Role of markedness in the perception of Bengali stops


  • Sreeparna Sarkar University of Delaware



speech perception, Markedness Theory, Bengali stops, voicing, aspiration


Markedness is a theory that was developed on the basis of segmental patterns observed in speech output and has primarily been addressed in regard to speech production in previous studies. According to the Markedness Theory, marked segments are more difficult to produce due to an additional property or “mark” which requires more articulatory effort. However, its effects on speech perception are not discussed in the previous literature. This study examines the role of markedness in perception with Bengali stops. Bengali stops involve two types of markedness or additional properties, voicing and aspiration. Voiced stops (represented as D) are marked with respect to voiceless stops (represented as T), and aspirated stops (TH) are marked with respect to unaspirated stops (T). Voiced aspirated stops bear both additional properties (represented as DH). While the absence of a marked property may make segments easier to produce than those with the property, the question addressed here is whether the same holds true for perception. This study investigates the possibility that the opposite is what is observed. That is, the presence of additional properties may make segments more audible and identifiable. Additionally, this study also investigates whether the combination of multiple marks in the Bengali DH stops lead to a cumulative effect on perception with the best perceptual results for the DH stops. The results from this study show that this is, in fact, the case.

Author Biography

  • Sreeparna Sarkar, University of Delaware
    Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Delaware.




How to Cite

Sarkar, Sreeparna. 2023. “Role of Markedness in the Perception of Bengali Stops”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8 (1): 5545.