The Berkeley Phonetics and Phonology Forum ("Phorum") is a weekly talk and discussion series featuring presentations on all aspects of phonology and phonetics.
We meet Mondays 12-1pm in 1303 Dwinelle.
Phorum is organized by Myriam Lapierre and Eric Wilbanks. Our emails are respectively "myriam.lapierre" and "wilbanks_eric" @berkeley.edu.
Fall 2018 - Upcoming Talks
November 19, 2018 - Phorum Canceled
November 26, 2018 - Simon Todd: Word frequency effects in sound change: A listener-based exemplar model
Word frequency effects in regular sound change present a major unresolved puzzle. The literature has documented cases of regular sound change in which high-frequency words change faster than low-frequency words, other cases in which they change slower than low-frequency words, and yet other cases in which all words change at the same rate. How can these differences be explained? I propose that the answer lies in the implications of the change for the listener. I present an exemplar-based computational model of regular sound change in which the listener plays a large role, and I demonstrate that it generates sound changes with properties and word frequency effects seen empirically in corpus data. In particular, I show that the various word frequency effects in the literature follow from a single perceptual asymmetry, whereby a listener can more easily recognize high-frequency words than low-frequency words when acoustically ambiguous. Different word frequency effects arise in different kinds of sound changes because they change the listener's landscape of acoustic ambiguity in different ways.
December 3, 2018 - No Meeting
December 10, 2018 - LSA Practice Talks
A list of previous Phorum talks can be found at the Phorum Archive.