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Department of Linguistics

Department of Linguistics, Cornell Univeristy Cornell Univeristy Cornell Univeristy Department of Linguistics

Linguistics News and Events Details


Colloquium talk: Jeffrey Heinz, U. of Delaware, March 7.

"The Computational Nature of Phonological Generalizations," a talk by Jeff Heinz of the University of Delaware, 4:30 on March 7th 2013, in room 106 Morrill Hall.  


Computational characterizations of the patterns found in natural language are important because they allow us to distinguish logically possible language patterns from humanly possible ones. This talk presents results from studying phonological generalizations in this way. Phonological generalizations are lawful statements which govern the organization of speech sounds into words (phonotactics) and which relate mental lexical representations to their contextually-dependent pronunciations (phonological processes). While the analysis of phonological processes is ongoing, the computational analysis so far reveals that both kinds of generalizations are from arbitrary, exhibit specific properties which facilitate learning, and offer concrete hypotheses that can be tested with psycholinguistic experimentation. In fact psycholinguistic evidence will be presented suggesting some of the hypothesized computational boundaries are psychologically real.