Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Learning Lexical Indexation
Author: Andries W. Coetzee
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Michigan
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Morphological concatenation often triggers phonological processes. For instance, addition of the plural suffix /-ən/ to Dutch nouns causes vowel lengthening in some nouns due to the stress-to-weight principle ([xɑt] vs. [ˈxaː.tən] ‘hole’). These kinds of processes often apply only to a subset of words – not all Dutch nouns undergo this process ([kɑt] vs. [ˈkɑ.tən] ‘cat’). Nouns need to be lexically indexed as either undergoing this process or not. I investigate how phonological grammar and lexical indexation are learned when learners are confronted with data like these. Based on learnability considerations, I hypothesise that learners acquire a grammar with default non-alternation, so that novel items are treated as non-alternating. I report the results of artificial language learning experiments compatible with this hypothesis, and model these results in a version of the Biased Constraint Demotion algorithm (Prince & Tesar ).


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 26, Issue 1.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page