English version | Version française

Ewan Dunbar and Anisia Popescu

Mondays, 13h-15h30 in 418C (Halle), except for students in FLE, who will do what we did in the last hour (usually just exercises) from 17h45-18h45 with Anisia Popescu (same room).

My office hours (Bureau 642): Thursday, 10:30-12:00, or by appointment

NOTE: IF YOU HAVEN’T GOTTEN ANY EMAILS FROM ME, IT’S BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Please correct this ASAP, as I don’t have any way to give you access to the readings otherwise.

What do I have to do for this week?

Date Finish reading Submit (by 1PM by default) How to submit Supplementary readings
September 11 François Dell textbook Ch. 1, Ch. 2 up to page 79 (Supplementary Zotero)
September 18 SPE (A): Ch1; Ch2 s.1-3; Ch3 s.1.2-1.3, s.9 (Main Zotero) Exercises for SPE (A) ( HTML / PDF ) Deadline passed Lecture notes Chapter 1 (see below) ; SPE Feature table (see below) ; FAQ post Exercises for SPE (A) (see below)
September 25 SPE (B): Ch2 s. 4; Ch3 s.1.2, s.2-3, s.14 (up to example 103) (Main Zotero) Handout on SPE (B) (see below)
October 2 SPE (C): Handout on complex words (Main Zotero; in French) Exercises for SPE (B) ( HTML / PDF ) Deadline passed
October 9 SPE (D): SPE Ch. 8 s. 1, s.3 to the end of p344; Ch 2 s. 7 (Main Zotero) Handout for SPE (D), TD handout
October 16 Goldsmith: Ch1 s.1, 2 (except 2.3), 3, 4.1, 6, 7 (Main Zotero) Handout, TD handout
October 23
October 24 (Tuesday) Exercises for SPE (D) Schoology SPE (D) François Dell textbook Ch. 4-6 (Supplementary Zotero)
October 30
November 6 Liberman and Prince: Sec. 0, 1, 2 (except 2.8) (Main Zotero) Fill in the squib questionnaire Schoology Squib qnn’aire Handout LP, Handout TD
November 13 Hayes: Ch. 3, sections 1-4.4 (If you have time: Ch. 1; if you have more time: the rest!) Polycopié Hayes, Handout TD
November 15 (Wednesday) Squib proposal Schoology Squib proposal
November 20 (23rd) Keating 1990 Slides
November 24 (Friday) Exercises for Liberman and Prince, Hayes Schoology Metrical Phonology
November 27 Lexical phonology (A): Mohanan (Ch 1) Slides Lexical Phonology
December 4 Lexical phonology (B): Kiparsky 1985, Poly Lexical Phonology
December 11 Mielke 2012 Slides features, Handout TD
December 22 (Friday), at the latest Squib due
January 12 (Friday) Revisions for SPE (D) and Metrical Phonology, OPTIONAL Exercises for Lexical Phonology

Course materials

Squib info

Main readings on Zotero

Supplementary Zotero

Lecture notes

SPE feature table ( HTML | PDF )

FAQ Post Exercises for SPE (A) (in French)

Handout on SPE (B) (in French)

Virtual IPA Keyboard: http://ipa.typeit.org

Course overview

This course is for students to get a solid grasp on the problems that have been addressed in theoretical phonology over the past fifty years, an overview of the type of solutions that have been proposed, and a solid practical mastery of a few (not all) of the proposed formalisms (notably, there is no Optimality Theory in this class, and no Government Phonology). The work we do will often rely a bit on an ability in IPA transcription and solving basic phonology problems, and some knowledge of articulatory phonetics, but this should be relatively easy to catch up on for students with less background (we won’t go through it in class). At the end of the course, the goal is that you be able to write a short paper on an empirical phenomenon that we haven’t covered in class (you do not need to know the previous literature on the topic, you just need to have access to data). By the end of the class, students should find it relatively easy to articulate exactly how a given set of phonological data would or could be analysed under various important phonological theories, the relevance to our understanding of phonological cognition, and any challenges the data poses for particular theoretical ideas, based on a careful and thorough understanding of the theories we talk about in class.

Course materials

This course is based on the primary literature. The list of weekly readings is given below, and the documents are available through the group Zotero linked above. My lecture notes are there as a reference to what was said in class, but you should take your own notes. It would be probably be useful (except the first week) if you did the readings in advance for a given week.


  1. Six short comprehension exercises: 40% total

I will give you an initial grade of 0 (not all the questions on the homework had an answer), 2 (you gave me an answer for all the questions but at least one needs revision), or 3 (all the questions were done, no major problems). In order to get a 2, you need to make an attempt at all the problems, or write, in cases where you’re stuck, write me an explanation of what you don’t understand which is blocking you. If you get a 2, I will give you comments (if my general comments to the class aren’t specific to your case). You have the opportunity of getting the point back by resubmitting the exercise the following week. On rare occasions, I may give you a 1. This means, “the thing you’d need to do again is a very important thing to master, and I strongly encourage you to do it.” The total will be rescaled to make 40%.

A note on resubmission: To get points back, you need to do more than just put the right answer down. You need to explain exactly why this new answer is better than the old one, including in the case where you just put a note explaining what you didn’t understand. In that case, you need to explain exactly how the new version addresses your previous issues.

Another note on resubmission: To repeat: if you didn’t put an answer for one of the questions (at least the answer that you don’t know, followed by a thorough explanation of what and why), you can’t resubmit for credit.

All the comprehension exercises (or revisions) should be submitted electronically before class starts. Note: before class starts. If you write to me 24hrs in advance, you can get an extra week, no questions asked, but I will only do this twice per person, and that doesn’t push back your submission date for the following week’s exercise.

What you submit can be in English or French, in PDF, Word, or RTF format (or plain text if the exercise supports it). They can even be in a Google Doc (but make sure that I have access, and note that I will look at the last modification time to make sure it wasn’t changed after class started).

Please make it an easy read, and please type as much as possible. If you have trouble with symbols of any kind, or derivations, ask your classmates, but don’t spend too much time on it please. Just write it out, take a picture, and embed it.

(Anyone who sends me a link to a reasonably useful guide to typing linguistics that I can share with the class will get a cookie.)

  1. Participation: 10%, as follows: if you ask a question or make a comment in class, at any point during the year, you will get a point (one percent), up to a maximum of ten. (But it doesn’t count if I ask you!)

  2. Squib. 50% (40% squib + 10% for writing a proposal) A “squib” is a short paper that discusses a relevant issue (see here for some information about the word “squib”). Your squib will cover an empirical phenomenon that we haven’t talked about in class. It doesn’t need to propose a solution. The goal is to show how it relates to some issue or question of theoretical importance.