Category: Phonological theory

What’s Harmony?

From an e-mail from Paul Smolensky, March 28, 2015. Even though he wasn’t doing phonology in the mid-1980’s when he coined the term “Harmony Theory”, Paul had apparently taken a course on phonology with Jorge Hankamer and found vowel harmony

Posted in Phonological theory

Wellformedness = probability?

There are some old arguments against probabilistic models as models of language, but these do not seem to have much force anymore, especially because we now have models that can compute probabilities over the same representations that we use in

Posted in Learning, Phonological theory

Representations in OT

I’ve recently had some useful discussion with people about the nature of representations in OT, and how they did or did not (or should or should not) change from a theory with inviolable constraints (= principles and parameters theory). I’d

Posted in Phonological theory

Data in generative phonology

I’d like to raise as a discussion topic the question of what the data are that we are trying to explain in generative phonology. In my view, the lack of clarity about this issue is a bigger foundational issue in

Posted in Phonological theory

Discussion: ‘Whither OT’ handout

I’d very much welcome comments or questions on my handout from the Manchester fringe session, held May 27th, 2015  [also: prepared introduction not on handout]. I’m not planning on turning it into a paper, though further discussion might change my mind!

Posted in Phonological theory

Implicit and explicit learning

In this post, I want to explain why I’ve recently become interested in distinctions between implicit and explicit learning (also procedural and declarative memory – see below on the connection), and provide a quick overview of the literature I’ve been

Posted in Learning, Phonological theory