The present paper explores the dynamics of speech production and perception in the context of syllabification and categorization. The selective review includes empirical work and dynamical models that account for changes in the perception and production of syllable structure as transitions between attractors in a dynamical system and that highlight the role of instabilities as a mechanism for regulating flexibility and change. Different conceptual approaches to changes in perceptual categorization are reviewed, including a nonlinear dynamic model, a related Bayesian approach, and a hybrid approach. Of particular importance are recent models that incorporate cognitive factors (such as attention, expectation, and memory) and that change slowly or quickly relative to the changing acoustic input. These dynamical models allow phenomena such as self-organization, emergence, and other hallmarks of complex adaptive systems and may also suggest a mechanism linking speech production and perception, providing an alternative description to the internal models often invoked.
Tuller, B., & Lancia, L. (2017). Speech dynamics: Converging evidence from syllabification and categorization. Journal of Phonetics, 64, 21–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wocn.2017.02.001