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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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The Sci-Files – 3/17/2024 – Yunting Gu – Articulatory Preference: Explaining Universal Sound Patterns

On this week’s episode of The Sci-Files, your hosts Mari and Dimitri interview Yunting Gu.

Despite the differences in languages, some sound patterns are common to most languages of the world. For example, cross-linguistically, syllables starting with pl are more frequently observed than syllables starting with pt, which is more frequent than syllables starting with lp. Also, syllables that have a consonant followed by a vowel (such as so) are more common across different languages than syllables which is a vowel followed by a consonant (such as an). The question is — where do the observed linguistic universals come from? There are two possible answers. First, it may merely be a coincidence that languages share some patterns. Second, linguistic universals may come from some shared property of human beings.

Yunting Gu is a PhD candidate in linguistics from Michigan State University. Her research in speech production suggests a basis for several universals regarding the sound pattern of languages.

If you’re interested in discussing your MSU research on the radio or nominating a student, please email Mari and Dimitri at [email protected].  Check The Sci-Files out on Twitter and Instagram!

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About the Contributors
Mari Dowling
Mari Dowling, Sci-Files Producer and Co-Host
You can contact the Sci-Files hosts at: [email protected]
Dimitri Joseph
Dimitri Joseph, Co-Host of The Sci-Files
Dimitri is a 4th year D.O.-Phd (Pharmacology and Toxicology) student. He is currently in his second year of medical school. He started with Impact 89 FM as a volunteer DJ and is now a co-host of The Sci-Files. Outside of the rigors of the academic hustle, I enjoy consuming or creating a variety of art. "Remind yourself. Nobody is built like you, you designed yourself" - Jay Z

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