Posting pre-prints for possible perusal

At times, I find I must choose whether to write a blog post or work on manuscripts that are in various stages of development. For obvious reasons, I usually choose to work on manuscripts.

Typically, once the manuscripts that I am first author on are submitted for review, I post them on my CV page (e.g., this one). Today, I decided to post a manuscript¬†(with a supplement)¬†that is not yet under review. It’s currently in the hands of some co-authors, so I will post a revised version when I get their comments and prepare it for anonymous peer review.

This new paper is on the relationships between abstract phonological consonant categories (e.g., /p/, /b/, /t/, and /d/, as in ‘pin’, ‘bin’, ‘tin’, and ‘din’) and the measurable acoustic properties of produced consonants. The take-home points are:

  1. The mapping between categories and acoustics is many-to-many and very complex (more complex than one might gather from reading acoustic phonetics papers, even).
  2. The common assumptions of homogeneity of variance and statistical independence between acoustic measures are usually wrong.
  3. Syllable position (e.g., ‘pea’ vs. ‘eep’) modulates the acoustic structure of phonological categories in a number of complicated ways.

I’ll have another new manuscript up soon, this one on various theoretical and statistical issues with GRT model identifiability. I also plan to write a long(ish) post about the first paper in the new issue of Language (TOC pdf) before too long, since it’s a compelling mix of an interesting empirical pattern and either sloppy or nefarious statistical treatment, which is turning out to be the kind of thing that gets me going, blog-wise.

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