Phonology and Phonetics

The approach to phonology and phonetics at UCSC is broad, reflecting our view that one can learn from bringing to bear diverse methodologies: formal, functional, experimental. These are complementary approaches to linguistics, and we often try to integrate them in our research. In the area of phonology, research ranges from prosody to segmental effects, generally in the theoretical framework of Optimality Theory. Much of our work is grounded in deep empirical investigations into particular languages such as German, Irish, Japanese, Mayan (Kaqchikel and Uspanteko), Polish, and Russian, and much of it explores the relationship between phonology and either morphology or phonetics. Research in phonetics ranges from exploration of category formation to the role of perception in phonology, and to the social implications of phonetic properties. Current work by faculty and students focuses on prosody and accentuation, the nature of higher prosodic categories and structures, foot-based processes, the perceptual bases of contrast and processes, phonetic cue learning and category formation, vocal attractiveness, and the emergent nature of phonological patterns.




Recent Alumni (see allrecent)

  • Anna Greenwood (PhD) 2016 An experimental investigation of phonetic naturalness
  • Ryan Bennett (PhD), 2012 Foot-conditioned phonotactics and prosodic constituency
  • Jeremy O'Brien, (PhD) 2012 An experimental approach to debuccalization and supplementary gestures
  • Abby Kaplan (PhD), 2010 Phonology Shaped by Phonetics: the Case of Intervocalic Lenition
  • Jesse Kirchner (PhD), 2010 Minimal Reduplication
  • David Teeple, 2009 Biconditional Prominence Correlation
  • Aaron Kaplan, 2008 Non-iterativity is an emergent property of grammar
  • Anya Lunden, 2006 Weight, final lengthening and stress: A phonetic and phonological case study of Norwegian
  • Daniel Karvonen, 2005 Word Prosody in Finnish
  • Andrew Wedel, 2004 Self-organization and Categorical Behavior in Phonology
  • Dylan Herrick, 2003 An Acoustic Analysis of Phonological Vowel Reduction in Six Varieties of Catalan
  • Nathan Sanders, 2003 Opacity and Sound Change in the Polish
  • Kazutaka Kurisu, 2001 The Phonology of Morpheme Realization
  • Adam Ussishkin, 2000 The Emergence of Fixed Prosody
  • Motoko Katayama, 1998 Optimality Theory and Japanese Loanword Phonology
  • Rachel Walker, 1998 Nasalization, Neutral Segments, and Opacity
  • Philip Spaelti, 1997 Dimensions of Variation in Multi-pattern Reduplication
  • H. Andrew Black, 1993 Constraint-Ranked Derivation: A Serial Approach to Optimization

Labs and Research Groups

Artifacts from our work

  • Junko Ito and Armin Mester. 2003. Japanese morphophonemics: Markedness and word structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • "Perceptual map" of Polish fricatives based on a discrimination task, from Zygis and Padgett (2010), "A perceptual study of Polish fricatives, and its implications for historical sound change", Journal of Phonetics 38, pp. 207-226.
  • Ultrasound being illustrated in class
  • From: Junko Ito and Armin Mester. 2012. Recursive prosodic phrasing in Japanese. In Prosody matters:  Essays in honor of Elisabeth Selkirk. London: Equinox.
  • Students using ultrasound machine
  • "Phase space" of five-vowel inventories; from: Nathan Sanders and Jaye Padgett. 2008. Predicting vowel inventories from a dispersion-focalization model: New results. Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) 44: 293-307.
  • From: Jaye Padgett. 2010. Russian consonant-vowel interactions and derivational opacity. Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics (FASL) 18: 353-382.