Expanding phonological horizons: The Role of Aerodynamics in Phonology (RAedyPhon)

Special session organized as part of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (http://www.icphs2011.hk/index.htm)
Hong Kong, 17-21 August 2011

Organizers: Marzena Żygis (ZAS, Berlin) and Maria-Josep Solé (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

While articulation and more recently perception have essentially contributed to our under-standing of phonological patterns and processes, aerodynamics is still underrepresented in phonetic and phonological research.

In this workshop we would like to draw the audience’s attention to the valuable contribution of aerodynamics to explaining phonological phenomena. As some recent studies have shown, aerodynamic factors play a key role in explaining both synchronic and diachronic phonological processes in which e.g. voicing, nasalization, trilling, affrication, implosivization are involved (cf. work by Demolin, Ohala, Shosted, Solé). Aerodynamics also appears to be indispensable in understanding cross-linguistic gaps in phonemic inventories, such as the avoidance of voiced sibilants or voiced velar stops (Maddieson, Ohala).

In this workshop we will not only review phonological phenomena which have been explained by aerodynamic factors but we will also point to selected areas in phonology which could greatly benefit from this approach. For example, relatively little has been done to apply aerodynamic evidence to prosodic phonology although its contribution maybe essential in understanding, for example, the shaping of boundaries. Furthermore, some phonological features, despite being rooted in the aerodynamics, have not been explored from this perspective, specifically with respect to their universal character and/or language-specific variation. Finally, the aerodynamics of several sound types and especially their occurrence in clusters requires further research in order to better understand phonotactics and its preferred patterns in the world’s languages.

The workshop will also provide a forum for phoneticians and phonologists to discuss aerodynamic modelling and its use in phonological research. Finally, an overview of the latest technical developments relevant for aerodynamic research will be given with the focus on linking aerodynamics and articulatory data.

Presenters:

Marzena Zygis, ZAS Berlin
'Expanding phonological horizons: On the role of aerodynamics in phonology'

John Ohala University of California, Berkeley
'Accommodation to the aerodynamic voicing constraint and its phonological relevance'

Ryan K. Shosted University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
'An EMA-aerodynamic approach to the velic opening hypothesis: evidence from Hindi vowel pairs'

Didier Demolin GIPSA-Lab, Université Stendhal Grenoble III, Grenoble
'The influence of aerodynamic constraints on the shape and the dynamics of phonological systems'

Maria-Josep Solé Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona,
Ronald Sprouse University of California, Berkeley
'Voice-initiating gestures in Spanish: prenasalization'