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Francesco Burroni & Sam Tilsen publish in the Journal of Phonetics

PhD Candidate Francesco Burroni & Dr. Sam Tilsen published an article in the March 22, 2022  edition of the Journal of Phonetics - the article title is  The online effect of clash is durational lengthening, not prominence shift: Evidence from Italian, with the following abstract:

A fundamental question about speech is whether it is governed by rhythmic constraints.

One phenomenon that may support the existence of such constraints is the rhythm rule, a phonological pattern hypothesized to resolve prominence clashes and enforce alternations of prominent and non-prominent syllables via shift/deletion of stress and/or pitch accents.

We evaluated evidence for the rhythm rule by studying the acoustic correlates of clash in two experiments with speakers of Italian.

We found that the first prominent syllable in a clash displays a durational increase and more extreme formant values, when compared to no clash. Thus, a clash is manifested as a localized decrease in speech rate, not as a change to the prominence profile of a word.

Since durational increases have been reported for other languages, we argue that they are an online acoustic correlate of clash. We compare two dynamical models of the durational effects, rooted in the framework of Articulatory Phonology: a π-gesture model and a feedback modulation model.

Based on our findings, we argue that the rhythm rule is best conceptualized as the result of contextual biases on lexical selection of prominence patterns.




25th January 2022

Katherine Blake to present at LSA 2022

Grad student Katherine Blake will present a paper titled "Avoiding phonological markedness via word ordering in French and Italian" at the upcoming Linguistics Society of America (LSA) Conference, to be held virtually in January 2022.


This work investigates the phonological conditioning factors on variable word order of {noun, adjective} phrases in two Romance languages: French and Italian.


In both of these languages, the default order of modified noun phrases is [noun adjective], with the modifier coming postnominally (Laenzlinger, 2005; Cinque, 2010). Prenominal order, [adjective noun] is also available for some adjectives.


Critically, there are cases reported in the literature where certain adjectives are permissible in both positions, some without a difference in meaning. Examples of all three types are below (French: Knittel, 2005; Italian: Cinque, 2010).


Results of a corpus study conducted for the present work show evidence for the effects of phonological conditioning on this word ordering.

2nd November 2021

Maspong & Burroni will present at AMP 2021

Cornell grad students Sireemas Maspong and Francesco Burroni, along with UC Berkeley grad student Raksit Lau-Preechathammarach will present a paper at the Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2021), to be held online Oct. 1-3, 2021


Their paper is titled "Unifying Initial Geminates and fortis stops via laryngeal specification: Three case studies from Pattani Malay, Salentino, and Dunan" 

16th August 2021

Stefansdottir, Burroni, and Tilsen will present at Interspeech 2021

On September 3, 2021  grad student Brynhildur Stefansdottir, grad student Francesco Burroni, and Dr. Sam Tilsen will present a paper at Interspeech 2021 titled:  Articulatory Characteristics of Icelandic Voiced Fricative Lenition: Gradience, Categoricity, and Speaker/Gesture-Specific Effects.

16th August 2021