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SPOT (Syntax-Prosody in OT) Workshop

November 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


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SPOT (Syntax-Prosody in OT) Workshop 11.18.17

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This is a one-day IHR-sponsored workshop (Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017), called SPOT (“Syntax-Prosody in Optimality Theory”, which is part of a research project aiming to create a computational platform that generates prosodic candidate sets from syntactic structure. The syntax-prosody interface is the study of how syntactic (grammatical) structures are mapped onto the prosodic structures in different languages. Several strands of work in prosodic theory have recently converged on a number of common themes, from different directions, broadly couched in Optimality Theory. Selkirk (2011) has developed a vastly simplified approach to the syntax-prosody mapping which distinguishes only three levels (word, phrase, and clause), and syntactic constituents are systematically made to correspond to phonological domains (“Match Theory”). In an independent line of research, a long string of papers reaching back into the 1980s has convincingly demonstrated that recursive structures are by no means an exclusive property of syntax, but also play a crucial role in phonology. One of the hallmarks of Match Theory is the idea that the main force interfering with syntax-prosody isomorphism is not some kind of non-isomorphic mapping algorithm flattening out the structure, as first contemplated in SPE (Chomsky and Halle 1968, 372) and more fully worked out in later proposals, such as the edge-based theory built on one-sided alignment. It is rather the effect of genuine phonological wellformedness constraints on prosodic structure.

Besides presenting the pilot SPOT program for comments, the workshop will consist of research talks focused on the syntax-prosody interface by both invited speakers from the East Coast and Europe and Bay Area researchers.

More information about the IHR SPOT Research Cluster:


SPOT Program: Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

9:15am – 10:00am Pre-workshop coffee/tea, bagels, pastries and fruit

10:00am -11:00am “Match Theory and the Asymmetry Problem: Intonational phrase marking in Stockholm Swedish” (abstract and handouts)
Shinichiro Ishihara (Lund University)

11:15am -12:00pm “Syntax-Prosody in Optimality Theory” (abstract and handouts) Jenny Bellik and Nick Kalivoda (UC Santa Cruz)

12:00pm -1:00pm Mexican buffet lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm“Syntactic Constituency Spell-Out through Match Constraints” (abstract and handouts)
Lisa Selkirk (UMass/Amherst)

2:15pm – 3:00pm“Syntactic Constituency Spell-Out through Match Constraints” (abstract and handouts)
Nicholas Rolle (UC Berkeley)

3:00pm -3:30pm Coffee Break

3:30pm – 4:15pm“Syntactic Constituency Spell-Out through Match Constraints” (abstract and handouts)
Ryan Bennett, Jim McCloskey (UC Santa Cruz), and Emily Elfner (York University)

4:30pm – 6:30pm Post-workshop reception

For more information contact Junko Ito ( or Armin Mester (


November 18, 2017
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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