Tid: Torsdag 4 oktober 2018, kl 15:00-17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati


Phonology is concerned with the way that words—in particular, the segments (language sounds) which make up words—are represented in the human mind. Phonologists agree that segments are not discrete units in themselves, but rather, are composites of smaller units or ‘features’, where each feature carries information about the phonetic and phonological characteristics of segments. But there is disagreement over the nature of features. Most scholars assume that features represent properties of articulation by referring to tongue and lip position, the shape of the larynx, and so on. In this talk, however, we argue that features are better understood as units grounded in aspects of the acoustic signal. We motivate a small set of features called ‘elements’, which are present in the mental lexicon and form complex hierarchical structures via head-dependent relations. Using elements it is possible to capture more accurately the behaviour of sound systems cross-linguistically.

Kuniya Nasukawa is Professor of English Linguistics. He has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from University College London (UCL), and his research interests include prosody-melody interaction and precedence-free phonology. He has written many articles covering a wide range of topics in phonological theory. He is author of A Unified Approach to Nasality and Voicing (Mouton 2005), co-editor (with Phillip Backley) of Strength Relations in Phonology (Mouton 2009), co-editor (with Nancy C. Kula and Bert Botma) of The Bloomsbury Companion to Phonology (Bloomsbury 2013), and co-editor (with Henk van Riemsdijk) of Identity Relations in Grammar (Mouton 2014). [https://sites.google.com/site/kuniyanasukawa/]

Phillip Backley is Professor of English Linguistics. He gained a PhD in phonology from the University of London (UCL) in 1998, and he has published on a range of topics in theoretical phonology, language acquisition and the history of English. He is actively involved in the development of an element-based (cf. feature-based) approach to segmental representation, and is the author of An Introduction to Element Theory (EUP 2011).

Ikuo Matsuo is Professor of Information Science. He gained a PhD in engineering from Tohoku University in 2001, and he has published on a range of topics in bioacoustics and underwater acoustics. He has developed a fish detection system using broadband sounds, allowing more detailed observation of fish behaviour. Recently, his interests have turned to speech analysis research.

Hjärtligt välkomna!

Richard Kowalik