Storme (2016) – The adaptation of French liquids in Haitian: A test of the perceptual hypothesis

The adaptation of French liquids in Haitian: A test of the perceptual hypothesis
Benjamin Storme
June 2016
Direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003029
Haitian Creole shows an asymmetry in the way it adapted French liquids: the French lateral has a correspondent in Haitian in post-vocalic coda position, but the French rhotic was elided in this position. This paper provides the first empirical test of the hypothesis according to which this asymmetry is perceptually grounded, with the French coda rhotic being less perceptible and therefore harder to learn than the French coda lateral. The results are broadly compatible with the perceptual hypothesis: (i) the coda lateral was to found to be more perceptible on average than the coda rhotic for French hearers in four different segmental contexts and (ii) the coda lateral was found to be never less perceptible than the coda rhotic in any of those contexts. The results also suggest that the deletion vs. maintenance of a sound in a given context cannot be explained only in terms of whether this sound is above or under a certain perceptual threshold in this context, but that either a notion of average perceptibility or phonological regularization across contexts is necessary in addition.

Format: pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003029
(please use that when you cite this article, unless you want to cite the full url: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003029)
keywords: phonology, phonetics, perception, haitian, french, creole, phonology
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Posted in Research (e.g. papers, books)