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Summary Details

Query:   Phonological Complexity
Author:  Doug Whalen
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonology

Summary:   Some time ago (Linguist 14.1403), I posted a query about quantifying phonological complexity in a variety of phonological theories. I had many useful replies, and I thank everyone who responded.

Here are the suggestions that were made: Bruce Moren is working on a new version of feature geometry that is relevant. Shari Wells Jensen offered her dissertation: Caroline Smith mentioned Lindblom & Maddieson (1988 Hyman & Li, ed. volume) Lisa Redford mentioned a student of Lindblom's: Willerman, Raquel (1994). The phonetics of pronouns: articulatory basis of markedness, PhD thesis, UT-Austin. Michael Covington suggested that order of acquisition would provide some evidence, similar to the Rosenberg & Abbeduto ''D-level'' scale of syntactic complexity. Phil Harrison suggested Government Phonology (John Harris, Monique Charette, Johnathan Kaye) migh have some useful insights based on lenition and the inverse of sonority. Mark Donohue suggested some articulatory conditions that might be measurable.

John Goldsmith pointed out one of his relevant papers: Click on ''Probabilistic Models'', or check out the program link. Geoff Nathan pointed out that departures from the most universal patterns (5 vowels, consonants at the most common places of articulation, two voicing categories) might be intrinsically considered complex, though it is not obvious how to quantify this. Phil Harrison mentioned Harris J. 1990 'Segmental Complexity and Phonological Government' Phonology 7 255-300, a very relevant paper. These all deal with various aspects of the question. I still hope to generate some predictions from other theories, but that process will be some time in coming. Doug Whalen DhW - Doug Whalen ( Haskins Laboratories 270 Crown St. New Haven, CT 06511 203-865-6163, ext. 234 FAX: 203-865-8963

LL Issue: 15.430
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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