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 Friday 3-4pm on Zoom. Please email one of the organizers for the zoom link or to ask to be added to the mailing list (which will include relevant links).

Phorum is organized by Dakota Robinson and Anna Björklund. Our emails are respectively "dakota_robinson" and "aebjorklund"

Fall 2020 - Upcoming Talks

September 4

Round robin

Students and faculty are invited to discuss their past and upcoming research.

September 11

Nicholas Rolle (Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS))- First-last harmony or outward-looking allomorphy in Cilungu grammatical tone

We present on a case study of grammatical tone allomorphy in Cilungu (Bantu). Tense/Aspect/Mood designations (TAMs) are realized via co-exponence of prefixes, suffixes, and floating tones. In a small number of TAMs (e.g. Recent Past /á-cí-…-il-e/), there is allomorphy with the floating tones. With Recent Past, one is a high tone targeting the final TBU of the stem (F) at the right-edge, versus one targeting the second stem TBU (2). For all TAMs, the alternation is conditioned by the tone of subject agreement markers (SMs) at the left edge of the word. If the SM is high-toned the F variant occurs, but if it is toneless then 2 occurs.

We present two competing accounts of these data. Under a morphological account, we posit contextual realizational rules with multiple stored allomorphs, i.e. distinct (suppletive) exponents conditioned by SM tone. In contrast, under a phonological account there is morphologically-conditioned phonology causing the alternation, triggered only in the context of SMs and the small set of TAMs. A rule would capture a conspiracy in these alternations: if the SM is H at the left edge then there is a grammatical H at the right edge, but if the left-edge SM is toneless then grammatical tone does not fall on the right edge (a rule of 'first/last tone agreement'). We present several arguments in favor of the morphological analysis (suppletion) over a phonological one (morphologically-conditioned phonology), and discuss a major theoretical implication: outward-looking phonologically-conditioned allomorphy is possible, standardly argued to be unattested and/or impossible.

[In collaboration with Lee Bickmore-- University at Albany]

September 18

Martha Schwarz (UC Berkeley) 

September 25

Hossep Dolatian (Stony Brook University)- Head-based bracketing paradoxes in Armenian compounds

It is often argued that words have complex internal structure in terms of their morphology, phonol-gy, and semantics.  On the surface, Armenian compounds present a bracketing paradox between their morphological and phonological structure.  I argue that this bracketing paradox simultaneously references endocentricity, strata, and prosody.  I use Armenian as a case study to argue for the use of cyclic approaches to bracketing paradoxes over the more common counter-cyclic approaches.  I analyze the bracketing paradox using cyclic Head-Operations (Hoeksema 1984) and Prosodic Phonology (Nespor and Vogel 1986), specifically the Prosodic Stem (Downing 1999a). I argue that the interaction between the bracketing paradox and the rest of compound phonology requires the use of stratal levels and cyclicity. I argue that counter-cyclic approaches like Morphological Merger (Marantz 1988) or Morphological Rebracketing (Sproat 1985) are inadequate because they make incorrect predictions about Armenian phonology.

October 9

Connor Mayer (UCLA)- Opacity in Uyghur vowel harmony

October 23

Juliet Stanton (NYU)

November 13

Chantal Gratton (Stanford University)


A list of previous Phorum talks can be found at the Phorum Archive