Georgia Zellou: The seeds and spread of sound change.

Quick Summary

  • Dr. Georgia Zellou has been awarded a research grant from the National Science foundation to investigate individual differences in coarticulatory patterns.

This project investigates coarticulation: the contextual variation in the pronunciation of consonants and vowels when they occur next to other sounds. This project addresses the question of what aspects of this articulatory overlap are universal across speakers and what aspects can vary across speakers, by examining how speakers of American English vary in their coarticulation patterns producing the same set of words. Since coarticulation provides advance information about upcoming sounds in the word, it can be used predictively by listeners to comprehend speech more efficiently. How listeners adapt to cross-speaker variation when using coarticulation to comprehend speech is investigated by examining listeners' tracking and use of cross-talker coarticulatory variation during word comprehension. Finally, this project addresses the role of coarticulatory variation in leading to historical variation across languages. More information can be found in