Nature of Contrast and Coarticulation: Evidence from Mizo Tones and Assamese Vowel Harmony

Indranil Dutta, Irfan S., Pamir Gogoi, Priyankoo Sarmah


Tonal coarticulation is universally found to be greater in extent in the carryover direction compared to the anticipatory direction ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5]) leading to assimilatory processes. In general, carryover coarticulation has been understood to be due to intertio-mechanical forces, and, anticipatory effects are seen to be a consequence of parallel activation of articulatory plans ([6]). In this paper, we report on results from a set of Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) trained to predict adjacent tones in disyllabic sequences. Our results confirm the universal pattern of greater carryover effects in Mizo leading to tonal assimilation. In addition, we report on results from single-layered ANN models and Support Vector Machines (SVM) that predict the identity of V2 from V1 (anticipatory) consistently better than V1 from V2 (carryover) in Assamese non-harmonic #…V1CV2…# sequences. The directionality in the performance of the V1 and V2 models, help us conclude that the directionality effect of coarticulation in Assamese non-harmonic sequences is greater in the anticipatory direction, which is the same direction as in the harmonic sequences. We argue that coarticulatory propensity exhibits a great deal of sensitivity to the nature of contrast in a language.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1304

Cite as: Dutta, I., S., I., Gogoi, P., Sarmah, P. (2017) Nature of Contrast and Coarticulation: Evidence from Mizo Tones and Assamese Vowel Harmony. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 224-228, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1304.


@inproceedings{Dutta2017,
  author={Indranil Dutta and Irfan S. and Pamir Gogoi and Priyankoo Sarmah},
  title={Nature of Contrast and Coarticulation: Evidence from Mizo Tones and Assamese Vowel Harmony},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={224--228},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1304},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1304}
}