a1 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Two factors have been proposed as the main determinants of phonological typology: channel bias, phonetically systematic errors in transmission, and analytic bias, cognitive predispositions making learners more receptive to some patterns than others. Much of typology can be explained equally well by either factor, making them hard to distinguish empirically. This study presents evidence that analytic bias is strong enough to create typological asymmetries in a case where channel bias is controlled. I show that (i) phonological dependencies between the height of two vowels are typologically more common than dependencies between vowel height and consonant voicing, (ii) the phonetic precursors of the height-height and height-voice patterns are equally robust and (iii) in two experiments, English speakers learned a height-height pattern and a voice-voice pattern better than a height-voice pattern. I conclude that both factors contribute to typology, and discuss hypotheses about their interaction.
* I am indebted to many people for discussion of the ideas and facts presented here, including Adam Albright, Dani Byrd, Andries Coetzee, Paul de Lacy, Abigail Kaun, Shigeto Kawahara, John McCarthy, Steve Parker, Joe Pater, Amanda Seidl, Jennifer L. Smith, Paul Smolensky, Donca Steriade, Anne-Michelle Tessier, Rachel Walker, audiences at the University of North Carolina, the University of Southern California, Rutgers University, NELS 37 at the University of Illinois, WCCFL 29 at Berkeley, four anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor. Thanks are also due to Chris Wiesen of UNC's Odum Institute for statistical advice. This research was supported in part by a grant from the University Research Council (UNC). Remaining errors are mine.