Introduction to Phonology

Gillian Gallagher – New York University
Course time: Monday/Wednesday 3:30-5:20 pm
2330 Mason Hall

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This course is an introduction to phonological theory, centering on the representations and the analysis of phonotactic patterns. We will cover theories of phonological representations, beginning with distinctive feature matrices as in The Sound Pattern of English (Chomsky & Halle 1968) and continuing through feature geometry (Clements 1985; Sagey 1986; McCarthy 1988) as well as theories of articulatorily and auditorally detailed representations (Browman & Goldstein 1986 et seq.; Gafos 1999; Flemming 2002). The analysis of phonotactic patterns such as dissimilatory co-occurrence restrictions, consonant-vowel interactions, and harmony patterns will be considered in detail, with attention paid both to the representational components of the analysis as well as the structure of grammatical statements (e.g., the form of markedness constraints). The discussion will largely assume either Autosegmental Phonology (Goldsmith 1975) or Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky 1993/2004) as the formal framework. The course is not designed to provide a systematic introduction to either of these frameworks, though a brief introduction to each will be given. Prior knowledge of either framework is not required. A basic understanding of the phonetic properties of speech sounds will be assumed. There is no textbook for the class, though there will be readings for each class and the lecture notes will be made available. There will be several homework assignments, as well as in class exercises to work through the course material.

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