Goldstein Colloquium

May 22
Wieboldt 408
University of Southern California
Dynamics in Phonological Grammar

Networks of coupled dynamical systems can exhibit multiple, qualitatively distinct stable states, and therefore can be used to represent contrasting linguistic structures. The advantage of this representation, particularly in the domain of phonology (and speech) is that dynamical systems provide a lawful relation between certain key quantitive variables and the stable qualitative states of the system (cf. [2]). In phonology, this means lawful relations between phonetic observables and phonological structure and between continuous variation along key variables and qualitative changes in phonological state. In this talk, I will exemplify this approach with applications to four areas: a coupling graph model of syllable structure [3], the nature of phonological speech errors [1], sound change (e.g., pre-aspirated to post-aspirated stops in Western Andalusian Spanish [4]), and the parallelism between qualitative phonological alternations and continuous phonetic variation (e.g., pitch accent placement in Tashlhiyt Berber [5]).


[1] Goldstein, L, Pouplier, M., Chen, L., Saltzman, E., and Byrd, D. (2007). Dynamic action units slip in speech production errors. Cognition, 103, 386-412.

[2] Gafos, A. & Benus, S. (2006). Dynamics of phonlogical cognition. Cognitive Science, 30, 837-862.

[3] Nam, H., Goldstein, L., & Saltzman, E. (2010). Self-organization of syllable structure: a coupled oscillator model. In F. Pellegrino, E. Marisco, & I. Chitoran, (Eds). Approaches to phonological complexity. Berlin/New York:
Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 299-328.

[4] Parrell, B. (2012). The role of gestural phasing in Western Andalusian Spanish aspiration. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 37-45.

[5] Röttger, T., Ridouane, R., & Grice, M. (2013). Phonetic alignment and phonological association in Tashlhiyt Berber. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 133, 3572.