Effects of Phonotactic Probabilities on Syllable Structure

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2015-09-01
Authors
Kim, Jonny
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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
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2015
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Abstract
Korean is known for its onset-body structure or left-branching syllable structure. Experimental findings have shown that native speakers of Korean are better at processing the onset and nucleus of a CVC syllable as a constituent than the nucleus and coda, while English speakers prefer the nucleus and coda, the rhyme. This study investigates the nature of the different mental representations of a syllable across the two languages by testing if the processing rate of reduplicating CV and VC sequences is affected by phonotactic probabilities of the sequences. The effects of phonotactic probabilities are discussed at two levels. At the local level, a frequently occurring phoneme sequence in either of the two languages is predicted to lead to fast processing either at the CV or VC position because native speakers of each language are sensitive to the likelihood of having a particular sequence in their language. At the global level, the overall branching advantage of each language found in the literature is predicted to be the consequence of native speakers’ sensitivity to the overall statistical distribution of phonotactic constraints put on the CV domain and the VC domain in their respective language.
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linguistics
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Kim, Jonny. 2015. Effects of Phonotactic Probabilities on Syllable Structure. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 46(3).
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Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License
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