Speech Error Evidence on the Role of the Vowel in Syllable Structure

Erin Rusaw, Jennifer S Cole

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


To explore the role of syllable structure in speech
production, we conducted a study comparing C and V errors elicited through fast, paced repetition of nonsense CVC syllables. Subjects produced dis proportionally more errors on consonants than on vowels, and more errors on onsets than on codas. There was no significant difference between the number of errors over CV and VC sequences. Also, most vowel errors were produced in conjunction with an error on one or both adjacent consonants, while most consonant errors were produced in isolation. These findings are at odds with the model of hierarchical syllable structure, especially in the disparity between singleton vowel and consonant errors. The observed pattern of speech errors is more consistent with the syllable model of Articulatory Phonology, where the vowel is not simply a subconstituent of the rime, but plays a more central role in the coordination of consonantal elements with the vocalic nucleus of the syllable.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2011


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