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Computational Approaches To The Syntax–Prosody Interface: Using Prosody To Improve Parsing, Hussein M. Ghaly 2020 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Computational Approaches To The Syntax–Prosody Interface: Using Prosody To Improve Parsing, Hussein M. Ghaly

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Prosody has strong ties with syntax, since prosody can be used to resolve some syntactic ambiguities. Syntactic ambiguities have been shown to negatively impact automatic syntactic parsing, hence there is reason to believe that prosodic information can help improve parsing. This dissertation considers a number of approaches that aim to computationally examine the relationship between prosody and syntax of natural languages, while also addressing the role of syntactic phrase length, with the ultimate goal of using prosody to improve parsing.

Chapter 2 examines the effect of syntactic phrase length on prosody in double center embedded sentences in French. Data collected ...


The Synchronic And Diachronic Phonology Of Nauruan: Towards A Definitive Classification Of An Understudied Micronesian Language, Kevin Hughes 2020 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Synchronic And Diachronic Phonology Of Nauruan: Towards A Definitive Classification Of An Understudied Micronesian Language, Kevin Hughes

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Nauruan is a Micronesian language spoken in the Republic of Nauru, a small island nation in the central Pacific. Lack of data and difficulty in analysis has hindered progress in better understanding Nauruan for decades, particularly regarding its phonology and its classification within the Micronesian family. Because of these challenges, earlier researchers have presented their work on Nauruan as highly tentative. This dissertation establishes more confident analyses of Nauruan phonology, sound change and classification, which have been made possible through original fieldwork.

Approximately one hundred hours of digital recordings have been collected as part of this research, including wordlists, phrases ...


Testing The Perceptual Magnet Effect In Monolinguals And Bilinguals, Michael C. Stern 2020 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Testing The Perceptual Magnet Effect In Monolinguals And Bilinguals, Michael C. Stern

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Previous research has demonstrated an apparent warping of the perceptual space whereby the best exemplars or ‘prototypes’ of speech sound categories minimize the perceptual distance between themselves and neighboring stimuli in the same category. This phenomenon has been termed the ‘perceptual magnet effect’ (PME). The present study extends work on the PME to a speech sound category previously unstudied in this paradigm (American English /æ/), and to bilingual speech sound representation and perception. American English monolinguals and Turkish-English bilinguals completed identification tasks, category goodness rating tasks, and same-different discrimination tasks with synthesized vowel sounds from the American English /æ/ category ...


Phonologically-Informed Speech Coding For Automatic Speech Recognition-Based Foreign Language Pronunciation Training, Anthony J. Vicario 2020 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Phonologically-Informed Speech Coding For Automatic Speech Recognition-Based Foreign Language Pronunciation Training, Anthony J. Vicario

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) and computer-assisted pronunciation training (CAPT) systems used in foreign-language educational contexts are often not developed with the specific task of second-language acquisition in mind. Systems that are built for this task are often excessively targeted to one native language (L1) or a single phonemic contrast and are therefore burdensome to train. Current algorithms have been shown to provide erroneous feedback to learners and show inconsistencies between human and computer perception. These discrepancies have thus far hindered more extensive application of ASR in educational systems.

This thesis reviews the computational models of the human perception of American ...


The Stability Of Segmental Properties Across Genre And Corpus Types In Low-Resource Languages, Uriel Cohen Priva, Shiying Yang, Emily Strand 2020 Brown University

The Stability Of Segmental Properties Across Genre And Corpus Types In Low-Resource Languages, Uriel Cohen Priva, Shiying Yang, Emily Strand

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Are written corpora useful for phonological research? Word frequency lists for low-resource languages have become ubiquitous in recent years (Scannell, 2007). For many languages there is direct correspondence between their written forms and their alphabets, but it is not clear whether written corpora can adequately represent language use. We use 15 low-resource languages and compare several information-theoretic properties across three corpus types. We show that despite differences in origin and genre, estimates in one corpus are highly correlated with estimates in other corpora.


Tier-Based Strictly Local Stringsets: Perspectives From Model And Automata Theory, Dakotah Lambert, James Rogers 2020 Stony Brook University

Tier-Based Strictly Local Stringsets: Perspectives From Model And Automata Theory, Dakotah Lambert, James Rogers

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Defined by Heinz et al. (2011) the Tier-Based Strictly Local (TSL) class of stringsets has not previously been characterized by an abstract property that allows one to prove a stringset's membership or lack thereof. We provide here two such characterizations: a generalization of suffix substitution closure and an algorithm based on deterministic finite-state automata (DFAs). We use the former to prove closure properties of the class. Additionally, we extend the approximation and constraint-extraction algorithms of Rogers and Lambert (2019a) to account for TSL constraints, allowing for free conversion between TSL logical formulae and DFAs.


Extending The Autosegmental Input Strictly Local Framework: Metrical Dominance And Floating Tones, Yuhong Zhu 2020 The Ohio State University

Extending The Autosegmental Input Strictly Local Framework: Metrical Dominance And Floating Tones, Yuhong Zhu

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

This paper extends the empirical coverage of the Autosegmental Input Strictly Local (A-ISL) framework (Chandlee and Jardine, 2019) by analyzing three tonal processes: floating tone suffixation in Cantonese, metrical dominance effect in Shanghai Chinese, and a combination of floating tones and metrical dominance in Suzhou Chinese. I show both the adequacy and inadequacy of the current A-ISL framework: it locally resolves some tonal processes that are otherwise non-local (Shanghai), but fails to account for other empirical data due to a lack of tonal membership specification (Suzhou). With the addition of a morphological affiliation tier, I propose an analysis for the ...


Questioning To Resolve Transduction Problems, Eric Meinhardt, Anna Mai, Eric Bakovic, Adam McCollum 2020 UC San Diego

Questioning To Resolve Transduction Problems, Eric Meinhardt, Anna Mai, Eric Bakovic, Adam Mccollum

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Elgot & Mezei (1965) show that non-deterministic regular functions (NDRFs) 𝚽 are compositions ρ ⚬ λ of two contradirectional subsequential functions (SSQs), where λ is unbounded lookahead for ρ. Such decompositions facilitate the identification of processes that require supra-SSQ expressivity. We use concepts adapted from decision theory to outline a set of necessary and sufficient properties for a composition ρ ⚬ λ to define a non-SSQ NDRF 𝚽. These conditions define a set of functions between the IF-WDRFs (McCollum et al. 2018, Hao & Andersson 2019) and proper NDRFs, organized in terms of a precise notion of the degree of lookahead that λ provides ...


Frequency Matching Behavior In On-Line Maxent Learners, Charlie O'Hara 2020 University of Southern California

Frequency Matching Behavior In On-Line Maxent Learners, Charlie O'Hara

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

No abstract provided.


Modelling Non-Local Maps As Strictly Piecewise Functions, Phillip A. Burness, Kevin McMullin 2020 University of Ottawa, Canada

Modelling Non-Local Maps As Strictly Piecewise Functions, Phillip A. Burness, Kevin Mcmullin

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

No abstract provided.


Multi-Input Strict Local Functions For Tonal Phonology, Jonathan Rawski, Hossep Dolatian 2020 Stony Brook University

Multi-Input Strict Local Functions For Tonal Phonology, Jonathan Rawski, Hossep Dolatian

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

This paper presents an automata-theoretic characterization of the typology of attested tonal patterns using enriched data structures. We generalize the Input Strictly Local class of functions to consider multiple inputs of tonal and segmental strings, and find that the associated strictly local multi-tape transducers successfully capture tonal typology. Links between automata-theoretic and logical characterizations of phonological expressivity showcase the tradeoffs in data structure and locality in the expressivity of phonological computation.


Effects Of Phonological Contrast On Within-Category Phonetic Variation, Ivy Hauser 2019 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Effects Of Phonological Contrast On Within-Category Phonetic Variation, Ivy Hauser

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation investigates an often assumed hypothesis in phonetics and phonology: that there should be relatively less within-category phonetic variation in production in languages which have relatively more phonological contrasts (Lindblom, 1986, on vowels). Although this hypothesis is intuitive, there is little existing evidence to support the claim and it is difficult to generalize outside of vowels. In this dissertation, I argue that this hypothesis is not trivially true and needs additional specification. I propose an extension of this hypothesis, Contrast-Dependent Variation, which predicts relative differences in extent of within-category variation between languages and individual speakers. Contrast-Dependent Variation can make ...


Learning Reduplication With A Neural Network Without Explicit Variables, Brandon Prickett, Aaron Traylor, Joe Pater 2019 Brown University

Learning Reduplication With A Neural Network Without Explicit Variables, Brandon Prickett, Aaron Traylor, Joe Pater

Joe Pater

Reduplicative linguistic patterns have been used as evidence for explicit algebraic variables in models of cognition. Here we show that a variable-free neural network can model these patterns in a way that predicts observed human behavior. Specifically, we successfully simulate the three experiments presented by Marcus et al. (1999), as well as Endress et al.’s (2007) partial replication of one of those experiments. We then explore the model’s ability to generalize reduplicative mappings to different kinds of novel inputs. Using Berent’s (2013) scopes of generalization as a metric, we find that the model matches the scope of ...


Prepositional Phrase Attachment Ambiguities In Declarative And Interrogative Contexts: Oral Reading Data, Tyler J. Peckenpaugh 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Prepositional Phrase Attachment Ambiguities In Declarative And Interrogative Contexts: Oral Reading Data, Tyler J. Peckenpaugh

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Certain English sentences containing multiple prepositional phrases (e.g., She had planned to cram the paperwork in the drawer into her briefcase) have been reported to be prone to mis-parsing of a kind that is standardly called a “garden path.” The mis-parse stems from the temporary ambiguity of the first prepositional phrase (PP1: in the drawer), which tends to be interpreted initially as the goal argument of the verb cram. If the sentence ended there, that would be correct. But that analysis is overridden when the second prepositional phrase (PP2: into her briefcase) is encountered, since the into phrase can ...


The Interaction Of Domain-Initial Effects With Lexical Stress: Acoustic Data From English, Spanish, And Portuguese, Ricardo F. Napoleão de Souza 2019 University of New Mexico

The Interaction Of Domain-Initial Effects With Lexical Stress: Acoustic Data From English, Spanish, And Portuguese, Ricardo F. Napoleão De Souza

Linguistics ETDs

The phonetic implementation of domain-initial boundaries has gained considerable attention in the literature. However, most studies of the phenomenon have investigated small samples of articulatory data in which target syllables were lexically prominent and/or phrasally accented, introducing important potential confounds. This dissertation tackles these issues by examining how domain-initial effects operate on the acoustic properties of fully unstressed word-initial CV syllables in phrasally unaccented words. Similar materials were designed for a reading task in which 14 speakers of English, Spanish and Portuguese, languages that differ in how lexical prominence affects segmental makeup, took part. Results from the acoustic analyses ...


Information Literacy In The Phonology Classroom, Jonathan Howell, Catherine Baird 2019 Montclair State University

Information Literacy In The Phonology Classroom, Jonathan Howell, Catherine Baird

Jonathan Howell

Most of our students, particularly undergraduates, are not destined to become phonologists, or even linguists. Our primary goal, then, ought not to be instruction of any specific theory, topic or dataset. The imperative is to develop in students the literacies which inform the practice of phonology but which will also serve students in other arenas. In this talk, we discuss a collaboration between phonologist and librarian to embed information literacy into a one-semester undergraduate introduction to phonology. We want to help students to uncover the threshold concepts identified as central to information literacy by the Association of College & Research Libraries ...


Neural Indices Of Vowel Discrimination In Monolingual And Bilingual Infants And Children, Yan H. Yu, Carol Tessel, Henry Han, Luca Campanelli, Nancy Vidal, Jennifer Gerometta, Karen Garrido-Nag, Hia Datta, Valerie L. Shafer 2019 CUNY Graduate Center, St. John’s University

Neural Indices Of Vowel Discrimination In Monolingual And Bilingual Infants And Children, Yan H. Yu, Carol Tessel, Henry Han, Luca Campanelli, Nancy Vidal, Jennifer Gerometta, Karen Garrido-Nag, Hia Datta, Valerie L. Shafer

Publications and Research

Objectives: To examine maturation of neural discriminative responses to an English vowel contrast from infancy to 4 years of age and to determine how biological factors (age and sex) and an experiential factor (amount of Spanish versus English input) modulate neural discrimination of speech.

Design: Event-related potential (ERP) mismatch responses (MMRs) were used as indices of discrimination of the American English vowels [ε] versus [I] in infants and children between 3 months and 47 months of age. A total of 168 longitudinal and cross-sectional data sets were collected from 98 children (Bilingual Spanish–English: 47 male and 31 female sessions ...


The Pin/Pen Merger, Isaiah Solorzano 2019 Kansas State University Libraries

The Pin/Pen Merger, Isaiah Solorzano

Kansas State University Undergraduate Research Conference

The Sound Change Across Kansas: PEN/PIN Merger

Isaiah Solorzano, Mary Kohn

Department of English

College of Arts & Sciences

Mergers, a sound change that present themselves in the background of everyday conversations, usually going unnoticed and uninterrupted across speech communities. I am interested in the sound change of short vowels found in word pairs like pen-pin, shown to be changing [1]. In 2014, Strelluf suggested the low-back merger is present in Kansas City due, in part, to a large initial population of South Midland speakers. This study indicates the merger should be advancing [1]. We do not understand, entirely, how ...


The Effects Of English Pronunciation Instruction On Listening Skills Among Vietnamese Learners, Nguyet Nguyen 2019 Grand Valley State University

The Effects Of English Pronunciation Instruction On Listening Skills Among Vietnamese Learners, Nguyet Nguyen

Masters Theses

Listening has been a neglected skill in both second language research and teaching practice (Khaghaninejad & Maleki, 2015; Nowrouzi, Tam, Zareian & Nimehchisalem, 2015) and recent research has shown that second language (L2) listening difficulties might relate to phonological problems besides syntactic and lexical knowledge (e.g., Suristro, 2018). There have been some empirical studies examining the effects of phonetic instruction on perceptual skills showing promising results (e.g., Aliaga-Garcia & Mora, 2009; Linebaugh & Roche, 2013). This study contributes to this area with a focus on investigating the impacts of English pronunciation instruction on listening skills among Vietnamese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners, targeting the four English phonemes: word-final stop consonants /t/-/d/, the lax high front vowel /ɪ/ and the tense high front vowel /i/. Particularly, it examines whether pronunciation instruction would have effects on (a) students’ abilities to listen to and distinguish target phonemes, and (b) students’ abilities to listen to ...


A Perception Study Of Rioplatense Spanish, Cecelia Staggs 2019 Boise State University

A Perception Study Of Rioplatense Spanish, Cecelia Staggs

McNair Scholars Research Journal

Rioplatense Spanish (RPS; Argentina and Uruguay) is known for its distinctive pronunciation features. In Standard American Spanish, the sound associated with the letters ‘y’ or ‘ll’ is [j] (as in ‘yellow’), but in RPS the sound is [ʒ] (as in ‘measure’) or, more recently, [ʃ] (as in ‘shoe’). Previous studies found this sound change (from [ʒ] to [ʃ]) is almost complete in speakers from Uruguay and Argentina, but the change in Uruguay is more recent. In this study, RPS speakers from both countries were presented with audio recordings of words containing all possible variants of the sounds [j], [ʒ], and ...


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