Adam Chong at LEL seminar

Posted on November 12, 2018 by

This week, we welcome Adam Chong (QMUL) at the LEL seminar. Adam’s talk, titled ‘The effect of phonotactics on alternation learning’, will take place on Tuesday 13th November at 4.15 in A102, and will be followed by a wine reception. All are welcome. Abstract below.


The effect of phonotactics on alternation learning

Adam J. Chong

Department of Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London

In current constraint-based models of phonological learning, learning the legal (and illegal) sound sequences in one’s language (i.e. phonotactics) facilitates learning alternations. Experimental support for this is link, however, is lacking. In this talk, I first show that alternation learning in an artificial grammar experiment is impeded when the phonotactics in the lexicon mismatch the alternation. This provides support for current models of phonological learning in which the phonotactic learning supports alternation learning. What does this mean for languages with a mismatch between phonotactics and alternations? In the second part of this talk, I present corpus analyses as well as computational learning simulations of two such languages – Korean and Turkish. I show that in both languages the reported mismatches between phonotactics and alternations are superficial. This undermines certain analytic assumptions in previous analyses of these patterns. Instead, I argue that there is a bias to maintain similar generalizations in phonotactics as well as alternations. This further supports the claim that learning phonotactics aids in learning alternations.


The featured photo is from Adam’s website, and is by Stephanie Shih

Posted in: LEL events, phonology