I’m leading a seminar next term with the lofty title “Interarticulatory Timing in Speech and Sign”.
My intent was to explore issues of ‘segmenthood’ and the emergence, utility, and empiriciality of ‘organizing units’ like segments, moras, syllables, etc. I planned to start with general issues touching on articulatory content of features, coarticulation and coproduction, and Dani Byrd (principally)’s take on coordination within and between ‘units’ (syllables, words, phrases). And hopefully allow discussion on both speechand sign, the similarities, the differences, and so on.
The punchline for the course would be a task-dynamic, coordinative structure-based view of the articulators, conceptualized as a gestural score as in Articulatory Phonology (Browman & Goldstein 1986ff).I really wanted to ask, for signed languages, particularly ASL, what are the necessary articulators to specify, and how ‘simultaneous’ some of the simultaneous gestures really are, and what, in terms of timing, is coordinating them.
It’s now November, and I’m not really much closer to having an initial reading list down than I was a couple months ago. So I’m turning to you, my learned friends, to help.
I’m looking for an initial 20 or so papers to form the backbone of the readings for discussion. Topics should include things like:
- ‘Reality’ of units like segment, mora/syllable, and other prosodic units
- Task-dynamics, articulatory phonology, gestural scores (Browman & Goldstein 1986 ff)
- Coarticulation and coproduction and the representation of timing (here I’m thinking things like Beckman or Jun on high-vowel devoicing as gestural overlap/undershoot)
- Possibly epenehesis/excresence as an issue in timing
- Timing within and between units (here I’m thinking Dani Byrd’s stuff on within and cross syllable coordination, and things like that)
- ‘Simultaneity’ and ‘sequentiality’ in signed languages
- Coordination of nonmanuals (e.g. alternatives to Baker & Padden?)
- ‘Universality’ or not of units like the syllable (possibly early Corina etc debates about Ms and Hs being like Cs and Vs, Brentari vs other views of ‘syllables’ or similar units)
- Things like how movements and handshape changes are coordinated within and across signs (i.e. in compounds vs in phrases?)
- Emergence of units as ‘targets’ for coordination (here I’m thinking about acoustic landmarks in the Stevens sense, articulatory landmarks (closure, release, VO, steady-state), and non-coordination/control of specific things (like onset of nasality)
- Exteneding the above, prosodic units and processes occurring ‘around’ edges, like Nicodemus on phrase-ends in ASL interpretation, fortition/lenition processes, reset processes, and so on
- And so on.
So I have a few ideas, but if anyone has anything the could point me to, I’d be really, really grateful.
Production of spoken and signed language involves coordinating physical movements of the articulators (whether the vocal tract or the hands and body) in real time. But what are the units of articulatory control, and how are they organized with respect to one another? Are the sequentiality or simultaneity of gestures on different articulators the product of higher-order timing ‘units’ (e.g. segments, syllables) or do such units emerge from a more variable articulatory dynamic? What are the limits of inter-articulator timing, and do the same limits apply in both spoken and signed language?< Some of the issues we will explore may include the kinesiological content of contrastive and enhancing features in speech and sign, task dynamics and Articulatory Phonology (Browman and Goldstein 1986, inter alia), coproduction and coarticulation, and the emergence of units like segments and syllables from ‘landmarks’.