Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

Conference double-header!

October 3, 2018

This weekend features two conferences at which Berkeley Linguistics will have a major presence, one each in the east and the west:

  • The Annual Meeting on Phonology, at UC San Diego, features work by faculty Larry Hyman and Jesse Zymet, along with alumni Nik Rolle (PhD 2018, now at Princeton), Hannah Sande (PhD 2017, now at Georgetown),  Gabriela Caballero (PhD 2008, now at UCSD), Alan Yu (PhD 2003, now at Chicago),  and Eugene Buckley (PhD 1992, now at Penn).
  • NELS 49, at Cornell, features presentations by graduate students Emily Clem, Schuyler Laparle, and Tessa Scott, along with alum Maziar Toosarvandani (PhD 2010, now at UC Santa Cruz). 

Congrats all!

Encoding of Articulatory Kinematic Trajectories in Human Speech Sensorimotor Cortex

Josh Chartier
Gopala K. Anumanchipalli
Keith Johnson
Edward F. Chang

When speaking, we dynamically coordinate movements of our jaw, tongue, lips, and larynx. To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying articulation, we used direct cortical recordings from human sensorimotor cortex while participants spoke natural sentences that included sounds spanning the entire English phonetic inventory. We used deep neural networks to infer speakers’ articulator movements from produced speech acoustics.

Why underlying representations?

Larry M. Hyman

Phonology is a rapidly changing and increasingly varied field, having traveled quite some distance from its original structuralist and generative underpinnings. In this overview I address the status of underlying representations (URs) in phonology, which have been rejected by a number of researchers working in different frameworks. After briefly discussing the current state of phonology, I survey the arguments in favor of vs. against URs, considering recent surface-oriented critiques and alternatives.

What tone teaches us about language

Larry M. Hyman

In 'Tone: Is it different?' (Hyman 2011a), I suggested that 'tone is like segmental phonology in every way—only more so', emphasizing that there are some things that only tone can do. In this presidential address my focus extends beyond phonology, specifically addressing what tone tells us about the integration (vs. compartmentalization) of grammar. I discuss some rather striking examples that demonstrate problems for the strict separation of phonology, morphology, and syntax, each time posing the question, 'What else is like this outside of tone?'.

Phonological typology

Larry M. Hyman
Frans Plank

Despite earlier work by Trubetzkoy, Jakobson and Greenberg, phonological typology is often underrepresented in typology textbooks. At the same time, most phonologists do not see a difference between phonological typology and cross-linguistic (formal) phonology. The purpose of this book is to bring together leading scholars to address  the issue of phonological typology, both in terms of the unity and the diversity of phonological systems.

Sound change and the structure of synchronic variability: Phonetic and phonological factors in Slavic palatalization

Khalil Iskarous
Darya Kavitskaya

This article investigates the development of the palatalization contrast in Slavic from diachronic, synchronic, and phonetic perspectives. The diachrony of this contrast is an important test case for theories of the actuation of sound change, since the Slavic language family shows an impressive diversity in the realization of the original contrast, with Russian, for instance, preserving the contrast, Slovak maintaining it only for some consonants, and Slovenian showing complete merger.