Monthly Archives: November 2016

McManus 2016: Stress Parallels in Modern OT

Direct link:

ROA: 1295
Title: Stress Parallels in Modern OT
Authors: Hope McManus
Length: 229
Abstract: In this dissertation, I argue that OT typologies, modeling stress, are characterized by families of parallel properties that fully regulate contrasts along distributional features of stress. Empirically, this analysis unveils significant, pervasive relationships across stress patterns that have not been identified previously.

The ‘property’ (Alber and Prince 2016) is the fundamental unit of analysis of the OT typology: It classifies languages both grammatically, in terms of ranking conditions called ‘values’, and phonologically, because a property value realizes a phonological ‘trait’ that all forms of the language must comply with.

Property families classify languages of independent OT typologies into the same classes. Within a language class, languages share features of the grammar, correlated with the same kind of formal, extensional effects. Consequently, across typologies, a single phonological contrast has multiple reflexes; this, despite the fact that languages of the same class are not related in any obvious way.

To highlight the scope of this result, a single property family predicts that the following contrasts are equivalent: whether a language parses every syllable into a foot, whether a language is fully quantity-sensitive, requiring stress on every ‘Heavy’ syllable, whether a language is ‘default-to-opposite’ for the positioning main stress.

Type: Dissertation
Keywords: Stress, Prosody, Typology, Computational Phonology

Report about future AMP meetings from AMP 2016 business meeting

AMP 2016 took place at USC on October 21-23. The topic of future hosts of the conference was taken up in the business meeting. Please be advised that AMP 2017 will take place at NYU, for which the target dates are September 15-17, 2017. AMP 2018 will be hosted by UC San Diego. For more information, please go to


Tenure-track phonology position University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position (position no. 83168) in Linguistics, with specialization in phonology, to begin Fall 2017, subject to position clearance and availability of funds.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Teach undergraduate/graduate courses in the designated area of specialization; advise graduate students; conduct and publish research in area of specialization; pursue opportunities for external funding; perform related tasks as assigned.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Doctorate in Linguistics or related field from a college or university of recognized standing (ABD will be considered, but evidence must be provided that all requirements for the degree will be completed by 07/31/2017). Applicants are expected to have experience and expertise in phonological analysis, and evidence of an active research program. Evidence of successful teaching experience in undergraduate and/or graduate linguistics courses is required.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: Desirable qualifications include expertise in experimentation, computational methods, or quantitative methods, or a language or languages of Asia or the Pacific (especially Austronesian languages). We are interested in candidates whose research and teaching interests enhance and complement the strengths of the department. We seek someone who can excel in teaching, training, and supervision of graduate students and who can interact well with faculty in our department and in other departments.

SALARY: Commensurate with experience.

TO APPLY: Send a letter of application, CV, copies of key relevant publications, teaching and research statements, names and contact information for three referees by email to with “Assistant Professor-Phonology” in the subject line. Although electronic submissions are preferred, hard copy applications are acceptable. Priority will be given to those applications electronically received by or postmarked by December 2, 2016.

Address to: Chair, Hiring Committee, Department of Linguistics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 1890 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Applications that do not include all required documents shall be considered incomplete, and will not be considered.

CLOSING DATE: Continuous recruitment: Evaluation of applications and supporting materials will begin as applications are received and continue until the position is filled. Applications received by December 2, 2016 will be given priority.

INQUIRIES: Same address as application (

Phone: 808-956-8602.

The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. UH does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.


Discussion: Pokeman names in English and elsewhere

From Shigeto Kawahara

My students and I wrote up a paper on a few sound symbolic patterns in Japanese pokemon names, where we show that mora counts and voiced obstruents affect pokemon characters’ weight, size, and strength. The paper can be downloaded at (see also the separate Phonolist post for the abstract).

A natural follow-up question is, what about English names? I did a quick and dirty analysis addressing the same question about voiced obstruents using English pokemon names, based on orthography, which is attached to this email. Although the correlations are there, they are much weaker. But there’s an obvious flaw in this analysis; since the numbers of voiced obstruents are counted based on orthography, for example, “pidgotto” is considered to have two voiced obstruents, one for “d” and one for “g”.

Some other linguists have an intuition that in English, vowels are crucial. But obviously, automatically extracting phonetic vowel quality from orthography is not an easy task.

The bottom line: I am looking for interested researchers (or students) for collaboration who would convert the English names to some kind of transcription so that we can do a similar analysis in English. Of course if somebody can do a different language other than English, that’d be much welcome as well.

Also I’d love to have an open forum for discussion of this general project.


Kawahara et al. (2016) – Sound (Symbolic) Patterns in Pokemon Names: Focusing on Voiced Obstruents and Mora Counts

Sound (Symbolic) Patterns in Pokemon Names: Focusing on Voiced Obstruents and Mora Counts
Shigeto KawaharaAtsushi NotoGakuji Kumagai
direct link:
November 2016

This paper presents a case study of sound symbolism, cases in which certain sounds tend to be associated with particular meanings. The current study uses the corpus of all pokemon names available as of October 2016. This paper explores the effects of voiced obstruents and mora counts in Japanese pokemon names, and reveals that both of them impact pokemon characters’ size, weight, strength parameters, and evolution levels. In particular, the number of voiced obstruents in pokemon names positively correlates with size, weight, evolution levels, and general strength parameters, except for speed. We argue that this result is compatible with the Frequency Code Hypothesis proposed by Ohala. The number of moras in pokemon names positively correlates with size, weight, evolution levels and all strength parameters. Multiple regression analyses show that the effects of voiced obstruents and those of mora counts hold independently of one another. Not only does this paper offer a new case study of sound symbolism, it provides evidence that sound symbolism is at work when naming proper nouns. In general, the materials provided in this paper should be useful for undergraduate education in linguistics and psychology to attract students’ interests, as pokemon is very popular among current students.

Format: pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003196
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: sound symbolism, japanese, phonetics, voiced obstruents, mora counts, pokemon, phonology

Hejná (2016) – Pre-aspiration: manual on acoustic analyses 1.1

Pre-aspiration: manual on acoustic analyses 1.1
Michaela Hejná
direct link:
October 2016 The last 15 years have seen an increase of interest in analyses of pre-aspiration. This work presents a manual that provides advice on how to carry out acoustic analyses of the phenomenon and what to be cautious about.

Format: pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003184
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in:
keywords: pre-aspiration, acoustic analyses, local breathiness, phonology