LINGUIST List 26.1832

Mon Apr 06 2015

Confs: Phonology/France

Editor for this issue: Erin Arnold <>

Date: 04-Apr-2015
From: Ora Matushansky <>
Subject: Computation & Learnability: Implications for Phonology
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Computation & Learnability: Implications for Phonology

Date: 18-Apr-2015 - 18-Apr-2015
Location: Paris, France
Contact: Giorgio Magri
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Meeting Description:

GLOW Workshop
Paris, April 18, 2015

The implications of computation and learnability for phonological theory


Giorgio Magri, Michela Russo,
Mohamed Lahrouchi, Joaquim Brandao de Carvalho

Crystallizing a widespread feeling, Mark van Oostendorp recently writes: ''It is fair to say that we know much more about sound patterns in human language than people did at the beginning of the 20th Century. At the same time, many phonologists seem to feel that we have not yet reached the standards of some of the 'hard' sciences.'' A clear obstacle to progress seems to be the fact that competing phonological theories are underdetermined by sheer typological and linguistic data. Moving beyond descriptive adequacy, Alan Prince thus proposes that ''rational arguments about two theories' comparative success […] depend on a broad assessment of their properties.'' Among the formal properties of a phonological theory which are becoming crucial for its comparative assessment are its computability and learnability properties.

This workshop thus aims at investigating the implications of computation and learnability for phonological theory. The issues addressed include (but are not limited to): the computability/intractability of phonological grammars and the debate among derivational, representational, and constraint-based frameworks; learnability guarantees and the debate between competing modes of constraint interaction; the characterization of phonological patterns within the sub-regular hierarchy and the expressive power of phonological formalisms; the learnability filter and its implications for the evaluation of the typologies predicted by competing phonological theories; methods for constraint induction and the problem of grounding phonology into phonetics; the impact of statistical methods and the divide between categorical and gradient models of phonological competence; the learnability of phonological processes conditioned by prosodic domains and its implications for the syntax/phonology interface. The workshop adopts an inclusive perspective, open to any computational approach and any phonological framework.

Invited speakers: TBA


Robert Daland
Even Though the Sound of It Is Really Quite Atrocious: Finiteness and Well-Defined Probabilities in Phonotactic Learning

Thomas Graf and Jeffrey Heinz
Commonality in Disparity: The Computational View of Syntax and Phonology

11:15-11:45 Coffee Break

Juliet Stanton
The Learnability Filter and Its Role in the Comparison of Metrical Theories

Stephanie Shih
Super Additive Phonological Similarity as Constraint Conjunction

Jane Chandlee, Jeffrey Heinz, and Adam Jardine
Representing and Learning Opaque Maps with Strictly Local Functions

13:15-14:45 Lunch Break

Coral Hughto, Joe Pater, and Robert Staubs
Grammatical Agent-Based Modeling of Typology

Gaja Jarosz
Phonotactic Probability and Sonority Sequencing in Polish Initial Clusters

Ewan Dunbar, Gabriel Synnaeve, and Emmanuel Dupoux
On the Origin of Features: Quantitative Methods for Comparing Representations

16:15-16:45 Coffee Break

Afton Coombs
Gradient Lengthening Effects: Evidence from Tagalog

Klaas Seinhorst
Inductive Biases in Plosive Inventories: an Empirical Approach

Invited Speaker: Bruce Tesar
Learnability and Phonological Maps

Page Updated: 06-Apr-2015