Research

Ruaridh Purse - Linguistics

My work focuses on the areas of Phonetics, Phonology, and Sociolinguistics. I am interested in linguistic variation, particularly 'lenition' type processes that could be implemented categorically or on a phonetic continuum. Since the acoustic signal often does not contain information about subtle articulatory variation, I frequently make use of methods for measuring articulatory movements directly.

EMA involves harmlessly adhering tiny sensor coils to a participant's tongue, teeth, and lips, as well as reference points elsewhere on the head. These sensors are then tracked for position and rotation through an electromagnetic field projected from the articulograph. This methodology is slightly more invasive than others, but results in high resolution articulatory movement data.

I am currently using EMA to investigate the presumed categoricity of so-called '/t,d/ Deletion'.

UTI involves placing an ultrasound transducer beneath a participant's chin, which is held in place by stabilisation equipment adjusted for the speaker's head. The researcher can then observe the participant's tongue position and movements on a midsagittal plane.

I am currently interested in using UTI to investigate patterns of /l/-vocalisation in Philadelphia.

There is a long tradition of accounting for linguistic variation as an integral part of the grammar – phonological, rather than purely phonetic. The need for such an analysis is bolstered by evidence for the categoricity of phenomena, as well as morphosyntactic conditioning on their rate of implementation.

I am interested in efforts to incorporate variation into formal phonological architectures. Currently, I am working with Stochastic Optimality Theory to account for rates of variable word-final schwa in French.


 

Research

My work focuses on the areas of Phonetics, Phonology, and Sociolinguistics. I am interested in linguistic variation, particularly 'lenition' type processes that could be implemented categorically or on a phonetic continuum. Since the acoustic signal often does not contain information about subtle articulatory variation, I frequently make use of methods for measuring articulatory movements directly. Find out more about ongoing projects below!

 
 
 EMA participant setup from the ESPF DoubleTalk Corpus.

EMA participant setup from the ESPF DoubleTalk Corpus.

Electromagnetic Articulography (EMA)

EMA involves harmlessly adhering tiny sensor coils to a participant's tongue, teeth, and lips, as well as reference points elsewhere on the head. These sensors are then tracked for position and rotation through an electromagnetic field projected from the articulograph. This methodology is slightly more invasive than others, but results in high resolution articulatory movement data.

I am currently using EMA to investigate the presumed categoricity of so-called '/t,d/ Deletion'.


Ultrasound tongue imaging (UTI)

UTI involves placing an ultrasound transducer beneath a participant's chin, which is held in place by stabilisation equipment adjusted for their head size/shape. The researcher can then observe the participant's tongue shape and movement on a midsagittal or coronal plane.

I am currently interested in using UTI to investigate patterns of /l/ realisation in Philadelphia English.

 UTI image of a speaker producing a 'bunched' /r/.

UTI image of a speaker producing a 'bunched' /r/.


  Presenting a Stochastic OT analysis of Variable Word-Final Schwa in Parisian French at PLC42.

Presenting a Stochastic OT analysis of Variable Word-Final Schwa in Parisian French at PLC42.

The Grammar of Variation

There is a long tradition of accounting for linguistic variation as an integral part of the grammar – phonological rather than purely phonetic. The need for such an analysis is bolstered by evidence for the categoricity of phenomena, as well as morphosyntactic conditioning on their rate of implementation. I am interested in efforts to incorporate variation into formal phonological architectures.

Currently, I am working with Stochastic Optimality Theory to account for rates of variable word-final schwa in Parisian French.