Giving up on underlying representations: an illustration of Emergent Phonology
- Prof Diana Archangeli, Department of Linguistics, The University of Hong Kong
Thu 06 Apr 2017, 4:00 pm
Room 4.04, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Underlying representations have been central to phonological modeling in generative grammar. But are they necessary? Under the view that phonology emerges, driven primarily by general cognition and not by innate principles specifically for language, the concept of underlying representation no longer a prior in the theory. In this talk, I explore the question of what a phonological grammar might look like without innate phonological priors and, in particular, without the desideratum of unique underlying representations. Rather than seeking a single representation that encodes all of the idiosyncratic properties of every allomorph of a morpheme, the Emergent view hypothesizes that each morph is represented as part of the lexical entry in a morph set; the job of the phonological grammar is to determine when to use each morph. An examination of vowel patterns in Mayak is used to illustrate the discussion.