Monthly Archives: October 2019

Phonology position UC Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley
Department of Linguistics

Assistant Professor — Phonology — Linguistics
Expected start date: July 1, 2020

The Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, has been authorized to make an appointment in Phonology. This position will be at the rank of assistant professor (tenure-track). Salary will be commensurate with experience. Duties will include undergraduate and graduate advising, teaching (up to four courses per year), supervision of student research, and development of a successful and original research program.

Applicants must have a broad intellectual engagement in linguistics and a research specialization in phonology. The department welcomes additional research interests or skills that will contribute to the intellectual life of a broad linguistics community (e.g. language family expertise, linguistic typology, phonetics, cognitive science, computational or statistical modeling, language documentation). Applicants must be able to teach general linguistics courses and courses at all levels in phonology, including seminars, and provide research mentoring.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at UC Berkeley and in the Department of Linguistics. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. The successful candidate will submit a statement discussing how their research, teaching, service, and/or outreach activities will help the university advance equity and inclusion. We welcome applications from those who have had non-traditional career paths, have achieved excellence in careers outside academia, or have taken time off for family reasons.

Basic qualifications: Applicants must have received the PhD (or equivalent international degree), or be enrolled in a PhD or equivalent international degree-granting program, at the time of application.

Preferred qualifications: Completion of the PhD or equivalent international degree by the start date.

Applicants must arrange for 2-5 letters of recommendation to be submitted through the online application system. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

Please submit all materials electronically at The deadline for applications is November 15, 2019; no application materials will be accepted after that date.

Questions can be sent to Paula Floro at

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:


2020 BLS Workshop: Abstracts due Nov. 1

2020 Berkeley Linguistic Society Workshop
Febuary 7-8, 2020
“Phonological Representations:
At the Crossroads of Gradience and Categoricity”
Abstracts due: November 1, 2019
More information re the workshop and abstract submission here (and below):
The 2020 Workshop of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLSW 2020) will take place Friday through Saturday, February 7 – 8, 2020, on the UC Berkeley campus. The theme of this workshop is “Phonological Representations: At the Crossroads of Gradience and Categoricity.”

Describing the nature and behavior of the sounds of language is a central concern in linguistics. Topics such as categoricity vs. gradience, the information included in representations, and the place of abstraction in the larger linguistic system are central to many theoretical debates. This workshop aims to bring together different approaches to capturing the behavior of speech sounds by fostering discussion among researchers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Invited Speakers:

Katie Drager (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa)
Bruce Hayes (University of California, Los Angeles)
Stephanie Shih (University of Southern California)


Check our website for general information and updates concerning the conference (
For questions, please email

Submit Abstract
Meeting Location:
Berkeley, California
Contact Information:
Eric Wilbanks
Meeting Dates:
Feb 7, 2020 to Feb 8, 2020
Abstract Submission Information:
Abstracts can be submitted from 19-Sep-2019 until 01-Nov-2019.

Noamane 2019: On the Integrity of Geminates in Moroccan Arabic: An Optimality-Theoretic account

Direct link:

ROA: 1361
Title: On the Integrity of Geminates in Moroccan Arabic: An Optimality-Theoretic account
Authors: Ayoub Noamane
Length: 31pp
Abstract: This paper investigates the phonological behavior of geminate consonants in Moroccan Arabic. In particular, we focus on the issue of geminate integrity in the context of schwa epenthesis and word formation. We show that, despite the many apparent exceptions, the variable nature of geminate integrity in MA can be successfully accounted for along the lines of the Geminate Law (Benhallam, 1980) if the latter is reinterpreted in the Optimality Theory framework. In this regard, this paper promises the following contributions: (i) it provides a unified analysis of geminate integrity in MA; (ii) it accounts for the variability of geminate integrity through constraint interactions a la Optimality Theory; (iii) it reconciles the exceptional patterns of geminate integrity with the regular ones.
Type: Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords: geminate behavior, geminate integrity, schwa epenthesis, word formation, phonology, Moroccan Arabic, optimality theory

Noamane 2019: A Root-and-prosody Approach to Templatic Morphology and Morphological Gemination in Moroccan Arabic

Direct link:

ROA: 1362
Title: A Root-and-prosody Approach to Templatic Morphology and Morphological Gemination in Moroccan Arabic
Authors: Ayoub Noamane
Length: 38pp
Abstract: Morphological gemination consists of the systematic gemination of a segment associated with the systematic change in meaning of the affected base? (Samek-Lodovici, 1993). In Moroccan Arabic, morphological gemination characterizes the derivation of causative verbs, agent nouns and instrument nouns. It involves the lengthening of the second segment of some base root to express the intended morphological function. (e.g. ktb ‘to write’ >> kəttəb ‘to make write’). In the case of the agent and the instrument, lengthening the second segment is espoused with the presence of some vocalic material, namely the vowel /a/ (e.g. fəllaħ ‘farmer’ and səmmaʕa ‘headset’). Using the constraint-based framework of Optimality Theory, this paper will try to answer the following questions: (i) What is the morphological process responsible for morphological gemination in Moroccan Arabic? (ii) What is the morphological exponence of the causative, agent and instrument morphemes? (iii) How does the templatic shape of each form come to be?
Type: Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords: templatic morphology; morphological gemination; causative verbs; agent nouns; instrument nouns; Optimality Theory; Moroccan Arabic; Semitic languages

Kodner (2019) – Modeling Language Change in the St. Louis Corridor

Modeling Language Change in the St. Louis Corridor
Jordan Kodner
direct link:
October 2019
The St. Louis Corridor extending from Chicago, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri has been described as a “breach” through the Midlands dialect region because of the presence of Inland North features there. Most notably, features associated with the Northern Cities Shift suddenly appeared in Corridor cities in the mid-20th century, but they have since largely retreated. A recent population study has uncovered complex relationships between the Corridor’s geography and this pattern of advance and retreat, and this work elaborates on that investigation through computational simulations of the Corridor’s population structure. Implementing a new network-analytic population model, I find support for Friedman’s original hypothesis that migration into cities along Route 66 imported Inland North features into the Corridor first before it spread outward to communities farther away from the route and uncover questions about the Corridor’s population that merit further study.


Gouskova & Stanton (2019) – Learning Complex Segments

Learning Complex Segments
Maria Gouskova, Juliet Stanton
direct link:
July 2019
Languages differ in the status of sequences such as [mb, kp, ts]: they can pattern as complex segments or as clusters of simple consonants. We ask what evidence learners use to figure out which representations their languages motivate. We present an implemented computational model that starts with simple consonants only, and builds more complex representations by tracking statistical distributions of consonant sequences. We demonstrate that this strategy is successful in a wide range of cases, both in languages that supply clear phonotactic arguments for complex segments and in languages where the evidence is less clear. We then turn to the typological parallels between complex segments and consonant clusters: both tend to be limited in size and composition. We suggest that our approach allows the parallels to be reconciled. Finally, we compare our model with alternatives: learning complex segments from phonotactics and from phonetics.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004819
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: accepted to Language Variation and Change
keywords: computational modeling, variation, northern cities shift, phonology

Galbraith (2019) – Meter, prosody and performance: evidence from the Faroese ballads

Meter, prosody and performance: evidence from the Faroese ballads
Daniel Galbraith
direct link:
March 2019
In this paper, I argue that the folk ballad tradition of the Faroe Islands, to date never examined in detail by metrists, offers substantial empirical support for the necessity of maintaining the classic metrical template, as well as the distinction between metrical and prosodic structure: meter is an abstraction which can neither be collapsed into phonology, nor fundamentally detached from it (Kiparsky 2006, Blumenfeld 2015, pace Hayes & MacEachern 1998, Fabb & Halle 2008). The ballad performances also reveal a unidirectional correspondence from strong metrical positions to strong dance steps and strong musical beats, indicating that metrical prominence plays a significant role in determining rhythm. The Faroese tradition thus provides a window into the relation between metrical structure and performance. In support of my conclusions I draw upon both the ballad texts and audio-visual recordings of sections of sample ballads I made on the Faroe Islands.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004815
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Manuscript
keywords: complex segments, learnability, phonology, computational phonology, phonotactics, phonetics, affricates, prenasalized stops, labiovelars, greek, shona, latin, tswana, turkish, hebrew, english, mbay, ngbaka, fijian, sundanese, quechua

Gjersøe (2019) – Tonal Interactions in Nuer Nominal Inflection

Tonal Interactions in Nuer Nominal Inflection
Siri Gjersøe
direct link:
September 2019
This dissertation is on the tonal system of nouns in Nuer, a Western Nilotic language. Tone in Nuer is an understudied topic and has mostly been ignored in previous studies. This dissertation demonstrates that tone has a primary role in nominal morpho-phonology involving tonal interactions of three components: lexical tone, L tone restrictions, and inflectional tone. I offer a stratal OT analysis of this based on a new assumption of bidirectional affectiveness. The empirical parts of this dissertation give evidence of tone in Nuer and its phonetic cues.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004802
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in:
keywords: metrics, phonology, metrical phonology, meter, prosody, performance

Cheshire (2019) – Plant Series, No. 1. Manuscript MS408.

Plant Series, No. 1. Manuscript MS408.
Gerard Cheshire
direct link:
September 2019
The plants individually described in Manuscript MS408 have all been identified as species from the environs of the Mediterranean Basin, in accordance with the location of origin for the manuscript. This series of papers presents each plant species separately with a translation of its accompanying text and any relevant cross-reference information. In addition to the linguistic value, there is plenty of historical, cultural and scientific knowledge to be gleaned from each of these manuscript pages, so they will be of interest to scholars from various disciplines.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004801
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Leipzig University
keywords: nuer, tone, morpho-phonology, ot, strata, defectiveness, f0 alignment, perception, morphology, phonology

Silva, Nevins & White (2019) – Domains and Prominence in Nasal Harmonization of Maxakalí Loanwords

Domains and Prominence in Nasal Harmonization of Maxakalí Loanwords
Mário Coelho da Silva, Andrew Ira Nevins, James White
direct link:
September 2019
We examine the patterns of loanword adaptation in Maxakalí, a Macro-Jê language of Brazil, in importing loans from Brazilian Portuguese, with respect to the introduction of nasality and nasal harmony, based on a corpus of 18 speakers. Employing MaxEnt modeling of quantitative trends enabled the comparison and analysis of certain recurrent trends, even if not exceptionless, and the potentially additive effects of their interaction. The results reveal that nasal harmonization, modeled as set of markedness constraints, is greatly enforced within syllable rimes, and strongly enforced within syllables, but shows little role for syllable-to-syllable harmony, demonstrating that harmonization is preferred within tighter prosodic domains. Word-initial consonants always retain their nasality or orality from Portuguese, and stressed vowels always preserve their nasality. These latter effects uphold the role of prominent positions in maintaining contrasts within loanword phonology. The overall patterns of loanword harmonization find convergence with certain characteristics within Maxakalí phonology itself.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004797
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted.
keywords: translation, botany, herbal, medicines, manuscript, ms408, syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004795
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in IJAL
keywords: keywords: nasal harmony; loanword phonology; maxakalí, phonology