LINGUIST List 10.498

Wed Apr 7 1999

Confs: Phonology at Harvard and MIT

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  1. Bert Vaux, Phonology 2000 Symposium

Message 1: Phonology 2000 Symposium

Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 18:26:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bert Vaux <>
Subject: Phonology 2000 Symposium

Public Announcement of the Phonology 2000 Symposium
Harvard and MIT, April 30-May 1, 1999

The purpose of the symposium is to gather some 35 leading phonologists
to initiate a substantive debate concerning the relative empirical and
theoretical merits of the two dominant models of human phonological
knowledge, derivational phonology (DP) and Optimality Theory (OT).

Central to DP, which was employed by most phonologists until this
decade, is the proposition that the surface representation of words is
derived in a deterministic fashion from their underlying
representations by the application of a series of ordered rules. The
introduction of OT has resulted in a drastic realignment of this
outlook and of the field of phonology as a whole, in terms both of the
questions that are being asked and of the way in which these questions
are being addressed. In OT the underlying and surface representations
are related by means of violable constraints, which reflect aspects of
universal well-formed outputs, and the differences among languages are
attributed exclusively to differences in the rankings of the

To this point, proponents of DP have failed to mount a systematic
response to the problems raised or implied by OT. By the same token,
the adherents of OT have yet to tackle the challenge of demonstrating
that rule-based phonology is inviable. As a result, many important
issues that have been raised by the coexistence of these two
phonological perspectives have not been adequately addressed. Perhaps
the most important among these is the lack of a systematic comparison
of the two competing theories, with the aim of determining their
relative merits on both formal and empirical grounds.

The purpose of the present symposium is to serve as a starting point
for such a comparative evaluation of OT and DP. In particular, we
expect to discuss data and formal issues that highlight critical
differences between the two theories, with the ultimate goal of
determining not only which of the two approaches is to be preferred
but also-and more importantly-why. Ideally the participants will
leave the symposium with a deeper appreciation of the problems that
each model can solve and of the problems that each may have difficulty
in solving.

The Phonology 2000 Symposium will be held on Friday, April 30, and
Saturday, May 1, 1999. The sessions on the first day will be held at
Harvard, and those on the second day will be at MIT. Admission is
free, but in order to gain admission to the building on Friday, it
will be necessary for individuals not affiliated with Harvard to sign
in at the front desk. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Friday, April 30, 1999
Lamont Library, Harvard University

9-9:15 Coffee and snacks

SESSION 1: General Issues
9:15-9:45 Stuart Davis, Indiana University
 "OT: Empirical problems and insights"
10-10:30 David Odden, Ohio State

10:45-11 Break for snacks

SESSION 2: Syllables
11-11:30 Donca Steriade, UCLA
		"Word phonotactics vs. syllabic intuitions"
11:45-12:15 Francois Dell, CNRS, Paris
		"Syllabification with epenthesis and without: syllable
			structure in two Berber dialects"

12:30-2 LUNCH

SESSION 3: Reduplication
2-2:30 Sharon Inkelas, Berkeley, and Cheryl Zoll, MIT
 "Reduplication as morphological doubling"
2:45-3:15 William Idsardi and Eric Raimy, Delaware
 "Reduplication and underapplication"

3:30-4 Break for more snacks

4-4:30 Andrea Calabrese, UConn
		"Glide formation, gemination, and Sievers' Law in
			Vedic Sanskrit"
4:45-5:15 Charles Reiss, Concordia
 "Acquisition and post-OT phonology"
5:30-6 Michael Hammond, Arizona
 "Poetic meter, feet, and acquisition"

Saturday, May 1
MIT 66-110

SESSION 5: Stress
9-9:30 Ellen Broselow, SUNY-Stonybrook
		"Stress-epenthesis interactions in a constraint-based theory"
9:45-10:15 John Frampton, Northeastern
 "On iterative rules"

10:30-11 Break for snacks

SESSION 6: Morphology and phonology
11-11:30 Bruce Hayes, UCLA
		"Burnt and Splang: Some Issues in Morphological Learning 
11:45-12:15 Rolf Noyer, Penn
 "The basis of bases"

12:30-2 Lunch

SESSION 7: Features
2-2:30 Diana Archangeli, Arizona
 "On Constraint Motivation"
2:45-3:15 Keren Rice, Toronto
 "Featural markedness"

3:30-4 Break

SESSION 8: General Issues
4-4:30 Michael Kenstowicz, MIT
 "Transderivational relations"
4:45-5:15 Mark Hale, Concordia
		"Historical Phonology and Phonological Theory in the 
			21st Century"

There will be 15 minutes for discussion after each paper.

In addition to the speakers above, the invited discussants will include:

Abby Cohn, Cornell
Ben Hermans, Tilburg
Paul Kiparsky, Stanford
Mark Aronoff, SUNY-Stonybrook
Nick Clements, Paris
Elan Dresher, Toronto
Eulalia Bonet, Barcelona
Jim Harris, MIT
Ellen Kaisse, Washington
Alec Marantz, MIT
David Pesetsky, MIT
Sylvain Bromberger, MIT
Steve Anderson, Yale
Jean-Roger Vergnaud, USC

Please address inquiries to

Bert Vaux, Harvard
Morris Halle, MIT
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