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Rachel Walker: "Partially Overlapping Harmonies: Implications for Agreement by Correspondence"

February 6, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm  |  


Abstract: Correspondence relations among segments in an output, known as surface correspondence, provide a means for enforcing (dis)agreement among segments (Hansson 2001, Rose & Walker 2004, Bennett 2013). In this talk, I examine a problematic prediction of proposals about the formal properties of surface correspondence for harmony patterns that are partially overlapping in a language. I discuss the types of refinements necessary for a surface correspondence account, and consider implications for the theoretical approach in general.

More specifically, this talk identifies a novel and problematic typological prediction of transitive surface correspondence relations with chain-­‐adjacent evaluation of identity, dubbed the Closest Correspondent Trigger Prediction. The problem is exemplified by the interaction of two overlapping vowel harmonies in the dialect of Pasiego Montañes, where a target vowel agrees with different trigger segments for different features. A revised feature-­‐restricted evaluation of identity constraints that operate over surface correspondents is proposed, where evaluation is restricted to the subset of correspondents that share a given set of features. This move essentially merges the previous division of labor in surface correspondence theory between constraints that promote interactions among similar segments and those that enforce identity between such segments. The result is a theory where surface identity constraints are the prime locus of pattern-­‐shaping and there is a much reduced role for constraints that drive surface correspondence. Future directions on the status of constraints that drive surface correspondence and the treatment of locality are considered.


About eight times each year the department hosts colloquium talks by distinguished faculty from around the world.

2014 – 2015 Speakers

FALL 2014
October 17th
Jane Grimshaw, Rutgers

December 12th
Adam Albright, MIT

January 16th
Claire Halpert, University of Minnesota

January 23rd
Valentine Hacquard, Maryland

February 6th
Rachel Walker, USC

mid-March: date TBA
LASC: Linguistics at Santa Cruz Conference

April 10th
Daniel Lassiter, Stanford

April 17th
Keith Johnson, UC Berkeley

May 1st
Grant Goodall, UC San Diego

May/June: date TBA
LURC: Linguistics Undergraduate Research Conference


February 6, 2015
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Tags:


Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States + Google Map


Linguistics Department
(831) 459-2386
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