LINGUIST List 27.4644

Mon Nov 14 2016

Confs: Comp Ling, Phonetics, Phonology, Psycholing, Text/Corpus Ling/Australia

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 11-Nov-2016
From: Beth Hume <>
Subject: The Role of Predictability in Shaping Human Language Sound Patterns
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The Role of Predictability in Shaping Human Language Sound Patterns

Date: 10-Dec-2016 - 11-Dec-2016
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact: Beth Hume
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Meeting Description:

A growing body of research in phonetics, phonology, and psycholinguistics suggests that human language sound patterns are influenced by the predictability of the higher level linguistic units they signify, e.g. words. The relevant context for computing predictability arguably takes into account all levels of linguistic representation in which the sound pattern is embedded. Relevant patterns have been observed at both the level of individual languages as well as cross-linguistically regarding, for example, preferred contexts and likely outcomes of a range of phonetic and phonological processes (see, e.g., Aylett & Turk 2004; Buz et al., in press; Cohen Priva 2012, 2105; Hall 2009; Hume & Bromberg 2005; Hume et al. 2013; Jurafsky 1996; Kleinschmidt & Jaeger 2015; Oh et al. 2015; Piantadosi et al. 2011; Seyfarth 2014; Shaw et al. 2014; van Son & Pols 2003; Wedel et al. 2013). In quantifying predictability, these studies appeal to concepts and/or formal tools from information theory. The symposium welcomes a wide range of formal approaches to quantifying predictability and to evaluating its impact on phonetic and phonological variation. Submissions that use experimental or corpus-based methods are particularly welcome.

Host Institution: Western Sydney University


Harald Baayen, University of Tübingen
Uriel Cohen Priva, Brown University
Shigeto Kawahara, Keio University
Florian Jaeger, University of Rochester
Kathleen Currie Hall, University of British Columbia
Andy Wedel, University of Arizona
Beth Hume, University of Canterbury
Jason Shaw, Western Sydney University

In addition to talks and posters, the symposium will feature two workshops introducing corpora and computational tools for evaluating predictability in relation to phonological and phonetic patterns.


- Phonological CorpusTools (Kathleen Currie Hall)
- Alveo Virtual Laboratory for Human Communication Science (Dominique Estival & Steve Cassidy)

Any questions about the symposium can be addressed to the organizers, Beth Hume (, Jason Shaw (, and Dominique Estival (


The Role of Predictability in Shaping Human Language Systems

Day 1, 10 December 2016:

Welcome and Thematic Overview
Jason Shaw (Yale), Beth Hume (Canterbury)

Message-Oriented Phonology
Kathleen Hall (UBC), Beth Hume (Canterbury), Florian Jaeger (Rochester), Andy Wedel (Arizona)

10:30-11:00: Morning Tea

Non-stationarity and other critical mathematical problems for channel coding-based explanations.
Eric Meinhardt (University of California, San Diego)

Korean vocative truncation and Information Theory: A perspective from Message-oriented phonology. Seunghun Lee (International Christian University), Shigeto Kawahara (Keio)

12:30-2:00: Lunch and Alveo Data workshop
Dominique Estival (Western Sydney University)

Effects of average and specific context probability on reduction of function words BE and HAVE. Danielle Barth (Australia National University)

Durational contrast in germination and informativity
Shin-ichiro Sano (Keio)

Chasing the frequency effect: Modeling durational variation of function words in conversational French.
Yao Yao (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Laurent Prévot (LPL, Aix-Marseille Université), Christine Meunier (LPL, Aix-Marseille Université)

3:30-4:00: Afternoon Tea

An interplay between Information, duration, and lenition
Uriel Priva Cohen (Brown)

7:00: Symposium Dinner

Day 2, 11 December 2016:

Predicting lexical decision in humans and baboons: deep learning or wide learning?
Harald Baayen (Tübingen)

10:30-11:00: Morning Tea

Token predictability in sound category learning: The log frequency hypothesis. Paul Olejarczuk, Vsevolod Kapatsinski (University of Oregon)

Effects of cue variability on prediction error during acoustic cue acquisition Jessie Nixon (Univ. of Potsdam), Catherine Best (MARCS Institute)

Can accent pre-exposure tune the beholder's ear to shifted vowel systems? Effects on vowel categorization across English regional accents
Catherine T. Best (MARCS), Jason Shaw (Yale), Gerry Docherty (Griffith), Bronwen Evan (UCL), Paul Foulkes (York), Jen Hay (Canterbury)

12:00-1:30: Lunch and Workshop on Phonological Tools
Kathleen Currie Hall (UBC)

Evaluating information loss from phonological dimensionality reduction Jayden Macklin-Cordes (Queensland), Erich Round (Queensland), Steven Moran (Zurich)

Why do speakers try to predict the unpredictable? Adam Albright (MIT) Michelle Fullwood (MIT), Jongho Jun (Seoul National University)

Case study: Uncertainty effects in Japanese phonetics & phonology
Shigeto Kawahara (Keio), Jason Shaw (Yale)

Discussion/Future Directions, Drinks and Nibbles


Page Updated: 14-Nov-2016