Information-Based Phonology

Instructor(s): Kathleen Currie Hall and Elizabeth Hume

At the core of Information-based phonology is the view that a language's phonology is part of a communication system, manifested through acquisition and usage, where constraints on the transmission of messages can shape the emergent properties of the system. The beginning of this course will be devoted to understanding the insights and observations that motivate an information-based approach and introducing the basic principles of information theory, which allows quantification of such insights. The second part of the course introduces the model of information-based phonology as developed by the course instructors, in collaboration with Fred Mailhot (Ohio State), Adam Ussishkin (Arizona) and Andrew Wedel (Arizona). Students will learn how the model can be applied to a number of classic problems in phonology, including phonological relationships (contrast, allophony) and processes (e.g. neutralization, deletion, epenthesis, metathesis, assimilation). This is a relatively advanced course and will be primarily lecture-based, with some hands-on practice of particular concepts and applications.

Students should have a basic understanding of phonology. No prior knowledge of information theory will be assumed.

Course ID:

Tue & Fri 3:30-5:15

Classroom: MUEN E 0046

Areas of Linguistics:
Computational Linguistics
Phonetics, Phonology and Morphology