"Typology, judgments, and weights"

Michael Hammond, The University of Arizona


The first part of this talk reports on new experimental results showing how typological generalizations play a role in experimental judgment tasks. In particular, we show how syllable onset size and sonority sequencing both figure. We show how such generalizations play an independent role from that played by phonotactic probability and neighborhood density. This requires a phonological system in addition to whatever is responsible for phonotactic probability and neighborhood density.

The second part of the talk shows how these typological effects reflect distributional regularities of the phonological system at a more general level than phonotactic probability.

Finally, we consider how typological generalizations like these can be modeled in the grammar. We show that they can be encoded by innate constraints, weighted by language experience.

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