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?