School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    A speech/gesture interface: encoding static, locative relationships in verbal discourse
    Tutton, Mark (School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of Melbourne, 2007)
    When speakers communicate, both verbal and non-verbal aspects of behaviour create and influence discourse. This paper looks at a PhD in progress, which examines how native speakers of Australian English and French use both language and gesture to describe static, locative relationships in everyday spatial scenes. The major hypotheses of the study stem from two theoretical concepts which are central to the lexical expression of spatial relationships: the degree of granularity (Narasimhan and Gullberg) in individual English and French prepositions, and the frames of reference (Levinson) adopted by speakers to encode locative relationships. A link between language and gesture is proposed by examining the ramifications these concepts may have for a speaker’s gestural behaviour.
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    A perceptual basis for the foot parameter in the development of distinctive nasalization
    Watson, Ian ; HAJEK, JOHN ( 1999)
    The importance of perceptual phenomena in nasal vowel development is well known, but only recently has attention turned to suprasegmental phenomena known to condition this development. Perceptual explanations have already been given for the conditioning effect of vowel length, and, more tentatively, stress. In this study, we provide data from perceptual experiments in which nasality judgements were obtained from English speakers to examine the conditioning effects of three suprasegmental phenomena, all related to stress. The perceptual basis of the stress parameter is confirmed, however, no evidence is found of a similar effect underlying observed differences in nasalisation between pre and post-tonic vowels. Most importantly, foot structure is shown to condition nasality judgements such that vowels in single syllable feet (oxytones) are judged as more nasal than those in trochaic (paroxytonic) feet. Both the stress and the foot structure effects are shown to be independent of the vowel-length.