14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Exploring Syllable Structure in Connectionist Networks

Marc F. Joanisse

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

This work explores the typological observation that syllables are asymmetric in their treatment of onsets and codas; many languages permit only onsets, few require codas, and none prohibit onsets. It is theorized that phonetic and computational factors are responsible for these types of syllabic structures, and that optimal syllables are those that enhance production and perception. This theory is investigated using connectionist models of word recognition and production. Results indicate that certain consonant classes are more easily perceived in CV syllables than in VC syllables, and that this will lead to statistical preferences for these types of phoneme sequences within and across languages. These results are contrasted with the more traditional view which posits innate symbolic mechanisms to account for phonological patterns.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Joanisse, Marc F. (1999): "Exploring syllable structure in connectionist networks", In ICPhS-14, 731-734.