The P* reading group will meet next Tuesday at 13:30 in room 002 (and on Zoom). This week, Meghan will be presenting on Kochetov’s 2006 paper Syllable position effects and gestural organization: Evidence from Russian, attached here and available on the drive. Below is the abstract:
Previous articulatory studies have shown that English syllable-initial and syllable-final consonants exhibit different patterns of gestural organization. These differences – syllable position effects – are manifested primarily in the relative timing and magnitude of gestures. In general, syllable-initial consonants show more stable patterns of coordination and “tighter” articulatory constrictions than the same consonants in syllable-final position. This paper addresses the question of whether syllable position effects hold for other languages by examining the articulatory properties of some Russian syllable-initial and syllable final consonants: the palatal glide /j/ and labial stops /pj/ and /p/. In general, the articulometer (EMMA) results confirm the hypothesis that the same consonants in these two positions differ with respect to their inter-gestural timing and gestural magnitude. At the same time, some predictions made based on patterns observed in English are not supported. The results thus provide evidence that, although syllable positions are characterized by different patterns of gestural organization, actual manifestations of this organization are not always the same; they may vary between gestures within a language and between similar gestures in different languages. It is further suggested that while the task-dynamics of gestural coordination is crucial to explaining syllable position effects, some non-contrastive and variable information still has to be specified – possibly by being lexically encoded.