April 4, 2014

Guest Speaker Event: Aaron Dinkin (April 4)

We are having our final talk of the year:
Who:  Aaron Dinkin (U of T)
What: "Gradience, allophony and chain shifts" -- see abstract below.
When: Friday, April 4th at 2:30pm sharp (<-- 1073="" be="" by="" end="" followed="" font="" in="" location="" lounge.="" note="" of="" party="" sid="" smith="" talk="" that="" the="" time="" unusual="" where:="" will="" year="">

Gradience, allophony and chain shifts / Aaron Dinkin
A modular feedforward architecture of phonology (Bermúdez-Otero 2007)
implies that the entities that undergo chain shifting are not phonemes per
se, but the intermediate representations that are the outputs of discrete
phonological rules. I test the predictions made by this model by examining
the role of gradiency in the Northern Cities Shift and the Southern Shift.
In Upstate New York (Dinkin 2009), the Hudson Valley and Inland North
regions have distinct systems of /æ/ allophony, whereby the Hudson Valley
possesses two phonologically distinct allophones of /æ/ (prenasal and
non-prenasal), while the Inland North has prenasal and non-prenasal /æ/ as
part of a single gradient distribution. I argue that this phonological
difference explains the Hudson Valley's failure to acquire the raising of
(non-prenasal) /æ/, while it acquires other Northern Cities Shift vowel
features. Meanwhile, in the Southern Shift, the modular feedforward
architecture suggests that the monophthongization of /ay/ must have been a
gradient process which pre-voiced and pre-voiceless /ay/ were both
participating in from the initiation of the shift. Analysis of Southern
speakers from Labov et al. (2006) suggests that this is the case, and that
discrete allophonic differences in monophthongization between pre-voiced
and pre-voiceless /ay/ are a secondary development (for those speakers for
whom they exist).

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