Speculative fiction writer, translator, and editor



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Coronal palatalization without dorsal palatalization

This project will focus on full palatalization in English. Specifically, we will examine Chen (1973)’s hierarchy of consonants that palatalize, and we will use English examples to both falsify and corroborate the universal. In section VI, we will discuss whether falsification or corroboration of the universal is more convincing. We will conclude with the implications of our decision for phonological theory, as well as with directions for future research.

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芜湖语 Wuhu Dialect

Presentation containing fieldwork analyzing phonology and tone contours of Wuhu Mandarin.

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RhythmTools.pl: Automating measurements to facilitate analysis of speech rhythm

This experiment, and other experiments that target speech rhythm, produce a large number of files that need to be measured in a consistent manner. Although the script is not equipped to make automatic measurements of utterance and vowel boundaries, it is still able to automate a significant portion of the calculations in a consistent man- ner, thereby reducing the amount of human labor and human error. In particular, the script automatically calculates syllable duration based on vowel length, formants for each vowel, and the PVI for each utterance. The script works in conjunction with information from Praat and rewrites the information along with the output of each calculation into comma-separated value (CSV) files that can be read into other programs for further analysis.

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Colloquial Singapore English phonology through the lens of Optimality Theory

English in Singapore, once seen as a neutral, foreign language with no connection to Singaporean identity, has been gradually transformed over the last two hundred years to become a nativized variety with its own unique lexicon and unique grammar. The origin of certain phonological pro- cesses unique to Singapore English is in particular difficult to trace and break down because of the influence of the multitude of other languages spoken in the area, as well as the interaction between these substrates, particularly as it was shaped through the school system. Further, Singapore English can be roughly broken down into Standard Singapore English (SSE)—an acrolectal form of Singapore English that is fairly similar to Received Pronunciation, with the exception of some phonological processes—and Colloquial Singapore English (CSE)—a mesolectal/basilectal form of Singapore English that can be unintelligible to those who speak other varieties of English.

Prior analyses of the phonology of Colloquial Singapore English (which will be the focus of this paper as well) have focused on providing documentation of the variety, in particular through rule- based formalisms. However, rule-based phonology has increasingly been disfavored in our current formal system of generative phonology. Instead, how can we represent phonological processes of CSE in an optimality theory (OT) framework, as opposed to a rule-based, purely descriptive framework? In particular, I will draw from a number of previously-attested OT constraints to describe three phonological phenomena in CSE: (1) vowel monophthongization, (2) de-syllabifying syllabic consonants, and (3) deletion of word-final obstruents. In this paper, I will be proposing a number of constraints that will be ranked accordingly in order to produce the desired outputs from our given inputs.

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