Jonathan Havenhill

Articulatory Phonetics

A central focus of my research is on the use of ultrasound and other articulatory methods to investigate the articulation of sound changes in progress. A key example of this line of research is a series of studies I have conducted on the articulation of the Northern Cities Shift (NCS) among speakers in Detroit and Chicago. While the NCS stands as one of the most widely studied examples of a sound change in progress, very few studies consider how this sound change, or any other sound change, is realized in terms of its articulation. In an ultrasound study of speakers from Metro Detroit, I (along with my colleague Youngah Do) found variability with respect to how fronted /ɔ/ is articulated, suggesting that speakers can use differing articulatory configurations to achieve the same acoustic change. On the other hand, the degree to which round vowels like /ɔ/ can vary in their articulation seems to be constrained by audiovisual perceptual factors, such that speakers from Chicago tend to prefer visibly round variants of fronted /ɔ/ over unround variants.

In my 2018 dissertation, I also conducted an articulatory study of back vowel fronting among speakers from Southern California and South Carolina, finding that speakers tend to retain the lip rounding gesture for fronted /u/ and /o/, contrary to some previous descriptions of these vowels as unrounded.

More recently, I have investigated the articulation of the sibilants of Hong Kong Cantonese, which have undergone an allophonic split between alveolar and alveolo-palatal affricates. This work was completed in collaboration with Ping Hei Yeung (Georgetown). The few previous studies to examine this sound change have attributed it to the borrowing of alveolo-palatal affricates under influence from English post-alveolars. We performed an apparent-time analysis of dynamic ultrasound and lip video data to show that the alveolo-palatal allophone is in fact the conservative variant, which has been preserved before round vowels while the sibilants undergo fronting elsewhere. These findings highlight that articulatory study is indispensable in establishing the underlying phonetic motivations for emerging sociophonetic variants.

In joint work with Elizabeth Zsiga, One Tlale Boyer, and Stacy Petersen (Georgetown), I investigated the labiocoronal fricatives of Setswana and Sebirwa, which are described in the literature as exhibiting frication at both a lingual and a labial constriction. We conducted a study of these sounds with a combination of ultrasound, video, acoustic, and aerodynamic analysis. We argue that the sound is not in fact doubly articulated, but instead exhibits a distinct type of secondary labialization whereby the lips are compressed rather than rounded.

Papers:

Yeung, Ping Hei, and Jonathan Havenhill. Under Review, 2022. Acoustic ambiguity and articulatory re-analysis: Variation and change in the Hong Kong Cantonese sibilants.

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2019. Articulatory strategies for back vowel fronting in American English. Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2018. Constraints on articulatory variability: Audiovisual perception of lip rounding. Doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan, and Youngah Do. 2018. Visual speech perception cues constrain patterns of articulatory variation and sound change. Frontiers in Psychology 9.728. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00728.

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2015. An ultrasound analysis of the low back vowels in the Northern Cities Vowel Shift. Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, ed. by The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015. Glasgow, UK: University of Glasgow. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2015. Maintenance of the cot-caught contrast among Detroit speakers: A multimodal articulatory analysis. University of Pennsylvania working papers in linguistics, Selected papers from NWAV 43, 21: 2. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania. [PDF]

Presentations:

Chen, Changhe, and Jonathan Havenhill. 2022. Articulation of the oral-nasal vowel contrast in Chaoshan Chinese. Paper presented at the 18th Conference of the Association for Laboratory Phonology (LabPhon18), virtual. [PDF]

Yeung, Ping Hei, and Jonathan Havenhill. 2021. Acoustic ambiguity leads to articulatory re-analysis: Affricate Palatalization in Hong Kong Cantonese. Paper presented at the 33rd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL 33), University of Chicago [virtual]. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2020. Visually-oriented enhancement of vowel contrast in the Northern Cities Shift. Poster presented at the 17th Conference of the Association for Laboratory Phonology (LabPhon17). [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2019. Articulatory strategies for back vowel fronting in American English. Paper presented at the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2019), Melbourne, Australia. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2018. Audiovisual cue enhancement in the production and perception of the cot-caught contrast. Paper presented at the 47th New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV47), New York, NY. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan. 2018. Articulation and enhancement of fronted back vowels in American English. Poster presented at the 16th Conference of the Association for Laboratory Phonology (LabPhon16), Lisbon, Portugal.

Havenhill, Jonathan; Elizabeth C. Zsiga; One Tlale Boyer; and Stacy Petersen. 2017. Ultrasound as a tool for language documentation: The production of labio-coronal fricatives in Setswana. Paper presented at Ultrafest VIII, Potsdam, Germany. [PDF]

Havenhill, Jonathan; Elizabeth C. Zsiga; One Tlale Boyer; and Stacy Petersen. 2017. Ultrasound as a tool for language documentation: The production of labio-coronal fricatives in Setswana. Paper presented at Ultrafest VIII, Potsdam, Germany. [PDF]