University of Washington
The legacy of Lexical Phonology
Friday, April 8, 2011
Paccar Hall Room 291
The theory of Lexical Phonology and Morphology was the basis for much of the
synchronic and diachronic work, both descriptive and theoretical, that went
on in phonology in the years between roughly 1982 and 1993. While attention
then moved from Lexical Phonology’s central concerns to the orthogonal ones
of Optimality Theory, phonologists have continued to recognize Lexical
Phonology’s advantages and achievements. However, rather than remaining part
of a single, self-contained theoretical approach, these positive aspects
have typically become integrated into newer models, or have led to
innovative ways of addressing phonological problems. This talk addresses the
legacy of Lexical Phonology; in particular, I will focus on its
contributions to the understanding of phonological change, opacity, and the
phonetics-phonology interface. I will also illustrate the operation of a
version of Optimality Theory that incorporates levels, showing how it draws
on aspects of Lexical Phonology to handle some forms of opacity which
otherwise create difficulties for Optimality Theory.
This talk is based on joint work with April McMahon. Our just-published
paper, Lexical phonology and the lexical syndrome (2011), contains much of
today’s material. That paper appears in The Blackwell companion to
phonology, M. van Oostendorp et al., eds. Wiley-Blackwell. 2236-2257
Reception to follow in same room.
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