February 6, 2013

Guest Speaker: Anne-Michelle Tessier (Feb. 8/2013)

Speaker: Anne-Michelle Tessier (University of Alberta) http://www.ualberta.ca/~annemich
Title: "Serial vs. Parallel Phonology: Learners, Errors and Consequences"
Time: Friday, Feb. 8, 3pm
Place: Sid Smith 560A (ground floor) (Sid Smith is located at 100 St. George St.)

This talk discusses the long-standing question of whether phonological processes are applied in a serial order, or all at once in parallel, from the perspective of phonological learning and learnability. While nearly all of my previous acquisition research has used a fully parallel grammar (as in classic OT or Harmonic Grammar), this work explores the learning potential of Harmonic Serialism (HS: McCarthy 2008ab and many others), which blends serial derivations and constraint interaction in a novel way. In this talk, I discuss two consequences of phonological learning in an HS framework: arguing that HS avoids predicting one set of unattested developmental stages, but also that HS considerably complicates the acquisition of inventory restrictions. The take home message will be optimistic, in that Harmonic Serialism offers a new perspective on the notions of phonological mapping and derivation, and its *finite* notion of a candidate set (cf. the infinite candidate set of classic OT) may allow for an improved theory of how both phonotactics and alternations are acquired.

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