Simultaneous Chronology: The Sequencing of Innovations in the Polabian Vowel Shift

Roslyn Burns
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Monday, September 28, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
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In historical phonology, innovations that occurred in a language prior to its documentation are sequenced one of two ways. If the output of one innovation alters the input of another, the two innovations are understood to be distinct events which happened at separate times (relative chronology). When the inputs and outputs of two events do not interact, they cannot be sequenced into separate time periods. In this talk, I highlight a third chronology: one in which two innovations interact at the same time. I model this behavior in Polabian (West Slavic, extinct) with a Harmonic Grammar (Flemming 2001) using acoustic data from Russian (Purcell 1979).

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