The production and perception of coarticulation in two types of sound changes in progress
JONATHAN HARRINGTON FELICITAS KLEBER ULRICH REUBOLD Abstract: This paper presents two studies that are concerned with the mechanisms by which historical sound change develops from synchronic coarticulatory variation with reference to the diachronic fronting of high back vowels in Standard Southern British and the development of a post-vocalic voicing contrast in the East Franconian variety under the inﬂuence of Standard German. The direction and extent of the sound changes in progress were inferred through comparisons between older and younger speakers on production and perception tasks. Both studies suggest that diachronic change has developed out of synchronic coarticulatory variation. We then differentiate this from other aspects of the sound change, including its spread to other contexts unrelated to the direction of the diachronic change and, for the East Franconian data, the development of a trading relationship between coarticulatory source and effect. Taken together, the results show that the complex of sound change is composed of many different parts that are activated in either production or perception at different stages in its development. 1 Introduction Synchronic variation is both ubiquitous in languages and inﬁnite: as much empirical research has shown, post-lexical variation including the apparent deletion of the ﬁnal /t/ in phrases such as ’perfect memory’ (Browman and Goldstein, 1990, 1995) or the vocalisation of /l/ in En- glish varieties in certain prosodic positions (Scobbie and Pouplier, 2010) arises out of continuous processes of spatial reduction and temporal overlap. Synchronic processes such as the effects of consonant voic- ing on...
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