Monthly Archives: January 2020

Magri (2020): A principled derivation of Harmonic Grammar

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ROA: 1364
Title: A principled derivation of Harmonic Grammar
Authors: Giorgio Magri
Comment: To appear in the proceedings of SCiL 2020
Length: 10pp
Abstract: Phonologists focus on a few processes at the time. This practice is motivated by the intuition that phonological processes factorize into clusters with no interactions across clusters (e.g., obstruent voicing does not interact with vowel harmony). To formalize this intuition, we factorize a full-blown representation into under-specified representations, each encoding only the information needed by the corresponding phonological cluster. And we require a grammar for the original full-blown representations to factorize into grammars that handle the under-specified representations separately, independently of each other. Within a harmony-based implementation of constraint-based phonology, HG is shown to follow axiomatically from this grammar factorizability assumption.
Type: Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords: Phonology; formal analysis; Harmonic Grammar

Call for papers: Special issue of Phonology on grammatical tone

From: Nicholas Rolle (

Thematic issue: ‘Theoretical approaches to grammatical tone’

Projected to appear as one of the first issues of Phonology 39 (2022)

Tone is distinct from other phonological phenomena both qualitatively and quantitatively, and has been instrumental in shaping phonological theory in many ways. However, the contributions to current linguistic theory of ‘grammatical tone’ – a type of nonconcatenative morphology where a morpheme is expressed in part by tonal changes and operations (e.g. tone addition, deletion, replacement, spreading, shifting, assimilation, dissimilation, etc.) – have been less apparent. The goal of this thematic issue is to contribute to filling this gap, and to facilitate advances in our understanding of grammatical tone and (morpho)phonological theory in tandem.


Grammatical tone demonstrates a unique configuration of properties above and beyond special features of tone more generally, including postlexical cyclicity effects, non-local relations on the tonal tier, counting effects in floating tone assignment, tone-based templatic effects in great regularity across Africa (surpassing segmental templates à la Semitic and Yokuts), among many others. Given that half the world’s languages are tonal–with a huge number in some of the least documented areas – we suspect phonological theory still has a huge amount to gain by specifically engaging with grammatical tone. Submissions are invited which directly focus on grammatical tone and phonological theory. We seek to include several tone-system types (e.g. from ‘canonical’ tone systems like Vietnamese to ‘pitch-accent systems’ like Serbian or Japanese). Issues include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • the representation of grammatical tone, and the question of grammatical tone allomorphy;
  • interactions between grammatical tone and the phonological grammar, e.g. the role of phonological markedness, blocking effects, segmental epenthesis;
  • interactions between grammatical tone and other prosodic units, e.g. lexical tone, intonation/boundary tones, other grammatical tones, stress/prominence marking;
  • the derivation of grammatical tone, e.g. non-categorical application of grammatical tone, input–output vs. output–output relations, cyclic effects, derived environment effects;
  • types of (non-)locality effects with grammatical tone, defined either linearly or hierarchically;
  • interface with phonetics, e.g. incomplete neutralisation effects, exemplar models;
  • interface with morphosyntax, e.g. phonology-free syntax, issues of modularity in grammar;
  • prosodic constituency, e.g. (mis)alignment between the domains of grammatical tone and other prosodic constituents in the prosodic hierarchy, kinds of attested nonisomorphy;
  • the computational properties of grammatical tone.


This thematic issue, which will be edited by Nicholas Rolle (Princeton University), Florian Lionnet (Princeton University) and Laura McPherson (Dartmouth College), is open to all potential contributors, and is projected to appear as one of the first issues of Phonology 39 (2022).


The deadline for submissions is 1 October 2020.


General information on the submission of manuscripts can be found in previous issues of the journal, or on the Phonology website ( For this issue, submissions should be sent in PDF format to An abstract (no longer than 150 words) should be included. Please begin the heading with ‘Phonology thematic issue’.


Preference will be given to papers which will occupy no more than 20 printed pages in the journal (around 8000 words). Submissions will be read by at least two reviewers and by the editors of the thematic issue.


Soliciting examples of prefix (non-)cohesion

I am a graduate student in phonology at UCLA whose MA work aims in part to formalize the traditional understanding that there is a morphological asymmetry in phonological cohesion: suffixes are vastly more readily incorporated into the prosodic domain of the root, compared to prefixes. After conducting a modest typological survey of world languages, the data show an overwhelming preference for this asymmetry to exist. I was hoping to solicit help from individuals who are able to provide counterexamples to (or examples in support of) this generalization.
Please email me at or comment on this post below. Thank you for your time and insights,
Noah Elkins

Call for submissions: Pedagogical Approaches to Laboratory Phonology

From Christina Bjorndahl, Mark Gibson and Jonathan Howell (e-mail:

We are pleased to announce “Pedagogical Approaches to Laboratory Phonology”, a satellite workshop of LabPhon 17 at the University of British Columbia, on July 9, 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM:

The purpose of this workshop is to create a forum to exchange ideas, tools, and techniques in teaching Laboratory Phonology. The workshop is being held as a satellite event of LabPhon17 and will feature invited speaker Mary Beckman, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Ohio State University.

Some of the questions we aim to address include:

– What role does laboratory phonology have in the undergraduate/graduate curriculum?
– Is it possible to design a course in laboratory phonology that does not have a more “traditional” phonology and/or phonetics course(s) as pre-requisite(s)?
– What technical / computational / statistical issues arise?
– Alternatively, does a laboratory phonology approach lend itself more to a topic-driven course in which a particular research question is investigated, or a more traditional phonology course that surveys one or more phonological frameworks?
– What do sample activities/assignments/syllabi centered on a particular topic within laboratory phonology look like, and how might they be improved based on current research in pedagogy?

Our goal is for this workshop to initiate a conversation amongst researchers and instructors about pedagogical challenges, approaches, and resources that arise in bringing laboratory phonology into the classroom.

This workshop is being organized by Christina Bjorndahl (Carnegie Mellon University), Mark Gibson (Universidad de Navarra) and Jonathan Howell (Montclair State University).

Call for Papers:

Types of submissions:

– Presentations
We invite submissions for 15-minute oral presentations on a variety of topics that introduce novel approaches to teaching laboratory phonology. We will conclude this session with a general Q&A with all presenters together.

– Poster/demo session
The poster/demo session will include both conventional posters as well as technology-based demos using presenters’ laptop computers. The workshop will provide both a space for displaying posters and tables for presenters to set up their laptops.

– Lightning talks
We invite submissions for 2-minute lightning talks. These informal, lightning-fast talks are ideal for sharing anecdotal classroom tips and tricks, both successes and failures. We will conclude this session with a general Q&A with all presenters together. Lightning talk presenters will submit their slides in advance of the workshop so that all talks can be part of a single slide presentation.

We invite abstracts for 15-minute oral presentations, 2-minute lightning talks, poster presentations, and demos. The abstract submission form can be found at

The deadline for oral presentations, poster presentations, and demos is February 1, 2020. Notification of acceptance will go out March 1, 2020.

The deadline for lightning talks is May 15, 2020. Notification of acceptance will go out June 1, 2020, and slides will be due June 15, 2020.

Submission guidelines:

– Oral presentations & posters
Abstracts for oral presentations and posters should not exceed one page (single-spaced, 12pt font) including figures and references.

– Demos
Abstracts for demos should not exceed one page, and should clearly describe the pedagogical challenge that is addressed by the demonstration, and the nature of audience involvement. Please note that we will be providing tables for presenters to set up their laptops, but no other equipment. If you require other resources, please contact the organizers to see about feasibility.

– Lightning talks
Abstracts for lightning talks should not exceed one paragraph, and should clearly state the pedagogical setting (e.g., undergraduate class vs. graduate seminar) and briefly describe the idea.

As we would like to include perspectives from a variety of pedagogical settings and institutions, please include your name and affiliation in the abstract. The file name should be of the form lastname_title.pdf (e.g., Smith_AwesomeClassroomInnovation.pdf).