• Learning a typologically unusual reduplication pattern: An artificial language learning study of base-dependent reduplication

      Haugen, Jason D.; Ussishkin, Adam; Dawson, Colin Reimer; Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-05-31)
      We report on an artificial language learning experiment testing the learnability of a typologically rare pattern of reduplication. Our model comes from syllable-copy reduplication in Hiaki (aka Yaqui, Uto-Aztecan), a base-dependent pattern wherein the shape of reduplication depends crucially on syllabification in the base: coda consonants can copy in reduplication if and only if there is a corresponding coda in the base. Using a controlled artificial language experiment with a forced-choice paradigm, we show that native English speakers who have no prior exposure to any language with a grammar employing syllable-copy reduplication are in many cases able to learn a variable CV or CVC syllable-copying rule as measured by eventual above-chance selection of the correct form. However, compared to participants learning either a consistent CV or CVC copying rule, the performance of participants tasked with learning such a variable syllable-copying rule improves more slowly, and these participants make more errors overall. We suggest that this difference in learnability may be one of a number of factors helping to explain the typological rarity of certain morphological patterns.
    • Sounds over symbols? The role of auditory cues in orthographically-correlated speech behavior

      Grippando, S.; Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (MDPI AG, 2019)
      A recent series of studies found a correlation between orthographic length and speech duration: The more orthographic units in a written form, the longer the speech duration of that word, all else being equal. Modular and encapsulated speech production models argue that orthography should not contribute to articulation when it is not directly and explicitly relevant to speech. Such models demand that other factors such as auditory cues must be contributing to the development of this behavior. If auditory cues are being used in the development of these speech patterns, individuals would be expected to be sensitive to these differences. The current study uses an ABX task to determine whether participants are sensitive to durational differences at lengths similar to those observed in the previously found orthographically-correlated speech behavior. The current results showed no sensitivity to the critical levels of speech duration. Participants only began to show sensitivity at four times the length of the lower-bound durational lengths previously observed in individual’s speech patterns. These results call into question whether audio cues are playing a significant role in the development of this speech behavior and strengthen the claim that orthography may be influencing speech in an interactive fashion. © 2019 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.