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The Role Of The Syllable In Speech Production In American English: A Fresh Consideration Of The Evidence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines a range of traditional arguments often cited in support of the syllable as a unit of speech production. The chapter focuses on the possible role of the syllable in the production of English; a number of lines of evidence in the literature suggest that speakers of different languages do not share the same processing representations for perception, and it is certainly possible that the same claim can be made for production. The chapter reviews the evidence that is traditionally cited in support of the syllable as a representational constituent, raising a number of caveats for the interpretation of these lines of evidence. It considers a new line of evidence based on syllable frequency effects; summarizes an alternative model to these syllable-based approaches; and, concludes with a number of lessons to be learned from a careful re-evaluation of arguments for the role of the syllable in speech production.

Keywords: English; speech production; syllable



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