Monthly Archives: April 2017

Prince (2017) Representing OT Grammars

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ROA: 1309
Title: Representing OT Grammars
Authors: Alan Prince
Length: 26
Abstract: Analysis proceeds with varying degrees of faithfulness to the theory that it rests on. Within OT, a commonly encountered chokepoint is the representation of grammars, which not infrequently have a form that differs from expectation. A variety of table types and graphical structures are deployed in the literature to handle the eventualities; many are not up to the task and impose their own debilitating artifacts.


This note sets out to determine where the common representational schemes succeed and where they fail in representing the content of OT grammars. Discussion begins by settling on a notion of grammar that accords with the general meaning of the term within Generative Grammar. Definition in hand, we assess the VT (violation tableau), the dashed VT, the Hasse Diagram, the set of Hasse diagrams, the dotted Hassoid, and the CT (comparative tableau), arguing mostly from familiar examples. Concrete conclusions are drawn about best (and non-best) practices.




0 Introductory

1 The VT and its discontents

1.1 Dashed hopes

2 A Gathering of Arcs

3 A Grammar of ERCs

4 Make straight the way

5 Practices make perfect

5.1 The VT

5.2 The CT

5.3 The Hasse Diagram

5.4 Don’t Go There

6 Conclusion


Appendix I Grammar and Inversion

Appendix II The legs of (C)V.ins

Appendix III The dotted Hassoid



Type: Paper/tech report
Keywords: formal analysis, analytical technique



Bennett (2017) Pulmonic venting and the typology of click nasality

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ROA: 1308
Title: Pulmonic venting and the typology of click nasality
Authors: William Bennett
Comment: Submitted
Length: 36pp
Abstract: A cross-linguistic survey of several dozen languages with clicks reveals an unexpected generalization: every language with clicks has nasal clicks. Moreover, some languages have only nasal clicks, and others require clicks to be nasal in certain contexts. Taken together, these point to an implicational universal: oral clicks imply nasal clicks. The explanation offered here is that nasal clicks are not truly [+nasal]; rather, they are clicks with a pulmonic airstream, which can be maintained only by venting excess pulmonic airflow through the nasal cavity. Given this assumption, the observed typology of oral and nasal click distribution can be derived from the relative markedness of non-pulmonic segments more generally, using a simple set of OT constraints.
Type: Paper/tech report
Keywords: phonology, nasal, click, markedness



Bennett and DelBusso (2017) Typological consequences of ABCD constraint forms

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ROA: 1307
Title: Typological consequences of ABCD constraint forms
Authors: William Bennett, Natalie DelBusso
Comment: To appear in proceedings of NELS 2016
Length: 14 pp.
Abstract: Much recent work on consonant (dis)harmony uses the theory of Agreement-by-Correspondence (‘ABC’, with ‘D’ for dissimilation). While proposals within this theory share several key components, variations have proliferated in the literature (Rose & Walker 2004, Hansson 2010, 2014, Gallagher & Coon 2009, McCarthy 2010, Bennett 2013/2015, Shih & Inkelas 2014, Inkelas & Shih 2014, Walker 2015, McMullin 2016, etc.), resulting in numerous formulations of CON, based on different ideas of the possible central ABCD constraint types and definitions.


In this paper, we analyze a set of systems using different logical combinations of distinct versions of two main ABCD constraint types, CORR and CC.ID. The typologies of these systems are analyzed both extensionally (in terms of the languages predicted) and intensionally (the rankings that produce these languages). The former connects to the empirical predictions generated by the different ABCD theories. The latter connects to the theoretical mechanisms responsible for those predictions, allowing us to compare not just the outputs, but the theories themselves and the reasons for their converging or diverging typological predictions. We show that the same set of extensional languages is produced by all systems in which some correspondence constraint type is restricted, such that failing its precondition allows for vacuous satisfaction. It is not crucial which constraint type bears this restriction, but that it be instantiated in the system as a whole.

Type: Paper/tech report
Keywords: Formal analysis, Typology, Property theory, Agreement-by-correspondence, dissimilation



Prince (2017) OT Checklist

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ROA: 1306
Title: OT Checklist
Authors: Alan Prince
Length: 1 p.
Abstract: A rationalized list of items that are present in sound, complete OT analyses, reflecting logical rather than expositional considerations. Useful for practitioners, reviewers, editors, and interested by-standers of all kinds. Assumes familiarity with the theory, but includes a glossary of less-familiar terms and a hyperlink to an exposition of the background.
Type: Paper/tech report
Keywords: formal analysis, analytical technique, methodology



Faust and Torres-Tamarit (2017) Stress and final /n/ deletion in Catalan: combining Strict CV and OT

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ROA: 1305
Title: Stress and final /n/ deletion in Catalan: combining Strict CV and OT
Authors: Noam Faust, Francesc Torres-Tamarit
Length: 25 pp.
Abstract: In Catalan, /n/ deletes in word-final position when it is preceded by a stressed vowel. In this paper, we present an analysis that combines the representations of Strict CV and the violable constraints of Optimality Theory, two rarely combined but perfectly compatible analytical tools. We propose that final /n/ floats unassociated below its C position if it cannot be licensed by a following segment. In such circumstances, an entire CV unit is left unidentified at the right edge, a situation which is penalized by the system. Still, when stress is final, this rightmost CV unit is identified by the weak branch of a trochaic foot. As a result, the /n/ may remain afloat. However, when stress is not final, the final CV remains otherwise unidentified, and so /n/ must associate to it, even though it is unlicensed.
Type: Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords: Catalan; Strict CV; Optimality Theory; Stress; Final /n/ deletion



Patseva (2017): Bulgarian word stress

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ROA: 1304
Title: Bulgarian word stress
Authors: Mirena Patseva
Length: 41
Abstract: Bulgarian lexical accent has been analyzed in the frame of prosody-morphology interface and the Head dominance theory of Revithiadou (Revithiadou 1999). The theory suggests that the accent characteristic of the morphological head determines the accent pattern of the lexical unit. The principle of headedness solves the conflicts between the accent specifications of morphemes. The analysis of Bulgarian lexicon proves that claim. For example the accented derivational suffix -áč associates with verb’s root gótv- (gótvja ‘to cook’), composing a nomina agentis noun gotváč ‘cook’. The accented head morpheme -áč deletes the prosodic characteristic of the originally accented root and determines the accentual pattern of the derivative. If both root and inflectional suffix are not marked, as in stádo ‘herd’, a default trochaic foot surfaces.
Type: Paper/tech report
Keywords: Phonology, prosody-morphology interface, Bulgarian word stress



Danis (2017): Markedness and Complex Stops: Evidence from Simplification Processes

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ROA: 1303
Title: Markedness and Complex Stops: Evidence from Simplification Processes
Authors: Nick Danis
Comment: Preprint to appear in WOCAL 8 Proceedings
Length: 16pp
Abstract: Complex segments – segments with multiple, unordered place features – are most common in African languages. Understanding the phonology of clicks and labial-velars is a crucial step in understanding the phonology of African languages. This paper examines both these types of complex segments from the point of view of simplification, a special instance of segmental reduction. This is a type of process where a complex stop is realized on the surface as a simple stop, and it is related to neutralization processes in general. Empirically, labial- velars are found to reduce to either simple labials or simple dorsals. Clicks reduce to simple dorsals. The theory is based in OT and accounts for these simplification processes using general and independently-motivated constraints and place markedness hierarchies. All attested patterns of simplification are predicted, and constraints controlling for complexity within a language are derived from this universal hierarchy. This computational system allows for segmental representations to be simplified, without reference to an abstract, primary place.
Type: Paper/tech report
Keywords: labial-velars, clicks, complex segments, markedness, phonology



AMP 2017 Second Call for Papers – Deadline 4/24

Deadline for Main Session abstract submission: Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:59pm

Deadline for Workshop abstract submission: Monday, May 15, 2017, 11:59pm

We are seeking high-quality unpublished research in all areas of theoretical, experimental and computational phonology for presentation at the 2017 Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2017). The conference will take place September 15-17, 2017 on the campus of New York University. This is the fifth installment of the Annual Meetings on Phonology, following the 2013 inaugural meeting at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and subsequent meetings hosted by MIT, UBC/SFU and USC.

This year’s conference will be jointly hosted by the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and features an integrated, special session “Bridging the gap between phonological theory and speech disorders”. We are additionally seeking high-quality research that lies at the intersection between the study of speech disorders and linguistics, e.g. studies of disordered phonology.

We invite abstracts for either oral presentation (20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion) or poster presentation. All presentations (in both the general and special sessions) are eligible for publication in the open-access on-line conference proceedings hosted by theLinguistic Society of America. Oral presentations will appear in the main Proceedings and poster presentations will appear in the Supplemental Proceedings.

Abstracts must be anonymous, please be sure to eliminate any identifying metadata from the document. Length is limited to a maximum of two single-spaced pages (US Letter), figures and references included. Font should be 12-point, with margins of at least one inch left on all sides. Abstracts must be submitted in .pdf file format.

Submissions are limited to two per author, with at most one submission being single-authored.

Main Session

The deadline for abstract submission for the Main Session is Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:59pm.

Main Session abstract submission:


The deadline for abstract submission for the Workshop on speech disorders has been extended to Monday, May 15, 2017, 11:59pm.

Workshop abstract submission: by email to Please follow the formatting guidelines specified for the Main Session. Please also indicate your preference for an oral presentation versus a poster.

AMP 2017 contact email:


AMP 2017 welcomes submissions from scholars who are affected by the recent executive order banning travel from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. For scholars from these countries whose abstracts are accepted either for poster or oral presentation, we will make every effort to arrange for them to present their research via streaming over the internet (e.g. Skype or Google Hangouts).