Category Archives: Books/Journals

New titles from Equinox Publishing

Equinox Publishing, Ltd are pleased to announce the publication of two new books in the Advances in Optimality Theory series.

Blocking and Complementarity in Phonological Theory by Eric Baković. Further details can be viewed and orders can be placed here.

Linguistic Derivations and Filtering: Minimalism and Optimality Theory edited by Hans Broekhuis and Ralf Vogel. Further details can be viewed and orders can be placed here.

The good folks at Equinox are happy to offer you 20% off the retail price of these books. Please quote the discount code BCPT when ordering from their website. This offer is valid until the end of March 2013.

The Phonology of Contrast

The Phonology of Contrast
by Anna Łubowicz
Advances in Optimality Theory series,
Equinox Publishing

The Phonology of Contrast argues that contrast is one of the central organizing principles of the grammar and provides a formal theory of contrast couched in the framework of Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky 1993/2004). The study of the role of contrast is a growing area of interest in linguistics and this monograph contributes to the debate on where contrast fits in the grammar. The key finding is that contrast exists as an independent principle in the grammar, which in the framework of Optimality Theory can be formulated as a family of rankable and violable constraints. A formal proposal of contrast is developed called Contrast Preservation Theory. This proposal is illustrated and supported with diverse contrast phenomena in the areas of phonology and at the phonology-morphology interface. Evidence is drawn from a number of languages including Finnish, Arabic, and Polish. Predictions of the proposal are discussed and compared with alternatives.

An Introduction to Element Theory

An Introduction to Element Theory
By Philip Backley

Describing a new and appealing way of analysing speech sounds, this book introduces you to the theory of elements in phonology.

Traditional features are capable of describing segments and segmental patterns, but they are often unable to explain why those patterns are the way they are. By using elements to represent segmental structure, we begin to understand why languages show such a strong preference for certain kinds of segments, contrasts, phonological processes and sound changes.

Using examples from a wide range of languages, this book demonstrates the process of analysing phonological data using elements, and gives readers the opportunity to compare element-based and feature-based accounts of the same phonological patterns. Backley also challenges traditional views through his innovative analysis of English weak vowels and diphthongs and his unified treatment of linking r and intrusive r as glide formation processes.

Providing a thorough introduction to the main topics in segmental phonology, this is an excellent overview for both students with a background in standard phonology as well as for those who are new to the field.

Key Features
· Provides a full and up-to-date description of Element Theory
· Includes examples from many languages and various dialects of English
· Further reading suggested for each topic
· Contains over 100 illustrations, including spectral and spectrographic figures

Pb ISBN 978 0 7486 3743 0 | £24.99
Available from Edinburgh University Press

The Blackwell Companion to Phonology

Fearless editors Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice — not to mention the 138 contributors of the 124 chapters — have completed the mammoth Blackwell Companion to Phonology and it is now available for purchase by libraries.

The reviews are in, the contents sorted, the faqs answered — and some sample chapters posted: Andrew Wedel on “Self-organization in Phonology“, B. Elan Dresher on “The Phoneme“, Ronnie Wilbur on “Sign Syllables“, Michael Becker and Kathryn Flack Potts on “The Emergence of the Unmarked“, Nancy Hall on “Vowel Epenthesis“, and Carlos Gussenhoven on “Sentential Prominence in English“. Check these freebies out.

Here’s more from the Companion‘s about page:

Available online or as a five-volume print set, The Blackwell Companion to Phonology is a major reference work drawing together 124 new contributions from leading scholars in the field. Led by a renowned team of international scholars, the Companion represents a diverse range of approaches and methodologies to the key phenomena in phonological research. In contrast to other handbooks and reference works currently available for phonology, the Companion focuses on phenomena and case studies to highlight historical and ongoing debates in the field. The Companion will be a touchstone for future phonological theorists, giving an overview of all the data and insights which any good theory of phonology should be able to cover.

The online platform provides audio files and links to external web content, as well as interactive cross-referencing and powerful searching and browsing capabilities. Simultaneously offering broad coverage and a high level of detail, The Blackwell Companion to Phonology is a landmark work that will be indispensable to students and researchers in the field for years to come.

Volume I: General Issues and Segmental Phonology
Volume II: Suprasegmental and Prosodic Phonology
Volume III: Phonological Processes
Volume IV: Phonological Interfaces
Volume V: Phonology Across Languages

Phonological Argumentation

Phonological Argumentation
Essays on Evidence and Motivation

Edited by: Steve Parker
Equinox Publishing
Series: Advances in Optimality Theory

This volume presents a series of original papers focusing on phonological argumentation, set within the framework of Optimality Theory. It contains two major sections: chapters about the evidence for and methodology used in discovering the bases of phonological theory, i.e., how constraints are formed and what sort of evidence is relevant in positing them; and case studies that focus on particular theoretical issues within Optimality Theory, usually through selected phenomena in one or more languages, arguing in favor of or against specific formal analyses.

A noteworthy detail of this book is that all of the contributors are connected with the program in phonology and phonetics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, either as current professors or former graduate students. Consequently, all of them have been directly influenced by John McCarthy, one of the major proponents of Optimality Theory. This collection will therefore be of interest to anyone who seriously follows the field of Optimality Theory. The intended readership is primarily graduate students and those already holding an advanced degree in linguistics.

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IU Working Papers in Linguistics: Volume 8 – African Linguistics Across the Discipline

IULC Publications, the linguistics graduate student run publications group at Indiana University, is pleased to announce the release of the 8th volume in its working papers series: African Linguistics Across the Discipline, edited by Jonathan Anderson, Christopher Green, and Samuel Obeng. This working papers includes a number of works from IU graduate students, current faculty, and recent alums, many of which focus on phonology and phonological theory. Please visit IULC Publications to view the full table of contents and to order yourself a copy of the volume. IULC Publications also has two other volumes in their series (Vol 1 and 6) that focus on phonology. Other phonology-specific titles can also be found.

Phonology-specific titles include:
A morphophonological analysis of onomatopoeic ideophones in Akan (Twi) — Seth A. Ofori
Does tone polarity exist? Evidence from plural formation among Bangime nouns — Abbie Hantgan
Conditioning factors in the realization of tone: LuNyala verbs — Kristopher Ebarb & Michael R. Marlo
Syncope and the drive towards minimization in Colloquial Bamana — Christopher R. Green, Stuart Davis, Boubacar Diakite, & Karen Baertsch

The Contrastive Hierarchy in Phonology

The Contrastive Hierarchy in Phonology

B. Elan Dresher

Cambridge Studies in Linguistics No. 121

‘Contrast’ — the opposition between distinctive sounds in a language — is one of the most central concepts in linguistics. This book presents an original account of the logic and history of contrast in phonology. It provides empirical evidence from diverse phonological domains that only contrastive features are computed by the phonological component of grammar. It argues that the contrastive specifications of phonemes are governed by language-particular feature hierarchies. This approach assigns a key role to abstract cognitive structures, challenging contemporary approaches that favour phonetic explanations of phonological phenomena. Tracing the evolution of the hypothesis that contrastive features play a special role in phonology, it shows how this insight has been obscured by misunderstandings of the role of the contrastive feature hierarchy. Questioning the widely held notion that contrast should be based on minimal pairs, Elan Dresher argues that the contrastive hierarchy is indispensable to illuminating accounts of phonological patterning.

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Hayes: Introductory Phonology

Introductory Phonology

Bruce Hayes

Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics

Accessible, succinct, and including numerous student-friendly features, this introductory textbook offers an exceptional foundation to the field for those who are coming to it for the first time.

  • Provides an ideal first course book in phonology, written by a renowned phonologist
  • Developed and tested in the classroom through years of experience and use
  • Emphasizes analysis of phonological data, placing this in its scientific context, and explains the relevant methodology
  • Guides students through the larger questions of what phonological patterns reveal about language
  • Includes numerous course-friendly features, including multi-part exercises and annotated suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter

Data and Theory: Papers in Phonology in Celebration of Charles W. Kisseberth

I’ve made it no secret here that Kenstowicz & Kisseberth (1979) is my favorite phonology textbook of all time, and I would even go so far as to say that Chuck Kisseberth is my favorite phonologist of all time. That’s why I was very pleased to see this LINGUIST List announcement today, the title of which rather understatedly offers the table of contents for Language Sciences, Vol. 31, Nos. 2&3 (2009), a special issue edited by Kenstowicz in honor of Kisseberth. Here’s the editor’s preface:

Charles (Chuck) Kisseberth occupies a unique position in phonology (comparable to the late Ken Hale’s in syntax). He has conducted trailblazing research at both the theoretical and descriptive levels, treating the two as different aspects of the same grand enterprise. His many papers and books over his 40 year career are commonly regarded as masterpieces of phonological analysis with mountains of data to support each step of the argument. Many of the most intriguing data sets that have continued to occupy our field’s attention were either originally discovered by or brought to our general attention by Chuck: Yawelmani vowels and syllable structure, Klamath global rules, Tonkawa derivational constraints, Chimwini sentential phonology, Bantu migrating tones. His early work on rule ordering, conspiracies, and derivational constraints diagnosed serious problems with the strictly bottom-up, derivational model of classical generative phonology. This fundamental insight was given its proper due only some 25 years later with the development of Optimality Theory. Chuck has been an active contributor to the OT literature with his Optimal Domains model of autosegmental phonology (in collaboration with Jennifer Cole and Farida Cassimjee). Chuck has been equally successful as a teacher and mentor. He has directed over forty doctoral dissertations — many by native speaker linguists describing their languages for the first time. Our 1979 textbook Generative Phonology: Description and Theory was the table at which a whole generation of linguists were served their first taste of phonology. We hope that the studies presented here provide him some recompense for his inspiration, guidance, and friendship over the years.

The TOC is below the fold; if you have access, check out the issue itself here.

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New Intro. Phonology Text

Nathan phonology text cover
A cognitive grammar introduction
Geoffrey S. Nathan
Wayne State University

Cognitive Linguistics in Practice 3

2008. x, 171 pp.
Hardbound – In stock
978 90 272 1907 7 / EUR 105.00 / USD 158.00

Paperback – In stock
978 90 272 1908 4 / EUR 25.00 / USD 37.95

e-Book – Available from e-book platforms
978 90 272 9088 5 / EUR 105.00 / USD 158.00

This textbook introduces the reader to the field of phonology, from allophones to faithfulness and exemplars. It assumes no prior knowledge of the field, and includes a brief review chapter on phonetics. It is written within the framework of Cognitive Linguistics, but covers a wide range of historical and contemporary theories, from the Prague School to Optimality Theory. While many examples are based on American and British English, there are also discussions of some aspects of French and German colloquial speech and phonological analysis problems from many other languages around the world. In addition to the basics of phoneme theory, features, and morphophonemics there are chapters on casual speech, first and second language acquisition and historical change. A final chapter covers a number of issues in contemporary phonological theory, including some of the classic debates in Generative Phonology (rule ordering, abstractness, ‘derivationalism’) and proposals for usage-based phonologies.

Studies on the Phonetics and Phonology of Glides

In case you missed it, there’s a special section of Lingua vol. 118, no. 12 on the phonetics and phonology of glides, guest edited by Ioana Chitoran and Andrew Nevins, which “developed from presentations at the workshop ‘Towards a phonetic and phonological typology of glides’, organized as part of the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, in Albuquerque, New Mexico”. Check it out.

Lenition and Fortition

Lenition and Fortition (Studies in Generative Grammar 99, Mouton de Gruyter), ed. by Joaquim Brandão de Carvalho, Tobias Scheer, and Philippe Ségéral.

There are books on tone, coronals, the internal structure of segments, vowel harmony, and a couple of other topics in phonology. This book aims to fill the gap for Lenition and Fortition, which is one of the first phenomena that was addressed by phonologists in the 19th century, and ever since contributed to phonological thinking. It is certainly one of the core phenomena that is found in the phonology of natural language: together with assimilations, the other important family of phenomena, Lenition and Fortition constitute the heart of what phonology can do to sound.

The book aims to provide an overall treatment of the question in its many aspects: historical, typological, synchronic, diachronic, empirical and theoretical. Various current approaches to phonology are represented.

The book is structured into three parts: 1) properties and behaviour of Lenition/Fortition, 2) lenition patterns in particular languages and language families, 3) how Lenition/Fortition work.

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Syllable Structure: Duanmu

Syllable Structure: The Limits of Variation, by San Duanmu (Oxford University Press, 2008)

This book looks at the range of possible syllables in human languages. The syllable is a central notion in phonology but basic questions about it remain poorly understood and phonologists are divided on even the most elementary issues. For example, the word city has been syllabified as ci-ty (the ‘maximal onset’ analysis), cit-y (the ‘no-open-lax-V’ analysis), and cit-ty (the ‘geminate C’ analysis).

San Duanmu explores and clarifies these and many other related issues through an in-depth analysis of entire lexicons of several languages. Some languages, such as Standard and Shanghai Chinese, have fairly simple syllables, yet a minimal difference in syllable structure has lead to a dramatic difference in tonal behavior. Other languages, such as English, German, and Jiarong, have long consonant clusters and have been thought to require very large syllables: San Duanmu shows that the actual syllable structure in these languages is much simpler. He bases his analyses on quantitative data, paying equal attention to generalizations that are likely to be universal. He shows that a successful analysis of the syllable must take into account several theories, including feature theory, the Weight-Stress Principle, the size of morpheme inventory, and the metrical representation of the syllable.

San Duanmu’s clear exposition will appeal to phonologists and advanced students and will provide a new benchmark in syllabic and prosodic analysis. He also offers an answer to the intriguing question: how different can human languages be?

[ Via LINGUIST List. ]

Contrast in Phonology

Contrast in Phonology: Theory, Perception, Acquisition
(Phonology and Phonetics 13, Mouton de Gruyter, September 2008.)

ed. by Peter Avery, B. Elan Dresher, and Keren Rice

[ Via LINGUIST List. ]

This book takes contrast, an issue that has been central to phonological theory since Saussure, as its central theme, making explicit its importance to phonological theory, perception, and acquisition. The volume brings together a number of different contemporary approaches to the theory of contrast, including chapters set within more abstract representation-based theories, as well as chapters that focus on functional phonetic theories and perceptual constraints. This book will be of interest to phonologists, phoneticians, psycholinguists, researchers in first and second language acquisition, and cognitive scientists interested in current thinking on this exciting topic.

These vowels could save your life

Daniela Isac and Charles Reiss have recently published I-Language: An Introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science, which apparently has more phonology in it than your typical textbook of this type. (As the book description notes: “Contains phonological parallels to familiar syntactic arguments”.) There’s also a companion website with various resources, including a great page demonstrating Turkish vowels (previously noted by Mr. Verb). The vowels are arranged in a cube-like format that may be familiar to many of us. (This is the way I learned about Turkish vowels from Jorge Hankamer, and it clearly had a lasting effect on me.)

The publisher’s website also includes this sample chapter (Chapter 1, “What is I-language?” — a good place to start), which begins with an autobiographical story about how Charles used his knowledge of Turkish vowels and vowel harmony to save himself and a friend from a near-death experience (hey, read it yourself).

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Optimality Theory, Phonological Acquisition and Disorders

Just published in the Advances in Optimality Theory series from Equinox: Dinnsen & Gierut (eds.), Optimality Theory, Phonological Acquisition and Disorders. The blurb:

Focusing on the phonologies of children with functional (non-organic) speech disorders, this volume reports the latest findings in optimality theory, phonological acquisition and disorders. The book is based on typological, cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental evidence from over 200 children. It stands out because of the unique test case that the population offers to optimality theory, particularly with respect to puzzles of opacity, lawful orders of acquisition, and language learnability. Beyond its theoretical significance, this research holds clinical relevance for the assessment and treatment of disordered populations, most notably the systematic prediction of learning outcomes. The volume bridges the gap between theory and application by showing how each informs the other. It is intended for linguists, psychologists, speech pathologists, second-language instructors and those interested in the latest developments in phonological theory and its applied extensions.

[ Via LINGUIST List. ]

Rules, Constraints, and Phonological Phenomena

(That pretty much covers it, doesn’t it? Not quite; see the next post.)

OUP has just announced (via LINGUIST List) this book, edited by Bert Vaux and Andrew Nevins. Here’s the TOC:

1. Introduction: The Division of Labor of Rules, Representations, and Constraints in Phonological Theory, Andrew Nevins and Bert Vaux
2. Why the Phonological Component Must be Serial and Rule-Based, Bert Vaux
3. Ordering, David Odden
4. Stress-Epenthesis Interactions, Ellen Broselow
5. Representational Economy, William Idsardi and Eric Raimy
6. Fenno-Swedish Quantity: Contrast in Stratal OT, Paul Kiparsky
7. SPE Extensions: Conditions on Representations and Defect Driven Rules, John Frampton
8. Constraining the Learning Path Without Constraints, or The OCP and NoBanana, Charles Reiss

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The Phonological Enterprise

Just announced on LINGUIST List: The Phonological Enterprise, by Charles Reiss and Mark Hale (Oxford University Press, Feb. 2008).

Re-examines foundational issues in phonology, linguistics, and cognitive science. Develops a coherent picture of the study of phonology and its relationship to other disciplines. Written with wit and in a clear and pedagogic style. This book scrutinizes recent work in phonological theory from the perspective of Chomskyan generative linguistics and argues that progress in the field depends on taking seriously the idea that phonology is best studied as a mental computational system derived from an innate base, phonological Universal Grammar. Two simple problems of phonological analysis provide a frame for a variety of topics throughout the book. The competence-performance distinction and markedness theory are both addressed in some detail, especially with reference to phonological acquisition. Several aspects of Optimality Theory, including the use of Output-Output Correspondence, functionalist argumentation and dependence on typological justification are critiqued. The authors draw on their expertise in historical linguistics to argue that diachronic evidence is often mis-used to bolster phonological arguments, and they present a vision of the proper use of such evidence. Issues of general interest for cognitive scientists, such as whether categories are discrete and whether mental computation is probabilistic are also addressed. The book ends with concrete proposals to guide future phonological research.

The breadth and depth of the discussion, ranging from details of current analyses to the philosophical underpinnings of linguistic science, is presented in a direct style with as little recourse to technical language as possible.

Phonology in Biolinguistics

Speaking of Charles Reiss: he has an article co-authored with Frédéric Mailhot (“Computing Long-Distance Dependencies in Vowel Harmony“) in the first issue of the new open access journal Biolinguistics.

Bridget Samuels also contributed the first review article to the new journal (“On Evolutionary Phonology“), and happens to also be one of the invited speakers to NAPhC5.

Some recent book announcements

Three recent book announcements found recently on LINGUIST List, of possible interest to phonoloblog readers:

Speaking of Phonology …

Phonology Thematic Issue 2009

Call for Papers – Relations between phonological models and experimental data (.pdf)

Over the past decades, experimental data have been used increasingly as evidence in phonological theorising. The success of the LabPhon conferences and the associated book series is evidence of this. However, most research in laboratory phonology eschews the kinds of formal grammatical models used in theoretical phonology. LabPhon papers tend to be neutral with respect to choice of grammatical model, or explicitly argue against a phonological grammar approach. On the other hand, research in theoretical phonology tends to rely solely on descriptive grammars or fieldwork as its empirical base. This thematic issue aims to build further bridges between theoretical phonology and laboratory phonology.

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Squibs in NLLT

As noted in the announcement that Junko Ito had joined Michael Kenstowicz as a phonology editor of NLLT, the journal will now be publishing shorter squib-like pieces. I wanted to get the low-down on this exciting move, so I contacted Junko and we set up a webchat interview. (Junko’s idea — I was Junko’s undergrad student in the early 90s, and even then she was way ahead of me in the new technology area.) The interview in full is below the fold.

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Junko Ito joins NLLT editors

This just in: Junko Ito has recently become an editor of Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (joining Michael Kenstowicz as one of the two p-side editors). But UCSC linguists on the s-side need not feel abandoned; one of Junko’s fellow editors is UCSD’s John Moore (UCSC Ph.D., 1991).

The aim of Natural Language and Linguistic Theory is to provide “a forum for the discussion of theoretical research that pays close attention to natural language data. The journal actively seeks to bridge the gap between descriptive work and work of a highly theoretical, less empirically oriented nature.”

The NLLT editors have recently announced that in addition to full-length articles and reviews, the journal will also open a platform for short squibs and discussion pieces.

[ Hat tip: Maria Gouskova. ]

Experimental Approaches to Phonology

[ Via LINGUIST List. ]

Maria-Josep Solé, Patrice Speeter Beddor, and Manjari Ohala (eds.), Experimental Approaches to Phonology. Oxford University Press, 2007.

Publisher’s blurb:

This wide-ranging survey of experimental methods in phonetics and phonology shows the insights and results provided by different methods of investigation, including laboratory-based, statistical, psycholinguistic, computational-modeling, corpus, and field techniques. The five chapters in the first part of the book examine the recent history and interrelations of theory and method. The remaining 18 chapters are organized into parts devoted to four key current areas of research: phonological universals; phonetic variation and phonological change; maintaining, enhancing, and modeling phonological contrasts; and phonological knowledge. The book provides fresh insights into the findings and theoretical advances that emerge from experimental investigation of phonological structure and phonological knowledge, as well as critical perspectives on experimental methods in the perception, production, and modeling of speech.

This book will be a valuable asset for all researchers into the sound structure of language, including scholars and advanced students of phonetics, phonology, speech science, psycholinguistics, and applied linguistics.

(Click here for a sample.)

OT and English phonology, anyone?

According to this LINGUIST List post, the book series that brought you April McMahon‘s nice-and-reasonably-sized book An Introduction to English Phonology and other introductory books on the English language is now soliciting book proposals for more advanced-level volumes:

The advanced volumes in the series are not restricted to an entry-level readership. Therefore, any text on any aspect of the linguistics of English would be eligible for the series. The only constraints on eligibility are (1) that all ETOTEL [= Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language, the series title–EB] texts must seek to explain, to a student readership, significant (and, in curricular terms, relevant) ranges of phenomena of English; and (2) that they take due account of existing knowledge in the field. Here are two possible examples (both currently under discussion):

-English Historical Syntax. This volume would presuppose a basic knowledge of (English) syntax and of the history of English.

-Optimality Theory and the Phonology of English. Such a volume would presuppose a working knowledge of the mainstream phonological phenomena of English, and of phonological terminology and notation. It would introduce and develop a version of Optimality Theory so as to present a coherent picture of the phonology of English.

Anyone here want to tackle the second of these? Contact the series editor, Heinz Giegerich.

Cambridge Handbook: official publication and website

February 28 was the official publication date of The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology, previously mentioned here!

The hardcover version costs $150/£80. After selling off a batch of these to libraries, we can hope that CUP will seriously consider issuing a less expensive soft cover version (and, reportedly, an e-book too).

The final component of the Handbook experience – the website – is also now ready. It has some useful features:

  • You can search the entire text of the book, making it the most searchable printed book available.
  • You can search the references and download them in a variety of formats.
  • There is a forum for people to discuss the chapters (and phonology in general). Please encourage your students to use it!
  • It has additional material (e.g., ‘further reading’ lists that many authors have provided, errata, etc.). There may eventually be other things available related to each chapter (e.g., handouts, related papers, teaching materials, webpage links, audio, video…).

Thanks to Handbook editor Paul de Lacy for putting such extraordinary work into this!

The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology

At long last, Cambridge University Press is publishing The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology, edited by Paul de Lacy, this month.

The picture of the book off to the right links to, but go to the CUP page to get more information about the book, including PDFs of the front matter and such. There is also a supplementary website for the book (which looks to be still under development) here.

Here’s the book blurb:

Phonology – the study of how the sounds of speech are represented in our minds – is one of the core areas of linguistic theory, and is central to the study of human language. This state-of-the-art handbook brings together the world’s leading experts in phonology to present the most comprehensive and detailed overview of the field to date. Focusing on the most recent research and the most influential theories, the authors discuss each of the central issues in phonological theory, explore a variety of empirical phenomena, and show how phonology interacts with other aspects of language such as syntax, morphology, phonetics, and language acquisition. Providing a one-stop guide to every aspect of this important field, The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology will serve as an invaluable source of readings for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, an informative overview for linguists, and a useful starting point for anyone beginning phonological research.

Books: on languages that may die soon, and on one that probably won't

On LINGUIST List recently, we hear of two books that may be of interest to phonoloblog readers:

The first, which I also mentioned here, is not strictly about phonology — but it’s written by a phonologist, so there you go.

Cascadilla Proceedings Project

Somehow, I completely missed (until just a few days ago) the existence of the truly cool Cascadilla Proceedings Project (emphasis added):

Cascadilla Proceedings Project is an imprint of Cascadilla Press. We created CPP as a new model for proceedings of linguistics conferences and workshops. All proceedings published by CPP are available both in print and on the web. Web access is free and unrestricted, and the copy available on the web is the same as the book version in content, formatting, and pagination. The print edition is a hardback which meets library binding standards. This combination allows for the best of both worlds: free and quick access for researchers looking for a proceedings paper, with all the advantages of being published in book form.

Among several other conference proceedings, there are those from the 2nd Laboratory Approaches to Spanish Phonetics and Phonology.

You may already be familiar with Cascadilla Press from recent book/CD proceedings of WCCFL and several other conferences, their Mac/PC-friendly Arboreal and Moraic fonts, or their fun teaching tools like IPA Bingo and Magnetic Phonetics. Now there’s just all the more reason to love the good folks at Cascadilla. While you’re browsing their site, consider buying a classroom IPA chart (or a t-shirt, coffee mug, etc.) at their new Cafe Press site. (And don’t forget to tell ’em phonoloblog sent you.)

Review: Phonological Development and Disorders in Children

[ Via LINGUIST List ]

EDITORS: Hua, Zhu; Dodd, Barbara

TITLE: Phonological Development and Disorders in Children

SUBTITLE: A Multilingual Perspective

SERIES: Child Language and Child Development

PUBLISHER: Multilingual Matters

YEAR: 2006

ISBN: 1853598895


This volume is a collection of articles describing typical and atypical articulatory and phonological development in a variety of languages of very different types. As part of the Multilingual Matters’ series on Child language and child development: Multilingual-multicultural perspectives, the book aims to use multilingual studies to deepen our understanding of universals of developmental phonology. Its stated aim is “to integrate research on a range of languages to examine phonological acquisition and disorder.”

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A few more books

Here are a few books recently announced on LINGUIST List of potential interest to phonoloblog readers.

Review: Acquiring a Non-Native Phonology

[ Via LINGUIST List, though for some reason tucked under the incorrect heading Review: Language Acquisition: Sorace et al. (2006) ]

Announced at

AUTHOR: Hansen, Jette G.

TITLE: Acquiring a Non-Native Phonology

SUBTITLE: Linguistic Constraints and Social Barriers

PUBLISHER: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd

YEAR: 2006

Andrea G. Osburne, Department of English, Central Connecticut State University

The process of adult acquisition of a second language phonology is a lengthy one, which makes it particularly difficult to study. It is hard to follow learners across years and decades to watch the process unfold, so, as the author of this monograph points out, the majority of studies have been synchronic rather than longitudinal. They have therefore focused on more salient transfer and developmental phenomena with less information about long-term processes. Hansen proposes to remedy this situation by reporting on a year-length study of the English phonological acquisition of two adult Vietnamese speakers.

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Review of Rhythmic Grammar

[ Via LINGUIST List ]

AUTHOR: Julia Schlüter
TITLE: Rhythmic Grammar: The influence of rhythm on grammatical variation and
changes in English

SERIES: Topics in English Linguistics
PUBLISHER: Mouton de Gruyter
YEAR: 2005

Reviewed by Mark Campana, Department of English, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies


This book presents a corpus-based test of a simple idea, that English favors an alternating pattern of stressed/non-stressed syllables in word and phrase structure. The Principle of Rhythmic Alternation can be discerned in texts dating from the 16th century to the present, and has (the author argues) influenced the development of the language in subtle ways. It begins by examining the distribution of competing forms, e.g. ‘worse’ and ‘worser’. Although ‘worse’ has always been the suppleted form of ‘bad’, most other comparatives had an –er ending (e.g. ‘richer’), so there was considerable pressure to fill out the paradigm. These two forms competed with each other from late medieval times, but ‘worser’ persisted longer than it should have in prenominal position before eventually dying out. The reason is that ‘worser’ contains an extra (weak) syllable, which the rhythmic grammar favors as a buffer between the stressed syllable of the adjective itself and the typically stressed first syllable of the noun it modifies. ‘Worser’ gave way to ‘worse’ much sooner in other syntactic environments where the specter of a stress clash did not arise. In other words, the preference for rhythmic alternation tipped the scales in favor of one syntactic variant over another.

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Korean Phonology

[ Via LINGUIST List ]

Title: Korean Phonology: A Principle-based Approach
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 12
Published: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Author: Duck-Young Lee
Paperback: ISBN: 3895862207 Pages: 250 Price: Europe EURO 69.10


This book presents an attempt to investigate major issues in Korean phonology in terms of principles and elements, based on the framework of Government Phonology. It begins with an introductory section, describing central aspects of the framework, which include recent development in the theory with regard to the representation of ATR and coronals. An analysis of a wide range of data in Korean phonology is then provided. In dealing with data involving vowels, the study first discusses vowel harmony, which has traditionally been treated as the result of the harmonic opposition between ‘light vowels’ and ‘dark vowels’. It address some unsolved problems in previous analyses by proposing a phonological operation called ‘A-head alignment’. This will be followed by an element-based analysis of vowel coalescence and diphthongisation.

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[ Via LINGUIST List ]

Title: Tyvan
Series Title: Languages of the World/ Materials 257
Published: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

K. David Harrison
, Yale University; Gregory David Anderson, University of Manchester
Loose Leaf: ISBN: 389586529X Pages: 80 Price: Europe EURO 42.00


Tyvan (aka Tuvan/Tuvinian) is spoken by 150-200,000 people in the Republic of Tyva in south centra Siberia. Tyvan (along with the closely related Tofalar) stand out among the Turkic languages in several ways. Tyvan has three sets of phonemic vowels: plain, long, and creaky voice. Word-initially obstruents exhibit a contrast between unaspirated/aspirated or voiced/voiceless, depending on the speaker. There is also a phonemically marginal series of long nasalized vowels. Tyvan has only one inflectional series for verbs, prefering enclitic pronominals in most forms (in main clauses).

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Syncope in the Verbal Prefixes of Tlingit: Meter and Surface Phonotactics

[ Via LINGUIST List ]

Title: Syncope in the Verbal Prefixes of Tlingit
Subtitle: Meter and Surface Phonotactics
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics 53
Published: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Author: Seth Cable, MIT
Paperback: ISBN: 389586377 Pages: 84 Price: Euro 84.00


This study presents an extended discussion and analysis of a seemingly idiosyncratic syncope process governing the verbal prefix string of Tlingit, a highly endangered and understudied Na-Dene language of Southeast Alaska and Northern British Columbia.

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Markedness: Reduction and Preservation in Phonology

[ Via LINGUIST List ]

Title: Markedness
Subtitle: Reduction and Preservation in Phonology
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 112
Published: 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Author: Paul de Lacy, Rutgers University
Hardback: ISBN: 0521839629 Pages: 466 Price: U.S. $ 99.00
Hardback: ISBN: 0521839629 Pages: 466 Price: U.K. £ 55.00


‘Markedness’ refers to the tendency of languages to show a preference for particular structures or sounds. This bias towards ‘marked’ elements is consistent within and across languages, and tells us a great deal about what languages can and cannot do. This pioneering study presents a groundbreaking theory of markedness in phonology. De Lacy argues that markedness is part of our linguistic competence, and is determined by three conflicting mechanisms in the brain:
(a) pressure to preserve marked sounds (‘preservation’),
(b) pressure to turn marked sounds into unmarked sounds (‘reduction’), and
(c) a mechanism allowing the distinction between marked and unmarked sounds to be collapsed (‘conflation’).

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Little Interface Library

Tobias Scheer (in Nice, France) is working on a book on the interface between phonology and morpho-syntax. For this, he has also reconstructed the history of phonological thinking about this topic, and read almost everything which was written on it for the past 60 years — at least, that is what I believe.

This work has produced already an interesting result: Tobias’ Little Interface Library, a part of his website where he has collected pdf versions of many, many articles on the topic, including papers by Selkirk or Gussman or Nespor & Ralli which are hard to find, because they appeared in Working Papers or minor journals.

Topics in Nivkh Phonology

In order to obtain a PhD in the Netherlands one traditionally submits not just a dissertation but also a list of approximately ten stellingen, i.e. ‘theses’ or ‘propositions’ of one or two sentences each. A few of these summarise the main themes of the book, but there are also a few which have a broader outlook.

Toshi Shiraishi will defend his dissertation Topics in Nivkh Phonology next week in Groningen. His 7th thesis is:

  • Fieldwork linguists should be more occupied with theoretical linguistics, and theoretical linguists more with fieldwork linguistics.

Toshi’s own work is a good illustration of how fruitful it can be to do fieldwork with a solid theoretical background, and work on the theory with a good grasp of the problems with the data. He spent a lot of time on the island of Sakhalin, in the Russian Far East, where the language is still spoken by a few hundred older people. But he did not just randomly collect data: his dissertation contributes to at least two important topical debates in current theory: about the precise representation of laryngeal contrasts, and about the phonology-syntax interface (since Nivkh has an interesting process of consonant mutation, which according to Shiraishi occurs at the edges of syntactic phrases).

The text of the dissertation is available here.

Wondering at the natural fecundity of things

In case you missed the announcement on the Optimal List of the posting on the Rutgers Optimality Archive, Junko Ito, John McCarthy and I recently finished editing an online collection of papers written in honor of Alan Prince on the occasion of his 60th birthday (on June 20).

This Festschrift is hosted on the University of California’s eScholarship Repository, under the banner of UC Santa Cruz’s Linguistics Research Center. Right now it is only available electronically, but we have plans to make hardcopies available on demand via BookSurge (preparation for which is much more complicated than you might think). [ Update, 8/31 — the book can now be purchased for $18.99 (+ shipping) from — end update ]

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Reviewers wanted!

If I had more time, I’d want to review at least one of these five books recently announced as “available for review” on LinguistList (listed here in the order in the announcement):

  1. Burzio’s Principles of English Stress (CUP, 2005; apparently an update/revision of the 1994 edition),
  2. Coleman’s Phonological Representations: Their Names, Forms and Powers (CUP, 2005),
  3. Giegerich’s Lexical Strata in English: Morphological Causes, Phonological Effects (CUP, 2005),
  4. Silverman’s A Critical Introduction to Phonology: Of Sound, Mind, and Body (Continuum, 2005),
  5. Newman’s Coursebook in Feature Geometry (LINCOM, 2003).

I don’t have time, but maybe a phonoloblog reader out there does, and I’ll be happy to cross-post.

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New phonology books

A couple new phonology book announcements were made over Linguist List today. I noted one here; the other is Hargus & Rice‘s Athabaskan Prosody. The summary blurb:

This collection of articles on stress and tone in various Athabaskan languages will interest theoretical linguists and historically oriented linguists alike. The volume brings to light new data on the phonetics and/or phonology of prosody (stress, tone, intonation) in various Athabaskan languages, Chiricahua Apache, Dene Soun’liné, Jicarilla Apache, Sekani, Slave, Tahltan, Tanacross, Western Apache, and Witsuwit’en. As well, some contributions describe how prosody is to be reconstructed for Proto-Athabaskan, and how it evolved in some of the daughter languages.

Show me the magic

A couple months ago on her blog Ilani Ilani, Harvard linguistics student Bridget Samuels quoted the following from “Andrea Calabrese’s new manuscript, Markedness & Economy in a Derivational Model of Phonology, which you can download here.” (That’s a link to an index of “pubblications [sic] and work in progress” at the “Interdipartimental [sic] Center of Cognitive Studies on Language” at the Università di Siena; here‘s the direct link to the zipped .pdf file of Calabrese’s book manuscript.)

[A]n idiosyncratic and contradictory core, the product of history and its inescapable whims, will always remain. Linguists who deny this core and attempt to provide a synchronic explanation to all aspects of the phonology of a language– a common attitude, especially in OT– behave a little bit like individuals who, when faced with the painful contradictions of reality, retreat into magical thinking and try to give sense, through mysterious correspondences, to what is otherwise a broken, shattered and meaningless existence.

Let me start out by saying that, after downloading this manuscript and taking a look at some of what it covers, I have every reason to be interested in reading it. I’ve always liked Calabrese’s work; his dissertation influenced some of my thinking as I wrote my own dissertation. But there’s something truly shameful in tossing off a claim like the one quoted above.

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Good practices in developing linguistic corpora

Of possible interest to readers of this blog: Developing Linguistic Corpora: a Guide to Good Practice (via Linguist List).

From the preface, by editor Martin Wynne:

In this volume, a selection of leading experts in various key areas of corpus construction offer advice in a readable and largely non-technical style to help the reader to ensure that their corpus is well designed and fit for the intended purpose. […] This Guide is an attempt to draw together the experience of corpus builders into a single source, as a starting point for obtaining advice and guidance on good practice in this field. […] The modest aim of this Guide is to take readers through the basic first steps involved in creating a corpus of language data in electronic form for the purpose of linguistic research.

OT book series

Speaking of the Optimal List: I forgot to cross-post here one of the very first non-ROA announcements that came through when I decided to turn the list into an announcement-only venue. It’s an announcement for a new book series, Advances in Optimality Theory, edited by Ellen Woolford and Armin Mester. Two books have so far been advertised to appear in the series, both phonology-related: Hidden Generalizations: Phonological Opacity in Optimality Theory (by John J. McCarthy, May 2006) and Optimality Theory, Phonological Acquisition and Disorders (ed. by Daniel A. Dinnsen & Judith A. Gierut, December 2006).

Textbook review parallels

Back in August, I bemoaned the lack of a good phonology textbook, one that would be the contemporary equal of Generative Phonology: Description and Theory (Kenstowicz & Kisseberth 1979). I had just browsed through John T. Jensen’s recent Principles of Generative Phonology: An introduction and had been somewhat disappointed by it; maybe I’ll have better luck with David Odden‘s just-published Introducing Phonology (part of the new Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics series), of which I recently received an examination copy.
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Jensen text review

On LinguistList yesterday, Mike Cahill posted a review of John T. Jensen‘s Principles of Generative Phonology textbook, mentioned at least twice here on phonoloblog. The full review is copied below, for your convenience.

Just for the record: I want to encourage (cross-)posting of reviews here on phonoloblog (of stuff that would be of interest to phonologists, obviously). Formal or informal, full book reviews or discussions of recent papers/dissertations/ideas, whathaveyou. This would be a great place to consolidate stuff like that, and for all of us to freely participate in the discussion (for which, of course, you have to register — e-mail me at phonoloblog#gmail|com to find out how).

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Phonetically Based Phonology

We are pleased to announce the publication of Phonetically Based Phonology, a book we have jointly edited. The book presents a general approach to phonology in which many of the constraints are the instantiations in grammar of principles of speech perception, speech production and lexical access.

For ordering information, table of contents, abstract, and links to the chapter authors’ Web sites, see

The introductory chapter, by Hayes and Steriade, may be downloaded from this site; in addition, several of the individual chapters can be previewed in draft form from the author’s web sites, which are linked from the web page just given.

–Bruce Hayes, Robert Kirchner, Donca Steriade

Wanted: a good textbook

Bernard Tranel recently wrote to ask me if I “have come up with a satisfactory textbook for an undergraduate introduction-to-phonology course”. My reply was that I haven’t ever used a textbook for any introductory phonology course that I’ve taught; I always just use problem sets.

I know that many phonologists (and probably plenty of other types of linguists) use the same approach, but my particular inclination comes from having been an undergrad at UC Santa Cruz. Most if not all core linguistics courses were (and probably still are) taught without a textbook; the one exception that I recall clearly was — somewhat ironically — Phonology I, which I took from Armin Mester in the Winter of 1990. (By the way, Phonology I at UCSC was and still is numbered LING 101. Very appropriate, I think.)

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