 fatcat:b27mgowdoneapa4lvj6hyokhn4