Monthly Archives: November 2017

Bakovic (2017) – Apparent ‘sufficiently similar’ degemination in Catalan is due to coalescence

Apparent ‘sufficiently similar’ degemination in Catalan is due to coalescence
Eric Bakovic
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003430
April 2017
Cameron et al. (2010) and Fruehwald & Gorman (2011) present the pattern of homorganic consonant cluster reduction in Catalan as a challenge to Bakovic’s (2005) theory of antigemination, which predicts that any feature ignored in the determination of consonant identity for the purposes of antigemination in a given language must independently assimilate in that language. I argue that the pattern in Catalan is not a counterexample to this prediction if the reduction process is analyzed as coalescence, following Wheeler (2005), rather than as deletion.

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McFadden & Sundaresan (2017) – Unifying EPP and comp-trace effects: constraints on silent elements at the edge

Unifying EPP and comp-trace effects: constraints on silent elements at the edge
Thomas McFadden, Sandhya Sundaresan
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003428
April 2017
In this paper, we focus on the original empirical domain of the EPP, the requirement that certain subject positions be filled, and argue that characterizing it in terms of a syntactic movement-triggering feature is misguided. Specifically, we will argue that, contrary to what is standardly assumed, the factors conditioning the EPP are actually not syntactic, but phonological, as has also been proposed by others in the literature. Nonetheless, the operations that it seems to trigger clearly are syntactic. This sheds light on why the EPP has been so difficult to get a handle on, but it also presents a conundrum, as it seems to suggest that aspects of the syntactic derivation depend on phonological information. Under the broadly Minimalist framework we adopt here, this would be clearly countercyclic. In the standard Y-model and its descendants, the output of the (narrow) syntactic derivation feeds into the interpretive components of PF and LF, thus while syntactic information feeds into PF, phonological information is not available to the syntax. More recent phase-based and multiple Spell-out models introduce a certain amount of feedback, such that syntactic cycles may be interleaved with non-syntactic ones, but it is normally not assumed that phonological information from previous cycles can actually interact with later syntactic cycles. Indeed, the crucial point here is not specific to the Y-model. Rather, it extends to any framework which assumes that the syntactic derivation does not have access to the phonological properties of the structures it manipulates, e.g. as a general principle of modularity or because phonological content is explicitly inserted at a late stage of the derivation after the narrow syntax has done its work. The EPP thus seems to involve a violation of modularity or counter-cyclicity. A novel approach to the EPP is thus required, which must simultaneously be able to handle its unique properties but must also be made to fit in with the broader theory of grammatical architecture. We will argue that such an approach will not only allow a more satisfactory account of the EPP itself, but can also yield a unification with the comp-trace effect and yield insight into how both of these interact with pro-drop. This paper is intended as an initial contribution in this direction.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003430
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in the Proceedings of the 91st Annual Meeting of the LSA
keywords: antigemination; assimilation; identity; coalescence; deletion; catalan, phonology
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003428
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: epp, (anti-)that-trace effect, for to, pro-drop, complementizers, phases, phasal domain, spell out, intonation phrase, syntax-pf interface, prosody, morphology, syntax, phonology
previous versions: v1 [April 2017]
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Kumagai & Kawahara (2017) – Stochastic phonological knowledge and word formation in Japanese

Stochastic phonological knowledge and word formation in Japanese
Gakuji Kumagai, Shigeto Kawahara
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003422
August 2017
The question of whether linguistic knowledge is binary or stochastic is one of the most important questions in general linguistic inquiry. Much recent work in the last few decades shows that phonological knowledge is stochastic (e.g. Hayes & Londe 2006). Building on this body of research, we show that in Japanese, gradient phonological knowledge affects several word formation patterns in stochastic ways. Concretely, we show that identity avoidance effects hold at both the segmental and the CV-moraic levels. These identity avoidance effects stochastically affect two types of word formation patterns in Japanese: group name formation and rendaku. We show that Maximum Entropy Grammar (Goldwater & Johnson 2003), together with multiple OCP constraints (Coetzee & Pater 2008), successfully models both of the observed morphological word formation patterns, without any further stipulation. In addition to this theoretical contribution, one of the patterns discussed in this paper—group name formation—has not been analyzed from the perspective of formal phonological theories before, and hence this paper has descriptive novelty as well.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003422
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: japanese; word formation; maximum entropy grammar; multiple ocp constraints; stochastic phonology; rendaku; identity avoidance; ocp-nasal; sonority, morphology, phonology
previous versions: v1 [April 2017]
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Bennett, Harizanov & Henderson (2017) – Prosodic smothering in Macedonian and Kaqchikel

Prosodic smothering in Macedonian and Kaqchikel
Ryan Bennett, Boris Harizanov, Robert Henderson
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003413
April 2017
This paper deals with a so-far unnoticed phenomenon in prosodic phonology, which we dub prosodic smothering. Prosodic smothering arises when the prosodic status of a clitic or affix varies with the presence or absence of some outer morpheme. We first illustrate prosodic smothering with novel data from two genetically unrelated languages, Macedonian (Slavic) and Kaqchikel (Mayan). We then provide a unified account of prosodic smothering based on a principled extension of the theory of prosodic subcategorization (Inkelas 1990, Peperkamp 1997, Chung 2003, Yu 2003, Paster 2006, Bye 2007, among others). Prosodic subcategorization typically involves requirements placed on items to the left or the right of the selecting morpheme. We show that prosodic smothering naturally emerges in a theory which also allows for subcategorization in the vertical dimension, such that morphemes may select for the prosodic category which immediately dominates them in surface prosodic structure. This extension successfully reduces two apparent cases of non-local prosodic conditioning to the effects of strictly local prosodic selection.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003413
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: linguistic inquiry
keywords: prosody, subcategorization, clitics, macedonian, kaqchikel, morphology, syntax, phonology
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Bennett (2017) – Pulmonic venting and the typology of click nasality

Pulmonic venting and the typology of click nasality
Wm. G. Bennett
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003408
March 2017
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.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003408
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted. Comments welcome!
keywords: phonology, nasality, universal, clicks, airstream, phonetics, typology
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McManus (2016) – Stress Parallels in Modern OT

Stress Parallels in Modern OT
Hope McManus
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003406
October 2016
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.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003406
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Rutgers University
keywords: optimality theory, modern ot, stress, prosody, typology, computational phonology, phonology
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Discussion: Scholarly hub – open alternative to Research Gate

Facebook and Twitter seem to be the most popular platforms for academic exchange, but they have obvious problems and limitations. Do we need an open alternative to Research Gate? Check out https://www.scholarlyhub.org. Would anyone use this? We’d have to have a community there to make it worthwhile.

Their latest advisory board member Subhashish Panigrahi is an interesting guy:

“I have been working with 63 different tribes from the Indian state of Odisha speaking various diverse languages.” From “Rising Voices: Indigenous language Digital Activism”, available here:

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Storme (2017) – The loi de position and the acoustics of French mid vowels

The loi de position and the acoustics of French mid vowels
Benjamin Storme
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003395
April 2017
This paper reports the results of two experiments on the acoustics of French mid vowels in a variety in which close-mid vowels ([e], [ø], [o]) occur in open syllables and open-mid vowels ([ɛ], [œ], [ɔ]) in closed syllables, according to the loi de position. Open-mid allophones have consistently higher F1 realizations and more central F2 realizations than their close-mid counterparts, but are not consistently shorter. These results are problematic for accounts of the loi de position as a pattern of vowel reduction, with mid-vowel lowering and centralizing being caused by shortening. F1 and F2 distances between close-mid and open-mid allophones vary across different prosodic and consonantal contexts and these variations can be analyzed as resulting from duration-based undershoot. More broadly, the results have implications for the typology of closed-syllable vowel laxing: they suggest that tense and lax realizations cannot generally be derived from the same acoustic target via closed-syllable vowel shortening but have distinct acoustic targets.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003395
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
keywords: french, mid vowels, loi de position, syllable, closed-syllable vowel laxing, undershoot, phonology
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Crippen (2017) – Using TikZ for linguistic diagrams

Using TikZ for linguistic diagrams
James Crippen
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003379
March 2017
TikZ is a package for LaTeX that provides a powerful language for specifying graphics. TikZ can easily produce the kinds of trees and diagrams that are used in linguistics. This document provides a friendly introduction with many examples for using TikZ to draw syntactic trees, autosegmental diagrams, and lattices. TikZ is also combined with ExPex to produce numbered examples containing movement arrows, graphical annotations, and small diagrams. The illustrations of TikZ in this document are all oriented toward manuscripts and articles, but because TikZ is maintained by the same people behind the beamer package, most if not all of the techniques presented in this document can also be used in slides and posters.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003379
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: unpublished manuscript, University of British Columbia
keywords: diagrams, trees, matrices, visualization, latex, syntax, phonology
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Martins (2016) – There is no place for markedness in biologically-informed phonology

There is no place for markedness in biologically-informed phonology
Pedro Tiago Martins
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003372
December 2016
This chapter argues that markedness is not a useful concept (a position which has already been made clear in the literature before), and offers a few extra insights on why it should be abandoned if one is interested in phonology as (part of a) biological capacity.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003372
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in: Samuels, B. D. (Ed.). Beyond Markedness in Formal Phonology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
keywords: phonology, markedness, biology
previous versions: v1 [December 2016]
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