Monthly Archives: November 2018

APAP 2019 Call for Papers

Call Deadline: 28-Feb-2019

Meeting Description:

Approaches to Phonology and Phonetics (APAP 2019)
21-23 June, 2019
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

APAP is an international biennial conference organized by two Polish universities:

Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, (UMCS)
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, (KUL)

The conference intends to provide a forum for sharing theoretical, empirical and pedagogical findings on all aspects of phonology and phonetics, with particular attention paid to how the two domains of research relate to each other. Each conference has a leading theme which guarantees a focused debate and, as an outcome, a monographic publication of articles.

Leading theme: “Focus on phonotactics: phonology, phonetics, acquisition”

The following scholars have kindly agreed to deliver plenary talks:

Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)

Marketa Ziková (Masaryk University, Brno)

Marzena Zygis (Zentrum fur Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin)

For further information on APAP (registration, fees, accomodation) email us at the following address: and our web page

Conference chair: Karolina Drabikowska

Call for Papers:

We invite proposals for papers concerning the main theme as well as other phonetic and phonological issues.

Leading theme: “Focus on phonotactics: phonology, phonetics, acquisition”

Papers are given 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts of 250-400 words should be emailed to the organizers at the following address:

Important Deadlines:

Abstract submission: February 28, 2019
Notification of acceptance: March 31, 2019
Registration and payment of conference fee: April 30, 2019


Organizing Committee:

Eugeniusz Cyran

Jolanta Szpyra-Kozłowska
Agnieszka Bryła-Cruz

Krzysztof Jaskuła
Sławomir Zdziebko

Marek Radomsk


43th PLC call for papers: Linguistics and Biology

Direct link:

The 43rd Penn Linguistics Conference will take place on March 22-24, 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Papers on any topic in linguistics and associated fields are welcome (abstracts due: November 19, 2018).

We will be holding a special themed panel on the interplay between linguistics and biology. From Lyell and Darwin’s speculative analogies between languages and species all the way through to population models of language change and phylogenetic trees of language families, evolutionary biology and historical linguistics have shared a set of conceptual and mathematical tools with great success in both fields. For this year’s PLC, we’re inviting speakers from fields bridging the sciences and humanities to discuss the exchange of ideas between linguistics and biology.

Keynote speaker: Ruth Kramer (Georgetown University).

Invited panelists:   Stephen Alter (Gordon College)

Becca Morley (Ohio State University)

Tandy Warnow (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Moderator:  Gareth Roberts (University of Pennsylvania)

For more information and submission guidelines:

Conference website:



Permanent LabPhon position in Oslo

A permanent position as a laboratory phonologist is available at the
University of Oslo. The application deadline is December 1.
Direct links:,

Please note that this *is* an entry-level position. The position is at
the rank of Associate Professor, but the University of Oslo does not
have a rank equivalent to Assistant Professor, so Associate Professor
is the entry-level position for permanent faculty positions. Freshly
minted PhDs and post-docs are therefore both eligible and encouraged
to apply.


Begus (2018) – Bootstrapping Sound Changes

Bootstrapping Sound Changes
Gasper Begus
direct link:
November 2018
This paper presents a new technique for estimating the influences of channel bias on phonological typology called Bootstrapping Sound Changes (BSC). The BSC technique enables the estimation of Historical Probability, the probability that a synchronic alternation arises based on two diachronic factors — the number of sound changes required for an alternation to arise and their respective probabilities. With the BSC technique, we can estimate Historical Probabilities of attested and unattested alternations, compare Historical Probabilities of alternations and perform inferential statistics on the comparison, and compare outputs of the diachronic model against the independently observed synchronic typology to evaluate the performance of the Channel Bias approach. The BSC technique also identifies mismatches in typological predic- tions of the Analytic Bias and Channel Bias approaches. By comparing these mismatches with the observed typology, this paper attempts to quantitatively evaluate the distinct contributions of the two influences on typology.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004299
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted.
keywords: historical phonology, sound change, bootstrapping, learnability, typology, phonology

Alderete, Blenkiron & Thompson[edōsdi] (2018) – Series shifts and mergers in the obstruent phonology of Tahltan (Northern Athabaskan)

Series shifts and mergers in the obstruent phonology of Tahltan (Northern Athabaskan)
John Alderete, Amber Blenkiron, Judy C. Thompson[edōsdi]
direct link:
September 2018
A survey was conducted to investigate the development of the Proto-Athabaskan obstruent series, *ts/tš/tšr/k, into present day Tahltan. Results from seven native speakers and quantitative analysis of a larger corpus establish tθ/ts/ts/tš as the standard obstruent system, alongside three alternate systems that relate to independently motivated historical changes. These findings support the long-held view that differences in the obstruent reflexes do not reflect deep phonological differences among Northern Athabaskan languages, but instead represent areal influences and patterns of individual variation in a highly dynamic language network.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004221
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Linguistic Discovery (to appear)
keywords: sound change, mergers, chain shifts, affricates, obstruents, contact, athabaskan, tahltan, phonology

Postma (2018) – Contrastive Grammar of Brazilian Pomeranian

Contrastive Grammar of Brazilian Pomeranian
Gertjan Postma
direct link:
September 2018
Cover text: Pomeranian is the West Germanic language spoken by European emigrants who went from Farther Pomerania (present-day Poland) to Brazil in the period 1857 – 1887. This language is no longer spoken in cohesive societies in Europe, but the language has survived and is in remarkably good shape on this language island in the tropical state of Espirito Santo. This monograph offers the first synchronic grammar of this language. After a historical introduction, the book offers a systematic description of its phonology, morphology, and syntax. The language is contrasted with its European sisters, more particularly High German, Dutch, and Frisian. It highlights various phenomena that will presumably contribute to the ongoing theoretical debate on the Germanic verbal system. It provides new data on cluster V2, do-support, and the two infinitives. As to the infinitival syntax, the language shows remarkable parallels to the system of Frisian. As to the rich Pomeranian system of subtractive morphology, the phonological account that is offered, will be important for the ongoing discussion of the abstractness of phonological representations. Finally, Pomeranian is a welcome addition to the set of languages on which our etymological understanding of West Germanic is based.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004212
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: preprint (comments on errors most welcome)
keywords: pomeranian, west germanic, language islands, weak t, subtractive morphology, historical grammar, morphology, syntax, phonology

Mykola (2018) – Basic Features of the Phonematic System in the Prehistory of the German

Basic Features of the Phonematic System in the Prehistory of the German
Zapolovskyi Mykola
direct link:
September 2018
The article provides an insight into the relations between the German language and other Germanic and Indo-European languages. The first phonetic shift, Verner’s law, rhotacism, apophony and other phonetic phenomena in the prehistory of German have been described.


Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004209
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: USA
keywords: common germanic, consonant, vowel, shift, sound change, relationship, ablaut grades, gemination., phonology

Goodhue (2018) – Polarity focus as focus

Polarity focus as focus
Daniel Goodhue
direct link:
September 2018
In this paper, I argue that polarity focus (sometimes also called verum focus) is a focus phenomenon that can and should be accounted for under a general theory of focus marking such as that developed by Rooth (1985, 1992); Kratzer (1991). There are two challenges to overcome in order to defend this view. One is that polarity focus, unlike other focus effects, seems to be optional in some cases. The other is that polarity focus often seems to emphasize the truth of the proposition it appears with. I review earlier accounts of polarity focus as focus (Richter, 1993; Wilder, 2013; Samko, 2016a), and demonstrate issues they face. In particular, I show that the theory in Schwarzschild 1999 faces serious challenges when extended to cover polarity focus by Wilder (2013). I also review accounts that claim that the general theory of focus has no role to play in explaining the phenomenon, and that rely instead on a special VERUM operator (Romero & Han, 2004; Gutzmann & Castroviejo Miró, 2011; Gutzmann et al., submitted). I demonstrate challenges for this view, and argue for a more parsimonious account that relies on the general theory of focus and other independently motivated pragmatic principles that together explain the idiosyncrasies of polarity focus.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004205
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in:
keywords: focus, polarity, presupposition, verum, semantics, phonology

Kratzer & Selkirk (2018) – Deconstructing Information Structure

Deconstructing Information Structure
Angelika Kratzer, Elisabeth Selkirk
direct link:
September 2018
The paper argues that the core of what is traditionally referred to as ‘Information Structure’ can be deconstructed into bona fide morphosyntactic features that have familiar types of meanings and just happen to be spelled out prosodically, rather than segmentally or tonally, in Standard American and British English. Setting aside topicality, we discuss two such features, [FoC] and [G]. [FoC] highlights contrasts and, in Standard American and British English, aims for highest prominence in a sentence. [G] is sensitive to discourse givenness and, in Standard American and British English, resists (phrase-level) prominence. There is no representation of newness. Apart from the idiosyncratic properties of [FoC] and [G], which guide their syntactic distribution, felicitous use, and phonological spellout, no special grammatical mechanisms or architectures have to be assumed to account for the many phonological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic manifestations of Information Structure notions related to givenness and focus.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004201
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: information structure, focus, givenness, prosody, syntax-semantics interface, syntax-phonology interface, syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology
previous versions: v1 [September 2018]

Mukherjee (2018) – A note on understanding the relationship between linguistic diversity and biodiversity in the Indian context

A note on understanding the relationship between linguistic diversity and biodiversity in the Indian context
Sibansu Mukherjee
direct link:
October 2018
On the basic of the assumption that linguistic diversity and biodiversity are correlated, many a few studies have been done. For example, significance of the relationship between language and species richness through different area-specific parameters has been demonstrated. This demonstration also reveals that there is a similar kind of relationship between linguistic varieties and forest area cover of the Indian states. Result shows a strong positive correlation between these two variables.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004285
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: None (unpublished)
keywords: linguistic diversity, biodiversity, indian state, syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology