Introduction to constraint-based phonology

Lecturer: Adam J. Chong
Time: 17:00-18:30
Room: G15, Chandler House

Course website—2018.html


This course is an introduction to phonological analysis and theory. The goal of this course is to equip students with the fundamentals that will allow them to engage independently with the phonological literature. We will largely assume Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky 1993/2004) as the formal framework for analyzing phonotactic distributions, alternations and allomorphy. Implemented tools for constraint grammar learning will also be introduced. Finally, we will examine how constraint-based grammars can be augmented to account for phonological variation.

This course will assume a basic understanding of the phonetic properties of speech sounds, with little to no background in phonological analysis.

Tentative schedule of topics

  • Day 1 – Phonotactics and alternations
  • Day 2 – Conspiracies
  • Day 3 – Typology through an OT lens
  • Day 4 – Learning constraints
  • Day 5 – Dealing with variation
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