21.3242, Diss: Phonology: Martinez: 'Sources of Non-Conformity in Phonology ...'

Wed Aug 11 16:29:35 UTC 2010

LINGUIST List: Vol-21-3242. Wed Aug 11 2010. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 21.3242, Diss: Phonology: Martinez: 'Sources of Non-Conformity in Phonology ...'

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Date: 11-Aug-2010
From: Elyssa Winzeler < elyssa at linguistlist.org >
Subject: Sources of Non-Conformity in Phonology: Variation and exceptionality in Modern Hebrew spirantization

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 12:28:11
From: Elyssa Winzeler [elyssa at linguistlist.org]
Subject: Sources of Non-Conformity in Phonology: Variation and exceptionality in Modern Hebrew spirantization

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Institution: University of Southern California 
Program: Department of Linguistics 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2010 

Author: Michal Temkin Martinez

Dissertation Title: Sources of Non-Conformity in Phonology: Variation and
exceptionality in Modern Hebrew spirantization 

Dissertation URL:  http://works.bepress.com/michal_martinez/2/

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Subject Language(s): Hebrew (heb)

Dissertation Director(s):
Louis Goldstein
Elsi Kaiser
Rachel Walker
Mario Saltarelli
Ania Lubowicz

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates the integration of two sources of
non-conformity exceptionality and variation - in a single phonological
system. Exceptionality manifests itself as systematic non-conformity, and
variation as partial or variable non-conformity. When both occur within the
same phenomenon, this is particularly challenging for the linguistic
system. Modern Hebrew spirantization provides an apt case study for the
investigation of the interaction of these two sources of non-conformity
where exceptional (non-alternating) segments are frequent, and variation in
alternating segments has been reported (Adam, 2002). This dissertation
makes contributions in the forms of both data and analysis. Its goals are
to provide a description of exceptionality and variation in Modern Hebrew
spirantization and an analysis which incorporates alternation,
exceptionality and variation.

To collect data for the description of Modern Hebrew spirantization in
verbal paradigms, an experimental rating task was conducted. Its goal was
to examine speakers' acceptance of variation in both alternating and
exceptional segments in Modern Hebrew spirantization, where stops and
fricatives alternate, with the latter occurring in post-vocalic contexts
and the former occurring elsewhere. The results establish that variation is
at least somewhat acceptable in both alternating and exceptional segments,
and is significantly more acceptable in alternating segments than in
exceptional ones. Moreover, speakers showed a preference for the expected
forms of both types of segments (i.e. the non-alternating form in
exceptions, and post-vocalic fricatives or word-initial and
post-consonantal stops in alternating segments). Importantly, the results
also show that variation in both types of segments is gradient.

To account for alternation, exceptionality, and variation in relation to a
single phonological process, I propose a model combining the set-indexation
approach for exceptionality (Pater, 2000) with stochastic OT and the
Gradual Learning Algorithm for gradience in variation (Boersma, 1998;
Boersma & Hayes, 2001; Hayes & Londe, 2006; Hayes & MacEachern, 1998;
Zuraw, 2000). I call this the 'combined model'. I show that neither
approach is able to account for both sources of non-conformity on its own;
set-indexation allows only for categorical distinctions between alternation
and exceptionality, whereas ranking distributions in stochastic OT limit
the possible range of constraint interactions to account only for variation. 

Looking forward, implementing the acquisition of these patterns in current
models of the learning algorithms results in a paradox. In particular,
set-indexation and stochastic constraint rankings both presuppose that the
mechanism they do not account for is established by a different mechanism -
set-indexation is only implemented once variation and speech errors have
been ruled out as the cause for non-alternation, whereas in order to
provide the stochastic constraint rankings accounting for acceptability of
variation in all tokens, set-indexation must have already been implemented.
This study therefore opens new avenues for research directions involving
learning algorithms, which are open to future refinement in handling
patterns of non-conformity. 

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