Computational and Experimental Methods

Lexical competition in vowel articulation revisited: Vowel dispersion in the Easy/Hard database.

Susanne Gahl
2015

A widely-cited study investigating effects of recognition difficulty on the phonetic realization of words (Wright, 2004). Factors of lexical competition in vowel articulation. In J. Local, R. Ogden & R. Temple (Eds.), Papers in laboratory phonology, Vol. VI (pp. 26–50)) reported that vowel dispersion, i.e. distance from the center of the talker's F1/F2 space, was greater in words that represented difficult recognition targets (‘...

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and probabilistic inference: Evidence from the domain of color

Emily Cibelli
Yang Xu
Joseph Austerweil
Thomas Griffiths
Terry Regier
2016

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds that our thoughts are shaped by our native language, and that speakers of different languages therefore think differently. This hypothesis is controversial in part because it appears to deny the possibility of a universal groundwork for human cognition, and in part because some findings taken to support it have not reliably replicated. We argue that considering this hypothesis through the lens of probabilistic inference has the potential to resolve both issues, at least with respect to certain prominent findings in the domain of color cognition. We explore...

A Bayesian Phylogenetic Classification of Tupí-Guaraní

Lev Michael
Natalia Chousou-Polydouri
Keith Bartolomei
Erin Donnelly
Vivian Wauters
Sérgio Meira
Zachary O'Hagan
2015

This paper presents an internal classification of Tupí-Guaraní based on lexical data from 30 Tupí-Guaraní languages and 2 non-Tupí-Guaraní Tupian languages, Awetí and Mawé. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis using a generalized binary cognate gain and loss model was carried out on a character table based on the binary coding of cognate sets, which were formed with attention to semantic shift. The classification shows greater internal structure than previous ones, but is congruent with them in several ways.

Many neighborhoods: Phonological and perceptual neighborhood density in lexical production and perception

Susanne Gahl
Julia Strand
2016

We examine the relationship of lexical representations, pronunciation variation, and word recognition, by investigating effects of two lexical variables: Phonological Neighborhood Density (the number of words that can be formed by a single phoneme substitution, addition, or deletion from the target word), as well as a measure of the perceptual similarity of a target word to other words in the lexicon. We show that perceptual similarity to other words affects recognition, but not production. Phonological Neighborhood Density, on the other hand, affects both word durations and...

Perceptual integration of acoustic cues to laryngeal contrasts in Korean fricatives

Sarah Lee
Jonah Katz
2016

This paper provides evidence that multiple acoustic cues involving the presence of low-frequency energy integrate in the perception of Korean coronal fricatives. This finding helps explain a surprising asymmetry between the production and perception of these fricatives found in previous studies: lower F0 onset in the following vowel leads to a response bias for plain [s] over fortis [s*], despite the fact that there is no evidence for a corresponding acoustic asymmetry in the production of [s] and [s*]. A fixed classification task using the Garner paradigm provides evidence that low...

A test of coding procedures for lexical data with Tupí-Guaraní and Chapacuran languages

Natalia Chousou-Polydouri
Joshua Birchall
Sérgio Meira
Zachary O’Hagan
Lev Michael
2016

Recent phylogenetic studies in historical linguistics have focused on lexical data. However, the way that such data are coded into characters for phylogenetic analysis has been approached in different ways, without investigating how coding methods may affect the results. In this paper, we compare three different coding methods for lexical data (multistate meaning-based characters, binary root-meaning characters, and binary cognate characters) in a Bayesian framework, using data from the Tupí-Guaraní and Chapacuran language families as case studies. We show that, contrary to prior...