Archive for the ‘Phonology’ Category

Interactions of phonological rules

April 13, 2017

Tomorrow’s colloquium in the Stanford Linguistics Department (3:30 in Margaret Jacks Hall, if you’re local and interested):

A set-theoretic typology of phonological map interaction, by Eric Baković, UC San Diego (with Lev Blumenfeld, Carleton University). Beginning of the abstract:

Theories of generative phonology assume that, in general, morphemes have unitary underlying representations and that systematic variations in the surface pronunciation of morphemes in different morphological contexts result from the application of a complex, context-sensitive transformation – a phonological grammar – to those underlying representations. A phonological grammar is thus a complex map from underlying representations to surface representations. Theories differ on the details of what the phonological grammar is comprised of, but it is commonly assumed that it can be broken down into a set of simpler maps – intuitively, individual phonological processes – that make particular changes in particular contexts.
The question we ask in this work is: what is the set of possible interactions among the individual maps that constitute a phonological grammar?

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Ruthie copes

March 28, 2017

Two recent One Big Happy strips, featuring Ruthie: the sign strip and the ladder strip

(#1)

(#2)

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Books from Stanford

February 13, 2017

Recent books from Stanford-connected authors, some my colleagues, some my former students (so I have warm feelings). Two in sociolinguistics / educational linguistics, one on the (gasp) morphosyntax-phonology interface.

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Two in One Big Happy

January 27, 2017

Two recent One Big Happy strips: one with an outrageous pun from Ruthie and Joe’s father, one with Ruthie once again attempting to engage the neighbor boy James on his grammar:

(#1)

(#2)

If you’re a bit puzzled by James’s “Ain’t nobody going!” in #2, you have a right to be.

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True Confessions Ripped from the Tabloids

November 6, 2016

(Well yes, men’s bodies, and lots of gay innuendo, but nothing to frighten the horses.)

Headline in The Gaily Male:

“How Giacomo ‘Giacco’ Giaccone’s
SuperSnapJock made me into a sniveling bitch”

  (#1)

Big
Jimmy ruled the
Gym with a thumb of
Steel – one
Snap of his
Strap made the
Strongest man
Kneel

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Two cartoons for month’s end

October 31, 2016

.. and Halloween, though, pleasingly, neither has anything to do with All Hallows’ / All Souls’ / All Saints’. A One Big Happy that’s a study in American (and Antipodal) phonology; and a Zippy with a fallen roadside fiberglass hero, the Green Giant of Pahrump NV:

(#1)

(#2)

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Tradenaming

October 20, 2016

… choosing words as trademarks. NOAD2 on trademark:

a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product

Such words often come with associations to existing words, or parts of words, in the language, and sometimes there are official origin stories that invoke these associations, though the official stories often just scratch the surface of the full set of associations.

Which brings me back to my posting of the 16th on the Parisian home furnishing company FLEUX’ (and its mascot, Zwicky le Chat): where does the company name come from? (and why is the cat named Zwicky?)

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ambliance

October 1, 2016

Heard in the documentary Bridegroom, a character saying she had to call 911 for an ambliance (rather than ambulance) a number of times during her son’s childhood. The substitution has been reported in child language, as part of a more general shift

C/jul/ > C/li/

(facilitating ease of production) also affecting, for instance, ridiculous (> ridiclious). And it’s moderately common in adult speech (as in Bridegroom), presumably as a holdover from the child form.

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In brief: phonological words

November 19, 2015

Heard — or, rather, misheard —  in a tv commercial for Oral-B electric toothbrushes (which can be viewed here):

(1) I’m never going back to Emanuel Brush.

when what the actor was saying was:

(2) I’m never going back to a manual brush.

Now, since I have [ǝ] (rather than [ɪ]) in the first syllable of the name Emanuel and the indefinite article a [ǝ] usually forms a phonological word with the word that follows it, (1) and (2) are in fact normally homophonous for me.

Yes, I don’t know anyone named Emanuel Brush, so I don’t know how the name came to me, in a toothbrush ad, no less.

Briefly noted: adopped

August 6, 2015

Heard in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger:

He’s [ǝdápɪd]. ‘He’s adopted’

Several writers on the net have spelled the form adopped:

My Adopped Cousin Keeps Trying To Have Sex With Me (link)

adopped sister and brother (link)

Are you adopped, are you happy ? (link)

A reanalysis of the phonology of the lexical item, familiar from other cases in the literature.

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