SRPP: Perceptually-motivated influences on nasal coarticulatory variation in French

Georgia Zellou (University of California, Davis) Ioana Chitoran (Université de Paris)
20 May 2022, 14h0015h30

The current study was designed to investigate specific research questions about whether the imitability of nasal coarticulation is affected by the phonological status of vowel nasality in French. First, does the phonological status of vowel nasality in French as contrastive lead speakers to different patterns of coarticulatory imitation for words that have a nasal vowel minimal pair relative to words that do not? Furthermore, imitation also has been viewed as a process that facilitates intelligibility. Prior work has found that American English speakers imitate an increased degree of nasal coarticulation for lexical items that pose particular challenges on perception (Zellou et al., 2016). Thus, we ask also: Do intelligibility factors influence patterns of coarticulatory nasality in French? Specifically, we compare phonetic imitation in trials where there is pressure to be intelligible, i.e., an interlocutor needs clarification about the target word to identify, to where there is less such pressure, i.e., correct response.

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