Monthly Archives: July 2018

Call for papers: Journées FLORAL-(I)PFC 2018 – Language contact and corpus (inter) phonology

Since 2002, the international research programme PFC (Phonologie du français contemporain/Phonology of Contemporary French, cf., which gathers an international panel of linguists working on French corpus phonology, yearly organises a conference in Paris. The objective of this meeting is to move forward French phonology in a welcoming and scientifically critical atmosphere. It is thus a meeting place for researchers, both junior and senior ones, who wish to discuss their ongoing work – whether it focuses on phenomena well-known or little known in the scientific literature. The PFC programme, primarily devoted to phonology, has in the last few years been extended to cover other domains of linguistics, i.e. syntax and sociolinguistics, leading to a collaboration with the Laboratoire Ligérien de Linguistique de l’Université d’Orléans, and the creation of a research network on oral French: FLORAL (Français Langue Orale et Recherches Avancées en Linguistique/Oral French and Advanced Studies in Linguistics). PFC further focuses on interphonology and the pedagogical aspects of pronunciation through the daughter project IPFC (Interphonologie du français contemporain/Interphonology of Contemporary French,, which this year has its tenth anniversary.

This year’s edition of the conference takes place on Thursday 22 November – Tuesday 27 November, at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris. It is organised as three separate yet interrelated parts:

–        The first day of the conference (Thursday 22 November) is thematic, and this year we dedicate it to language contact and minority languages. This day is thus not limited to work on French and the francophone world, but rather permits to widen the perspectives beyond the PFC corpus.

–        The traditional part of the conference, the “Journées PFC”, takes place on Friday 23 and in the morning of Saturday 24. These two days are devoted to presentations relating to the PFC corpus or other works within the domain of corpus phonology.

–        Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 are dedicated to works on interphonology and didactics of oral French. As these two days celebrate the 10 years of IPFC, works based on data from this project will be preferred.

The format of the contributions will be 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. Other formats can be considered all depending on the number of abstracts received. We accept presentations in French and English.

The abstract (1 page including title and references) must be sent by email to Helene N. Andreassen ( and Isabelle Racine ( Submission deadline: Saturday 15 September 2018.

Thanks for sharing this call for papers with other linguists you think might be interested. More information about the conference will be published at the PFC website:

This conference receives financial support from the Norwegian University Center in Paris, the University of Geneva and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Conference organising committee:

Helene N. Andreassen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Olivier Baude, Paris Nanterre University/HUMA-NUM

Marie-Hélène Coté, University of Lausanne

Sylvain Detey, Waseda University

Julien Eychenne, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Martin Krämer, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Chantal Lyche, University of Oslo

Elissa Pustka, University of Vienna

Isabelle Racine, University of Geneva



Pooley & Kasstan (2016) – Les variétés régionales non-méridionales de France: nivellement; dédialectalisation; supralocalisation

Les variétés régionales non-méridionales de France: nivellement; dédialectalisation; supralocalisation
Tim Pooley, Jonathan Kasstan
direct link:
January 2016
For some time now, studies on Hexagonal French have evidenced a particularly extreme kind of linguistic levelling, which has largely been attributed to the hypercephalic nature of French demographics, with an enormous capital city dwarfing all other major centres in France (see Armstrong 2001). This focus on ‘inexorable homogeneisation’ (Jones & Hornsy 2013) has meant that far less attention has been paid to emerging vernacular forms and urban-centred cases of linguistic divergence. In this article we summarise observations from a wide range of production/percetion studies, with a particular focus on non-meridional varieties, to show that while extreme levelling continues to be symptomatic of variation in northern France, certain features are retained or recycled, and in some contexts even imbued with new social meaning. This evidence lends support to the call made elsewhere (Jones & Hornsy 2013) that further research should be undertaken on multi-ethnic urban centres

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004092
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Sociolinguistica
keywords: variation and change, levelling, supralocalisation, regional variation, french, france, regional languages, phonology

Bennett, Elfner & Mccloskey (2018) – Prosody, focus, and ellipsis in Irish

Prosody, focus, and ellipsis in Irish
Ryan Bennett, Emily Elfner, Jim Mccloskey
direct link:
July 2018
This paper analyzes a certain class of misalignments found in contemporary Irish in the relation between syntactic and phonological representations. The mismatches analyzed turn on the phonological requirements of focus (Verum Focus in particular) and of ellipsis and on how the two sets of requirements interact. It argues that the phonological mechanisms of ellipsis can be overridden when the phonological requirements of F-marking need to be satisfied. The analysis requires a theoretical framework in which the postsyntactic computation is characterized by parallel and simultaneous optimization. In particular, it is argued that certain facets of ellipsis, morphophonology, and prosody are computed in parallel, as in classic Optimality Theory. The analysis also relies crucially on a kind of head movement (from specifier to a commanding head position) whose existence is predicted by current conceptions of phrase structure but which seems to be little documented.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004091
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Language
keywords: focus, ellipsis, prosody, allomorphy, irish, verum focus, head movement, polarity, syntax-prosody interface, optimality theory, morphology, syntax, phonology, pronouns

Paschen (2018) – The interaction of reduplication and segmental mutation: A phonological account

The interaction of reduplication and segmental mutation: A phonological account
Ludger Paschen
direct link:
July 2018
This dissertation explores the interaction of reduplication and segmental mutation. Previous studies have shown that both mutation and reduplication can be understood as purely phonological operations in response to defective segmental and prosodic material. Cases of over- and underapplication in reduplicated structures, however, pose a serious challenge to phonological accounts and are apparently better handled by non-modular approaches that invoke morpheme-specific constraints or construction-specific cophonologies. The main goal of this dissertation is to show that a phonological account of over- and underapplication of segmental mutation is not only feasible but that seemingly opaque interactions are in fact predicted by mixed representational-serial approaches. Following the broad research program of Generalized Non-Linear Affixation, and assuming a modular feed-forward architecture of grammar, I demonstrate how apparent cases of overapplication (including “backcopying”) follow from the interplay of markedness conspiracies, copying of non-minimal prosodic domains, and phonological stratification. Underapplication, on the other hand, emerges from a shortage of mutation triggers, either due to excessive underspecification or as a direct consequence of minimal copying. In addition, I offer reanalyses of purported cases of suppletive allomorphy in reduplication in terms of complex, yet fully transparent segmental phonological alternations. The dissertation thus strengthens the general argument for item-based approaches to non-concatenative morphology and advocates a strictly modular architecture as an alternative to lexical indexation.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004090
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: PhD thesis, Universität Leipzig
keywords: reduplication, mutation, optimality theory, stratal ot, opacity, overapplication, underapplication, cyclicity, non-linear affixation, morphology, phonology

Stoianov & Nevins (2018) – The phonology of handshape distribution in Maxakalí sign

The phonology of handshape distribution in Maxakalí sign
Diane Stoianov, Andrew Ira Nevins
direct link:
January 2018
We provide an analysis of the distribution of handshapes on the dominant and non-dominant hand in the incipient village sign language found in the Maxakalí community in Brazil. The most frequent handshapes reflect tendencies in choosing from the crosslinguistically unmarked set of handshapes, and are particularly well-suited to quantitative analyses of handshape complexity found in models such as Ann (2006) and Brentari (2003), in addition to favouring a core set chosen from the most maximally dispersed handshapes.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004089
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: In ‘Sonic Signatures’ (Lindsey & Nevins eds) 2018
keywords: village sign language, handshape complexity, sign language phonology, markedness, non-dominant hand, phonology

Stanton (2018) – Phonetic lapse in American English –ative

Phonetic lapse in American English –ative
Juliet Stanton
direct link:
June 2018
This paper argues that constraints regulating the distribution of metrical prominence must be able to reference fine-grained durational information. Evidence comes from an apparent segmental effect on stress in American English –ative: stress on –at- is more likely when it is preceded by an obstruent or cluster (as in irrigative, integrative) than when preceded by a vowel or a sonorant (as in palliative, speculative; see Nanni 1977). I propose that this pattern should be understood as an effect of phonetically evaluated *Lapse: longer lapses are penalized more severely than shorter ones. Results from a nonce word rating task support this proposal.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004074
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted (comments welcome)
keywords: phonology, phonetics, stress, english

Fellowships in Potsdam

The Collaborative Research Centre SFB 1287 “Limits of Variability in Language: Cognitive, Grammatical, and Social Aspects” in Potsdam, Germany, invites applications for short-term fellowships available in 2019, 2020

Language users exhibit a high degree of variability at all levels of the linguistic system, language use, and language development and change. This variability in language can be characterised as the range of different possible linguistic behaviours that are available to a language user, a language community, or in specific languages at any linguistic level. By exploring the systematicity and the limits of variability in linguistic behaviours, the main focus of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) is on identifying the constraints of the underlying linguistic system. Several projects jointly evaluate the limits, relations, dependencies, and
commonalities of different types of variability across a range of linguistic phenomena from the perspectives of (A) language interaction and change, of (B) language processing, and of (C) grammatical systems. The CRC provides a fantastic research infrastructure including a large interdisciplinary network of researchers, its own graduate school, and funding opportunities for conference visits, summer schools, hosting international experts etc.

We are offering several three- to twelve-month fellowships to external PhD candidates who would like to do their research within one dedicated project of the CRC. Please see the available projects here: <>

The monthly fellowship is tax exempt and covers a basic amount (1365 EUR) plus direct costs (103 EUR) plus 400 EUR per child, if applicable. Holders of the grant need to cover health insurance on their own.

The University of Potsdam hosts leading groups in the field of linguistics and cognitive sciences (<> Potsdam is an attractive historical city and its palaces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Potsdam is close to Berlin, a culturally vibrant city and home to a lively start-up scene. Both cities have a high quality of life at modest living costs.

The University of Potsdam strives to maintain gender balance among its staff. Severely disabled applicants shall receive preference in case of equal qualifications. We invite applications from people with migration backgrounds.

The fellowships require completed academic studies at an institute of higher learning (Master’s degree or equivalent). Please send your application as a single PDF file including: (1) a statement of research interests and motivation, (2) a full CV, (3) a short research proposal for the duration of the fellowship, (4) the names and e-mail addresses of at least two referees, (5) academic transcripts, (6) list of publications/talks/presentations, and (7) a web-link to a copy of the Master’s thesis to Dr. Anastasiya Dockhorn-Romanova The research proposal should state which project within the CRC the short-term researcher wants to be affiliated with (e.g., “A01”). Applicants are advised to contact the CRC investigators with whom they would like to work and discuss the possibility of collaboration.

Deadline for the application for a fellowship in 2019 is September, 30, 2018. Late applications may be considered if positions are unfilled.