UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 9 (1997)

The relative complexity of Catalan vowels and their perceptual correlates


Different phonological analyses of front-mid vowels can be seen to agree on one point: [e] is more complex than []. Support for the validity of this claim is potentially available from perceptual and acquisitional studies. The vowels of Catalan are described, and procedures detailed which identify formant values for Catalan front-mid vowels. Empirical tests using native speakers and English controls reveal prototypes for these vowels in vocalic space. No link between perception and complexity is observed, but the findings augur well for future work in acquisition.

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