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Vowel Length From Latin to Romance

By Michele Loporcaro

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Letter Writing and Language Change

Edited By Anita Auer, Daniel Schreier, and Richard J. Watts

This book "challenges the assumption that there is only one 'legitimate' and homogenous form of English or of any other language" and "supports the view of different/alternative histories of the English language and will appeal to readers who are skeptical of 'standard' language ideology."


Academic Paper


Title: Stochastic Phonological Knowledge: The case of Hungarian vowel harmony
Author: Bruce Hayes
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/linguistics/people/hayes/hayes.htm
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Subject Language: Hungarian
Abstract: In Hungarian, stems ending in a back vowel plus one or more neutral vowels show unusual behaviour: for such stems, the otherwise general process of vowel harmony is lexically idiosyncratic. Particular stems can take front suffixes, take back suffixes or vacillate. Yet at a statistical level, the patterning among these stems is lawful: in the aggregate, they obey principles that relate the propensity to take back or front harmony to the height of the rightmost vowel and to the number of neutral vowels. We argue that this patterned statistical variation in the Hungarian lexicon is internalised by native speakers. Our evidence is that they replicate the pattern when they are asked to apply harmony to novel stems in a 'wug' test (Berko 1958). Our test results match quantitative data about the Hungarian lexicon, gathered with an automated Web search. We model the speakers' knowledge and intuitions with a grammar based on the dual listing/generation model of Zuraw (2000), then show how the constraint rankings of this grammar can be learned by algorithm.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 23, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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