LINGUIST List 27.1704

Tue Apr 12 2016

Confs: Phonology/UK

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <ashleylinguistlist.org>


Date: 11-Apr-2016
From: Florian Breit <florian.breit.12ucl.ac.uk>
Subject: How to do Phonology: A Mini-Course with Jonathan Kaye
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How to do Phonology: A Mini-Course with Jonathan Kaye

Date: 03-May-2016 - 12-May-2016
Location: London, United Kingdom
Contact: Florian Breit
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Meeting Description:

The UCL and SOAS Departments of Linguistics are pleased to announce a free workshop with Jonathan Kaye. The event will be held over four separate days, 3 May, 6 May, 9 May and 13 May. All are welcome.

How to do Phonology: A mini-course with Jonathan Kaye

To do phonology you need:

1. A theory that is ridiculously easy to disprove. This is your beacon; it shows you where to look.

2. A large dose of scepticism. The amount of inaccuracies contained in phonological descriptions is breathtaking. Always, always, always check your facts. Assume that everything you read is false until proven otherwise.

This mini-course will provide a number of case-studies in which a theory with strong empirical content (easily falsifiable) leads to the exposure of widely believed, but entirely false claims. We shall start with the study of the claim by Bromberger & Halle that phonology and syntax are fundamentally different with respect to the formal nature of their structures. Close inspection of the “evidence” they provide to support their conclusion shows that there is every reason to believe that their conclusion, phonology is fundamentally different from syntax, is incorrect.

A dissection of their arguments leads us to issues such as the existence of the mysterious “Dialect B” of Canadian English. In fact, a more comprehensive study of the facts of Dialect A (the dialect that did and does exist) shows that the entire phenomenon has nothing to do with phonology at all.

The destruction of sacred cows continues with claims about the entirely fictional “voicing assimilation” of English, “velar palatalization” of Italian (or indeed other language), umlaut or metaphony, and a host of other allegedly phonological events.

The moral of this mini-seminar is to demonstrate that a theory with little or no empirical content is incapable of separating the wheat from the chaff (i.e. the phonology from the noise).

Study of the facts of Dialect A (the dialect that did and does exist) shows that the entire phenomenon has nothing to do with phonology at all.

The destruction of sacred cows continues with claims about the entirely fictional “voicing assimilation” of English, “velar palatalization” of Italian (or indeed other language), umlaut or metaphony, and a host of other allegedly phonological events.

The moral of this mini-seminar is to demonstrate that a theory with little or no empirical content is incapable of separating the wheat from the chaff (i.e. the phonology from the noise).


Programme & Venues:

Tue 3 May 2016

11:30am–1pm
Session 1

1pm–2pm Lunch

2pm–3:30pm
Session 2

Venue:
UCL Chandler House
Room G15
2 Wakefield Street
London WC1N 1PF


Fri 6 May 2016

11:30am–1pm
Session 3

1pm–2pm Lunch

2pm-3:30pm
Session 4

Venue:
UCL Chandler House
Room G15
2 Wakefield Street
London WC1N 1PF


Mon 9 May

11:30am–1pm
Session 5

1pm–2pm
Lunch

2pm–3:30pm
Session 6

Venue:
SOAS Main Building
Room G51
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG


Fri 13 May
11:30am–1pm
Session 7

1pm–2pm
Lunch

2pm–3:30pm
Session 8

Venue:
SOAS Brunei Gallery
Room B104
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Contact & Enquiries

Monik Charette (mcsoas.ac.uk),
or Florian Breit (florian.breit.12ucl.ac.uk)

Open to all. There is no need to confirm attendance.


Page Updated: 12-Apr-2016