Introduction to Non-linear Phonology

This course will start with a brief overview of linear phonology. The basic assumption of linear (Sound Pattern of English, Chomsky and Halle) phonology is that the phonological representation of sound is a linear slicing up into discrete matrices of segments. The way in which phonological adjustments were accounted for in linear phonology will be briefly dealt with. After that we will discuss the main arguments that led to the development of nonlinear phonology. Nonlinear phonology does not represent one single theory in a definite form, but rather consists of a number of subtheories (stress, tone, feature representation, syllable structure, underspecification etc.) each of which is characterized by a number of competing descriptive models. We will discuss, among other things, syllable structure, metrical structure and feature geometry.

Finally, developments in phonological theory have not only focussed on the phonological representation itself, but also on the way in which the phonological adjustments are accounted for. Rule-based versus constraints-based models compete in this respect. We will introduce and discuss Optimality Theory by looking mainly at loan phonology.

Day 1 and 2: Introduction to linear phonology. Basic concepts, features, rules.

Day 3: Syllable structure, stress and tone.

Day 4: Feature geometry, underspecification. OT

Day 5: Derivational and constraint-based analyses. Loan phonology.

Course readings: material will be provided.