The current project lies in the area of speech production and models of mental word form representation (phonological encoding). While this field has long relied on transcription-based evaluation of speech error data in order to gain insight into underlying cognitive processes, a perceptual study by Pulpier & Goldstein (submitted) casts doubt on the validity of transcription data as research tool in speech production, since perceptual factors may considerably bias the data. Also Pulpier (in preparation) and Goldstein et al. (submitted) have collected tongue movement data showing that error patterns observed in articulator data can differ considerably from transcription-based studies. This forces to re-examine the properties of speech errors and to reconsider the theoretical implications that have been advanced on the basis of speech error data. Building on the initial work by Pulpier and Goldstein et al., we propose experiments that track tongue movement during speech with the aim of identifying primitive units in speech production and of understanding their language particular combination properties. We will examine how stability patterns as they emerge in ireful utterances interact with prosodies position (syllable and word position, stress) and how these interactions can differ cross-linguistically, e.g. in syllable-based versus template-based (Semitic) languages. We further will examine parallels between speech errors of normal speakers and pathologically disordered speech. Although similarities between different kinds of anomalous utterances have been noted, there has been no systematic investigation comparing the different speaker populations on the basis of articulator data. Overall, the empirical work seeks to investigate how coordinated movement manifest in vocal tract actions can be used to understand abstract cognitive processes with the ultimate goal of relating speech research to general principles in human actions.
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