Talk and masterclass by Sabine Arndt-Lappe

Posted on March 15, 2014 by

On Tuesday 18th March, Sabine Arndt-Lappe (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf) will be presenting at the LEL Research Seminar. Her question is: Does morphology make a mess of English primary and secondary stress? The talk will be in Ellen Wilkinson A2.16 at 4.15pm.

The following day (Wed 19th), she will be leading a masterclass on Analogy in English word-formation, which all students with an interest in phonology or morphology are strongly encouraged to attend. It’ll take place in two sessions: 10-12am in Sam Alex A113, then 2-4pm in A18. Here’s the abstract:

The status of analogy as a mechanism of linguistic generalisation constitutes a much-debated topic among synchronic morphological theories, which can be broadly classified into those which assume that analogy is active only as a complementary mechanism and those that assume that analogy is THE central mechanism of productive inflection and word-formation. At the same time, and in spite of all the debate, analogy has largely remained a vague and elusive notion that is used in different and often theory-dependent senses in the literature.

In this masterclass we will explore in detail the nature and predictions of a strictly analogy-based approach to linguistic generalisation in word-formation. Different conceptualisations of analogy in word-formation theories will be compared and shown to be closely tied to theory-dependent notions of productivity, predictability, and (ir-)regularity. Against this background, we will discuss empirical evidence that word-formation is indeed analogy-based with the help of testbed phenomena from English. We will see how a formally rigid analogical mechanism as implemented in computational analogical models (especially: A::M, Skousen & Stanford 2007, and TiMBL, Daelemans et al. 1999 et seq.) is able to predict properties of our testbed phenomena that have provided a challenge to competing theories. These especially concern gradience, the interaction of local and general effects in linguistic generalisation, and the modelling of different types of productivity and their emergence in diachrony. It is a key goal of this masterclass to make transparent where exactly the predictive power of the analogy-based approach comes from.

Sabine has kindly provided a pre-print of an overview article she has written on the topic, which you can download and view here.