Speech Prosody 2014

Slovak prosody in the phonetics-phonology debate: Yers and emergent prosodic breaks.

Stefan Benus
Prosody is central for understanding the cognitive system underlying human speech and relates to both more granular aspects of our phonological competence as well as more continuous aspects of observable articulatory movements and resulting acoustic characteristics. The understanding, and formal treatment, of the relationship between these two inter-related components of human speech is at the core of the cognitive approach to speech. In this presentation I contribute to this discussion by drawing links between two seemingly unrelated lines of my research on Slovak, and argue that understanding the continuous prosodic nature of speech is critical for improving our understanding of cognitive competence underlying it. The first aspect concerns yer vowels as the prototypical problem of Slavic phonology, the second involves the nature of prosodic boundaries.