Melissa A. Redford

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Among the world's languages, syllable inventories allowing only initial consonants predominate over those allowing both initial and final consonants. Final consonants may be disfavored because they are less easy to identify and/or more difficult to produce than initial consonants. In this study, two perceptual confusion experiments were conducted in which(More)
A computational model of emergent syllable systems is developed based on a set of functional constraints on syllable systems and the assumption that language structure emerges through cumulative change over time. The constraints were derived from general communicative factors as well as from the phonetic principles of perceptual distinctiveness and(More)
The goals of the current study were (1) to assess differences in child and adult pausing, and (2) to determine whether characteristics of child and adult pausing can be explained by the same language variables. Spontaneous speech samples were obtained from ten 5-year-olds and their accompanying parent using a storytelling/retelling task. Analyses of pause(More)
Segmental duration patterns have long been used to support the proposal that syllables are basic speech planning units, but production experiments almost always confound syllable and word boundaries. The current study tried to remedy this problem by comparing word-internal and word-peripheral consonantal duration patterns. Stress and sequencing were used to(More)
In this paper we present an approach to modeling emergent syllable systems using simulated evolution of a " vocabulary " of " words. " The model is aimed at testing the general hypothesis that language-universal sound patterns emerge from selection pressures exerted on the system by the perceptual and articu-latory constraints of language users. The model(More)
Discourse prosody in school-aged children's narratives was investigated to test for developmental changes in transitional prosody and to characterize the acquisition of key contrastive features for marking continuation versus completion. Spontaneous narratives were obtained from 42 children (5 to 7 years old) and 14 adult caregivers. The narratives were(More)
The current study compared children's and adults' ability to produce inherent and context-specific vowel duration differences with their ability to repeatedly produce the same vowel in the same context. Children (5- and 8-year-olds) and adults produced real English words in a frame sentence multiple times. Mean vowel duration and variability in vowel(More)