Colloquium led by Jane Chandlee

January 12
3:00-4:30 pm
Rosenwald 011
Haverford College
A Computational Account of Opaque Phonological Interactions

Abstract: A variety of factors have been claimed to account for the range and limits of phonological typology. One approach followed in recent work has tested the extent to which computational factors can be argued to delimit the set of possible phonological patterns. In this talk I will first outline a framework for classifying phonological patterns in terms of their computational complexity, a framework grounded in the hypothesis that phonology is subregular in nature and can therefore be characterized with proper subsets of the regular relations. With this framework in place I will present a significant recent finding that opaque phonological interactions belong to one such subregular class, called the Input Strictly Local functions. This result is one example of how computational analyses can lead to a greater understanding of the nature of phonological generalizations independently of the grammatical formalism used to describe them.