Workshop on Variation, Gradience and Frequency in Phonology

Last update: December 14, 2007
For questions or comments, please email dialect (at) stanford (dot) edu

6-8 July, 2007, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, U.S.A.

Workshop description:

This three-day workshop on Variation, Gradience, and Frequency in Phonology ran concurrently with the 2007 Linguistic Institute at Stanford in July 2007. The goal was to facilitate the collaboration among phonologists seeking unified theoretical explanations for qualitative and quantitative patterns in phonology. The workshop focused on three main topics:
Phonology studies the sound patterns of human languages. Sound patterns sometimes emerge as quantitative tendencies and preferences. This can be illustrated by the following three examples. First, in American English, word-final t is variably deleted, more often before consonants (west side) than before vowels (west end). Second, some sound combinations make better words than others. This can be seen in the dictionary where some combinations are statistically overrepresented, others underrepresented, as well as in experiments where subjects judge some nonsense words to sound more natural than others (stin > smy > bzharsk). Third, word frequency influences phonological patterns. The low-frequency word exploit has initial stress as a noun, final stress as a verb, whereas the high-frequency word express has final stress under both readings.

Phonological theory has traditionally focused on qualitative patterns. Quantitative phenomena, such as variation, gradient phonotactics and lexical frequency effects, have not figured prominently in theoretical discussion. This is changing. Quantitative studies are becoming common, partly because of new methodological developments (annotated corpora, sociolinguistic databases, searchable dialect archives, on-line dictionaries, experimental psycholinguistic data, new computational tools), and partly because of new theoretical developments. This has broadened the empirical base of phonology and is likely to lead to new discoveries and connections to neighboring fields of inquiry.

Workshop Schedule:

Friday, July 6

7:30-8:30 Evening lecture: Paul Kiparsky, Stanford Univ. "Variation as a window on phonological structure"

Saturday, July 7

9:00-9:40 Bruce HayesUCLAThe analysis of gradience in phonology: What are the right tools?slides
9:40-10:20 Gregory GuyNew York Univ.The scope of generalization in phonologyslides
10:40-11:20 Michael HammondUniv. of ArizonaTypology, judgments, and weightsslides
11:20-12:00 Kie Zuraw with Kevin RyanUCLAFrequency influences on phonological rule application within and across words
1:30-2:10 Andries CoetzeeUniv. of MichiganA lexical theory of variationslides
2:10-2:50 Joe PaterUniv. of Massachusetts, AmherstHarmonic Grammar, Gradual Learning, and Phonological Gradiencehandout
4:20-5:00 Dan JurafskyStanford Univ.Predictability Effects on Content Versus Function Word Pronunciation in Conversational English

Sunday, July 8

9:00-9:40 Arto AnttilaStanford Univ. T-Orders and Variation Slides Handout
9:40-10:20 Marc van OostendorpMeertens InstituteGradience, variability and the visibility of voicing in Dutchslides
10:40-11:20 Yoonjung KangUniv. of TorontoThe frequency effects and regularization in Korean noun variationshandout
11:20-12:00 Adam AlbrightMITSimilarity, feature-based generalization, and bias in novel onset clustersslideshandout
1:30-2:10 Betty PhillipsIndiana State Univ.Frequency Effects in the Lexical Diffusion of Phonological Changeslidesbibliography
2:10-2:50 James MyersNational Chung Cheng Univ.Frequency effects in lenition and the challenge of lexicalized markednessslides
3:00-3:40 Paul BoersmaUniv. of AmsterdamThe evolution of phonotactic distributions in the lexiconslides
3:50-4:50 Panel Discussion:
with: Bruce Hayes, UCLA

Norma Mendoza-Denton, Univ. of Arizona

James McClelland, Stanford Univ.

Paul Smolensky, Johns Hopkins, Smolensky's slides

Poster session

Young-ran AnSUNY Stony Brook Identity avoidance In Korean reduplication[PDF]
Diana ApoussidouUniversiteit van Amsterdam Hidden variation as a result of learning: Is variation okay as long as you can't hear it?
Michael BeckerUniv. of Massachusetts, Amherst Learning stochastic grammars without stochastic rankings poster handout
Natalie BollUtrecht Institute Of Linguistics Is gradient phonotactic knowledge lexical or grammatical? Evidence from a serial recall experiment[PDF]
Walcir CardosoConcordia Univ. Not everything that can be counted counts: Input frequency and markedness in the development of second language /s/ + consonant onset sequences[PDF]
Lisa DavidsonNew York Univ. Why /znafe/ is easier to say than /pkamo/
Olga DmitrievaStanford Univ. Variation in pronunciation of geminate consonants in Russian [PDF]
Maria Gouskova & Nancy HallNew York Univ. & Univ. of Essex Levantine Arabic vowel epenthesis: phonetics, phonology, and learning [PDF]
Martin HilpertRice Univ. The English Comparative - Phonology and Usage [PDF]
Karen JesneyUniv. of Massachusetts, Amherst The locus of variation in weighted constraint grammars [PDF]
Vsevolod KapatsinskiIndiana Univ. Does high frequency lead to automaticity? A corpus study. [PDF]
James Kirby & Alan YuUniversity of Chicago Gradient and categorical constraints: evidence from Cantonese [PDF]
Tracy Lennertz & Iris BerentFlorida Atlantic Univ. Markedness constraints on the perception of s/z-initial onset clusters [PDF]
Andrew MartinUCLA Grammars Leak: How categorical phonotactics can cause gradient phonotactics [PDF]
Jennifer NyczNew York Univ. Two Repairs In One grammar? A unified OT account of obligatory epenthesis & variable t/d deletion in English poster
Mary PearceSIL ATR allophones or undershoot in Kera
Shinichiro SanoSophia Univ. An Optimality-Theoretic account of Sa-insertion in Japanese poster
Anne St-AmandUniv. of Toronto Intra-grammar variation and vowel deletion in Canadian French
Brent Vander Wyk & James L. McClellandStanford Univ. Graded constraints on English word forms[PDF]
Yuan ZhaoStanford Univ. Low Frequency Is Of High Frequency: Frequency Effect on Tonal Variations [PDF]


The 2007 Linguistic Institute

Searchable Stanford Campus Map

Lauren Hall-Lew's home page

Arto Anttila's home page

This workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation under workshop number 0647250.