Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

By Peter Mark Roget

This book "supplies a vocabulary of English words and idiomatic phrases 'arranged … according to the ideas which they express'. The thesaurus, continually expanded and updated, has always remained in print, but this reissued first edition shows the impressive breadth of Roget's own knowledge and interests."


New from Brill!

ad

The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek

By Franco Montanari

Coming soon: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek by Franco Montanari is the most comprehensive dictionary for Ancient Greek to English for the 21st Century. Order your copy now!



E-mail this page 1

Dissertation Information


Title: Generative Phonotactics Add Dissertation
Author: Kyle Gorman Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.csee.ogi.edu/~gormanky/
Degree Awarded: University of Pennsylvania , Department of Linguistics
Completed in:
2013
Linguistic Subfield(s): Computational Linguistics Phonology Cognitive Science
Director(s): Charles Yang
Stephen Anderson
Rolf Noyer
Mark Liberman
Eugene Buckley

Abstract: This dissertation outlines a program for the theory of phonotactics—the
theory of speakers’ knowledge of possible and impossible (or likely and
unlikely) words—and argues that the alternative view of phonotactics as
stochastic, and of phonotactic learning as probabilistic inference, is
incapable of accounting for the facts of this domain. Chapter 1 outlines
the proposal, precursors, and predictions.

Chapter 2 considers evidence from wordlikeness rating tasks. It is argued
that intermediate well-formedness ratings are obtained whether or not the
categories in question are graded. A primitive categorical model of
wordlikeness using prosodic representations is outlined, and shown to
predict English speakers’ wordlikeness judgements as accurately as
state-of-the-art gradient wellformedness models. Once categorical effects
are controlled for, these gradient models are largely uncorrelated with
wellformedness.

Chapter 3 considers the relationship between lexical generalizations,
phonological alternations, and speakers’ nonce word judgements with a focus
on Turkish vowel patterns. It is shown that even exception-filled
phonological generalizations have a robust effect on wellformedness
judgements, but that statistically reliable phonotactic generalizations may
go unlearned when they are not derived from phonological alternations.

Chapter 4 investigates the role of phonological alternations in determining
the phonological lexicon, focusing specifically on medial consonant
clusters in English. Static phonotactic constraints previously proposed to
describe gaps in the inventory of medial clusters are shown to be
statistically unsound, whereas phonological alternations impose robust
restrictions on the cluster inventory. The remaining gaps in the cluster
inventory are attributed to the sparse nature of the lexicon, not static
phonotactic restrictions.

Chapter 5 summarizes the findings, considers their relation to order of
acquisition, and proposes directions for future research.