Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

Morphologically conditioned phonology with two triggers

Hannah Sande

Morphologically conditioned phonology, where a particular phonological alternation or requirement holds only for a subset of lexical items or in a subset of morphological contexts, is well documented. This paper expands on the literature by examining phonological alternations where two independent triggering morphemes must both be present for a phonological alternation to apply. Several cases of doubly morphologically conditioned phonological alternations, from a diverse set of languages, are described. The existence of morphologically conditioned phonology with two triggers informs our...

A unified account of conditioned phonological alternations: Evidence from Guébie

Hannah Sande

This article expands on cophonologies by phase, a model of the interface between morphology and phonology, which was introduced in Sande & Jenks 2018. The crucial innovation of cophonologies by phase is the enhancement of lexical or vocabulary items to include morpheme-specific constraint weights. These weights modify the default phonological grammar of the language only in the domain of evaluation that contains the triggering morpheme, where domains are determined by syntactic phase boundaries. The interactions of the default grammar and morpheme-specific constraint weights function...

Phonologically determined nominal concord as post-syntactic: Evidence from Guébie

Hannah Sande

This paper brings novel data to bear on whether nominal concord relationships are formed in the narrow syntax or post-syntactically. In Guébie, a Kru language spoken in Côte d’Ivoire, nominal concord marking on non-human pronouns and adjectives is determined not by syntactic or semantic features of the concord-triggering noun, but by the phonological form of the noun. Specifically, concord marking on pronouns and adjectives surfaces as a vowel with the same backness features as the vowels of the head noun. Assuming that syntax is phonology-free (Pullum & Zwicky 1986, 1988), the fact...

Toward understanding the communication in sperm whales

J. Andreas
Gašper Beguš
M. Bronstein
R. Diamant
D. Delaney
S. Gero
S. Goldwasser
D. Gruber
S. de Haas
P. Malkin
N. Pavlov
R. Payne
G. Petri
D. Rus
P. Sharma
D. Tchernov
P. Tønnesen
A. Torralba
D. Vogt
R. Wood

Machine learning has been advancing dramatically over the past decade. Most strides are human-based applications due to the availability of large-scale datasets; however, opportunities are ripe to apply this technology to more deeply understand non-human communication. We detail a scientific roadmap for advancing the understanding of communication of whales that can be built further upon as a template to decipher other forms of animal and non-human communication. Sperm whales, with their highly developed neuroanatomical features, cognitive abilities, social structures, and discrete...

Distinguishing cognitive from historical influences in phonology

Gašper Beguš

Distinguishing cognitive influences from historical influences on human behavior has long been a disputed topic in behavioral sciences, including linguistics. The discussion is often complicated due to empirical evidence being consistent with both the cognitive and the historical approach. This article argues that phonology offers a unique test case for distinguishing historical and cognitive influences on grammar, and it proposes an experimental technique for testing the cognitive factor which controls for the historical factor. The article outlines a model called catalysis for...

Interpreting Intermediate Convolutional Layers In Unsupervised Acoustic Word Classification

Gašper Beguš
Alan Zhou

Understanding how deep convolutional neural networks classify data has been subject to extensive research. This paper proposes a technique to visualize and interpret intermediate layers of unsupervised deep convolutional networks by averaging over individual feature maps in each convolutional layer and inferring underlying distributions of words with non-linear regression techniques. A GAN-based architecture (ciwGAN [1]) that includes a Generator, a Discriminator, and a classifier was trained on unlabeled sliced lexical items from TIMIT. The training process results in a deep...

Hannah Sande

Assistant Professor of Linguistics

PhD, UC Berkeley

Phonology, morphology, and their interface; prosody; language documentation and description; African languages, especially languages of Côte d'Ivoire

Sharon Inkelas

Professor of Linguistics; Associate Vice Provost for the Faculty and Special Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor on Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment

PhD, Stanford

Phonology, morphology, and their interface; child phonology

Yiddish Linguistics

Isaac L. Bleaman

Linguistic studies of Yiddish span several centuries and incorporate a wide range of research questions and methodologies, from philological analyses of Old Yiddish texts to generative approaches to particular grammatical constructions. The historical development of the language has undoubtedly been, and continues to be, the most hotly debated research topic in Yiddish linguistics. However, other productive areas of inquiry have included structural analysis (e.g., syntax, semantics, and phonology), dialectology and other fields of sociolinguistics (e.g., language contact and interspeaker...

The Gettysburg Corpus: Testing the Proposition That All Tense /æ/s Are Created Equal

Isaac L. Bleaman
Daniel Duncan

Corpus studies of regional variation using raw language data from the internet focus predominantly on lexical variables in writing. However, online repositories such as YouTube offer the possibility of investigating regional differences using phonological variables, as well. This article demonstrates the viability of constructing a naturalistic speech corpus for sociophonetic research by analyzing hundreds of recitations of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. We first replicate a known result of phonetic research, namely, that English vowels are longer in duration before voiced...