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LINGUIST List 24.1016

Tue Feb 26 2013

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology/Psycholing/Socioling/German/Indonesian/Japanese: Sloos: 'Phonological Grammar and Frequency...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 25-Feb-2013
From: Marjoleine Sloos <marj.sloosgmail.com>
Subject: Phonological Grammar and Frequency: An integrated approach: Evidence from German, Indonesian and Japanese
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Institution: CLCG Groningen Institute for Linguistics, the Netherlands
Program: Phonology PhD
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2013

Author: Marjoleine Sloos

Dissertation Title: Phonological Grammar and Frequency: An integrated approach: Evidence from German, Indonesian and Japanese

Dissertation URL: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/faculties/arts/2013/m.sloos/

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Subject Language(s): German (deu)
                            Indonesian (ind)
                            Japanese (jpn)

Dissertation Director:
John Nerbonne
Jeroen van de Weijer

Dissertation Abstract:

In language change, we usually find that words with a relatively low word
frequency change at a faster rate than words with a relatively high word
frequency. Reversely, in reduction processes, we observe that high-frequency
words tend to change first and low-frequency words change later. How do these
facts relate to variable processes in which neither analogical change nor
reduction is involved? Does frequency also play a role, for instance, in stable
patterns of variation or in loanword adaptation?

This dissertation investigates phonological variation and change in three case
studies: the pronunciation of the long vowel <รค> in Standard German, Dutch
loanword integration in Indonesian, and sequential voicing in Japanese. It shows
that frequency effects occur such that relatively high-frequency words adapt to a
general phonological rule and relatively low-frequency words behave differently.
This exceptional behaviour of low-frequency words may be related to their
relatively unstable or opaque lexical representation or their opaque
morphophonological structure.

This thesis also investigates the relation between frequency effects and
grammar. It is shown that these two factors are not independent, as suggested
by earlier literature, but, on the contrary, intimately related. Frequency effects are
sensitive to grammatical structure. This calls for an amalgamation of
phonological models which were previously regarded as disconnected; therefore
this thesis proposes a combined Exemplar-Prototype-Optimality theoretical
model (EPOT).

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