Linguistics 50th Anniversary Keynote Speech 06/07/13 – Ellen Kaisse

University of Washington Linguistics Department 50th Anniversary


Dialects of Spanish and of Modern Ellen KaisseGreek – Natural Laboratories for the Generative Phonologist
Professor Ellen Kaisse

University of Washington
Friday, June 7, 2013
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
SAV 260

Modern Greek is not spoken over a wide swath of the globe, but the geography of Greece, with its many islands and mountains, provides a wealth of data for the dialectologist and for the phonologist. Spanish, spoken all over Central and Southern America as well as on the European continent, is equally rich in dialect data. Both languages have been extensively documented and studied by dialectologists for over a century. In this talk, I will give examples from the Northern and Southern dialect areas of Greece, from the outlier Cypriot dialect of Cyprus and the equally outlier dialects of central Argentinian Spanish and Northwestern Spain, showing how they can illustrate historical change and illuminate questions of phonological theory and description. Moreover, I will show how generative phonology can in turn illuminate dialect studies, taking apparently unrelated differences between dialects and attributing them to a single change in the phonological grammar.

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545-6450 (voice); 543-6452 (TDD);


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