Vowel reduction in European Portuguese

One major issue that arises from my work on sonority-driven stress is how to understand vowel reduction. Constraints that motivate sonority-driven stress necessarily cause vowel reduction. If no constraint motivates sonority-driven stress, then vowel reduction cannot be motivated by the need to reduce sonority in unstressed positions. I am currently working with European Portuguese speakers and examining the predictions for vowel reduction. Stay tuned!

Phonology and phonetics of sonority-driven stress

This project (my dissertation) investigates the phonology and phonetics of sonority-driven stress. One of the goals is to present acoustic evidence for (or against) sonority-driven stress. The typology of sonority-driven stress can be classified into two types: (i) stress is solely sensitive to central vowels, and (ii) stress is sensitive to peripheral vowel distinctions.

For the former case, I worked on the metrical structure in Piuma Paiwan (Austronesian), focusing on the claim that stress avoids schwa in default stress position. For the latter case, I worked on metrical structure in Gujarati (Indo-Aryan), focusing on the claim that stress is attracted to the highly sonorous vowel [a] from the default stress position.

Dissertation [pdf]

Gujarati [paper]

Piuma Paiwan [manuscript]

Default and focal prosodic phrasing

This project investigates the default/focal prosodic phrasing in Taiwan Mandarin (syntactically) flat structure. For default phrasing, the five-word string /wuL wuL wuL wuL wuL/ ‘55555’ and the six-word string /wuL wuL wuL wuL wuL wuL/ ‘555555’ were used to examine the prosodic phrasing patterns. For focal phrasing, /tɕjouL/ ‘9’ was used to test the phrasing pattern. Each word in the default string was replaced by /tɕjouL/ ‘9’ one at a time. It was found that binarity and focus play important roles in prosodic phrasing in Taiwan Mandarin.

AMP 2016 [paper][slides]

WCCFL 34 [paper]

Interaction between phrase-final lengthening and prosodic structure

This project proposes a unified theory for the interaction between phrase-final lengthening and prosodic structure. I argue that phrase-final lengthening obeys two requirements: cumulativity and entailment. The theory makes a typology. I argue that phrase-final lengthening in Taiwan Mandarin provides evidence for the proposed theory.

CLS 53 [paper][slides]