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Individual variation in English flaps and taps: A case of categorical phonetics

  • Donald Derrick (a1) and Bryan Gick (a2)

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This article questions the view that phonetics governs exclusively gradient phenomena. Experimental data from an ultrasound study of English flap allophones show unconditioned categorical variation in the production of everyday words. Individual variation is discussed as an essential area of empirical investigation in uncovering emergent categorical properties of language.

Résumé

Cet article remet en question l'idée selon laquelle la phonétique gouverne des phénomènes exclusivement gradients. Des données expérimentales d'une étude ultrasonique d'allophones à consonnes vibrantes en anglais montrent une variation catégorique inconditionnée dans la production de mots courants. La variation individuelle est présentée comme un domaine d'investigation empirique essentiel pour découvrir les propriétés catégoriques émergentes du langage.

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