Phonology

Claire Bowern Gives Talk at MIT

On Nov 2, Claire Bowern gave a talk in Roger Levy’s Computational Psycholinguistics lab, on phonological stability and factors which may (or may not) give rise to sound change. She talked with lab members about types of explanation around sound change and the interaction between cognitive, social, and physiological constraints on phonological systems.

Stephen Anderson publishes second edition of Phonology in the Twentieth Century

Language Science Press has published a second edition of Emeritus Professor Steve Anderson’s celebrated monograph Phonology in the Twentieth Century (U Chicago Press 1985) — an important history of the development of phonological thinking over the course of the last century which taxonomises and contextualises the contributions of important theorists and tensions between “representational” and “rule-based” approaches to the sound structures of human language.

Christopher Geissler begins postdoc in Düsseldorf

Christopher Geissler (Ph.D. 2021) has taken a position as a postdoctoral researcher in the English Language and Linguistics section at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. He is working with newly-appointed professor Kevin Tang, a former postdoc at Yale’s linguistics department. This semester, Chris is teaching intermediate morphology and an advanced seminar in the phonetics-phonology interface.

Chris’ website can be accessed at the following link: https://campuspress.yale.edu/geissler/

Jason Shaw gave an invited talk at LMU Munich

Jason Shaw gave an invited talk at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. The talk, entitled “Tone as gesture: space, time, perception and change” featured recent work in the Yale phonetics lab on lexical tone, including graduate student projects by Chris Geissler and Andy Zhang. The talk was a part of LMU’s MAMPF (Methods and approaches of modern phonetic research) series (link to talk series). Link to abstract.

Claire Bowern publishes in Diachronica

Claire Bowern is an author, headed by Jayden Macklin-Cordes and Erich Round (Ling PhD 2009) of a new study on phylogenetic signal in phonotactics. The paper uses data from Pama-Nyungan (Australian) languages to track the extent to which phoneme inventory characteristics (phoneme presence/absence, unigram and bigram frequency) show phylogenetic signal. This is relevant for claims that Australian languages do not show sound change. The paper is open access and supplementary materials are available.

Jason Shaw publishes in Language

Jason Shaw co-authored a paper published in Language. The paper, entitled “Phonological contrast and phonetic variation: The case of velars in Iwaidja”, presents a field-based ultrasound and acoustic study of Iwaidja, an endanged Australian Aboriginal language. This study reveals how lenition that is both phonetically gradient and variable across speakers and words can give the illusion of a contextually restricted phonemic contrast.

Subscribe to Phonology