Segmental Processes in Interaction with Prosodic Structure (SPIPS)

Conference, University of Tromsø, Norway

Dates: 19-20 September 2019

Abstract deadline: 15 May 2019

Keynote speakers:

Peter Jurgec (Toronto)

Heather Newell (Montreal/Tromsø)

Francesc Torres Tamarit (Paris)

Eva Zimmermann (Leipzig)

The question of how suprasegmental and segmental phonology interact has occupied a central role throughout the 20th and 21st century, with, for example, the syllable and syllable constituents as relevant domains and categories in the description of sound patterns and phonological processes, rejected and revived several times (e.g., Stetson 1928, Hockett 1955,  Chomsky & Halle 1968, Kahn 1976, Selkirk 1982, Itô 1986, Zec 1988, Inkelas 1989, Steriade 1997, 2009, …) and the discovery of a whole range of higher prosodic units, the Prosodic Hierarchy, as central for the description of phonological processes (Selkirk 1978, 1986, Nespor & Vogel 1986, Beckman & Pierrehumbert 1986, Hayes 1989, Zec 1993). Despite decades-long discussions, the following background questions have not lost their fascination:

How can one capture the distinction between phonological processes that apply to smaller units, i.e., within words, feet, syllables, stems, morphemes, and phonological processes that take bigger objects, such as prosodic constituents, as their domain in current models of grammar?

How do phonological processes that apply within those units interact with constituency as defined by morphology or syntax?

Are the units relevant to appropriately define phonological generalisations derived from the structural constituency in morphology and/or syntax, or are they defined independently?

How do suprasegmental objects such as syllables, feet and phrases interact with segments and their properties?

What is the appropriate way of characterising the restrictions imposed by segmental considerations on syllable structure?

How are nonlocal processes such as vowel harmony and consonant harmony conditioned by bigger phonological and non-phonological structures, such as syllable, foot and morphological or syntactic structure?

How do phonotactic restrictions interact with morpheme structure and syllable structure?

Is it necessary to refer to prosodic units at all to describe phonological processes?

How do suprasegmentals such as tone and intonation condition segmental processes or vice versa?

In what way can a system capture that a process of vowel lengthening or shortening is conditioned by the prosodic constituency?

To what extent are the observations made in phonology about domains, cyclicity and the timing of operations transferrable to modern theories about domains in other levels of grammar, such as syntax and semantics?

We invite submissions (maximum of 2 pages, 12 point, single-spaced, 2.5 cm margins) for 45 minute (30 + 15) talks on any of these topics. We particularly welcome submissions that discuss new facts, or that aim at discussing the implications of already known facts for the theoretical questions presented above.