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Workshop on Connected Speech Processes

When Mar 17, 2014
from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where Brown Library, English Faculty, University of Cambridge
Contact Name
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The Experimental Phonetics and Phonology Cluster, which is part of the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, invites everyone to a Connected Speech Processes workshop on the topic of assimilation and reduction, to be held on 17th of March 2014, with a keynote talk by Prof. Mirjam Ernestus (Radboud University Nijmegen & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics).

Workshop theme

Processes of assimilation and reduction are of enormous importance to both phoneticians and phonologists, and indeed represent one of the most fruitful areas for the study of the phonetics-­‐phonology interface. The study of these connected speech processes in the context of running speech has been a key pursuit for phoneticians. They are important as they provide insights into the underlying nature and organisation of speech and although themes such as the interaction between stress and vowel reduction have been a hub for phonetic research, there is still much to be learned. What causes reduction and which factors constrain its appearance in running speech? How do reduced forms vary across languages? And how do psychological and social factors come into play? For phonologists, assimilation and reduction constitute the most primitive and universal feature-­‐manipulating operations, appearing in some form in every known language, whether in the guise of vowel harmony, tone sandhi, nasal assimilation or cluster homorganicity, or as syncope, apocope, lenition or neutralisation. Phonological phenomena such as these are in themselves linked to phonetic processes, an important consideration in the study of historical processes of phonologisation and sound change.

Invited Speaker

Mirjam Ernestus is Professor of Psycholinguistics at Radboud University Nijmegen and is also affiliated with the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. She is interested in all aspects of language processing, while her main focus is on how speakers produce and how listeners understand speech in informal conversations. She currently directs two large research projects on how non-­‐native listeners process the reduced pronunciation variants of words that occur so frequently in casual speech.


Organising Committee Anna Jespersen, Geraldine Kwek, Joseph Perry, Yvonne Flory

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