15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Dynamics of Error

Marianne Pouplier

Yale University, USA

We report findings from speech error experiments that challenge particular assumptions about articulatory effort as they have gained widespread currency in recent phonetic and phonological theory. We find that in errors, speakers often add extra gestures that are phonotactically illegal, but crucially create a symmetric frequency pattern. While this increase in number of articulatory events is unexpected under an effort-based approach, from a dynamic perspective we can understand this phenomenon as a transition to an optimally stable mode of coordination. We discuss why articulatory effort cannot be evaluated without reference to dynamic stability relative to the current context of an utterance. Gestures are never per se effortful; rather, changes in complex coordination relations can result from the interplay of different stable attractor basins governed by the dynamic characteristics of speech production.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Pouplier, Marianne (2003): "The dynamics of error", In ICPhS-15, 2245-2248.