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We investigate whether the patterns of phonotactic well-formedness internalized by language learners are direct reflections of the phonological patterns they encounter, or reflect in addition principles of phonological naturalness. As a research tool we employ the phonotactic learning system of Hayes and Wilson (2008), which carries out an unbiased search(More)
Sonority projection refers to behavioral distinctions speakers make between unattested phonological sequences on the basis of sonority.). We begin by replicating the sonority projection effects in a nonword acceptability study. Then we evaluate the extent to which sonority projection is predicted by existing computational models of phonotactics (Coleman &(More)
Phonological grammars characterize distinctions between relatively well-formed (unmarked) and relatively ill-formed (marked) phonological structures. We review evidence that markedness influences speech error probabilities. Specifically, although errors result in both unmarked as well as marked structures, there is a markedness asymmetry: errors are more(More)
We propose a new approach to metrics based on maxent grammars, which employ weighted constraints and assign a well-formedness value to every metrically distinct line type. We claim two advantages for our approach. First, it offers an explicit account of metricality and metrical complexity, an account that has a principled mathematical basis and integrates(More)
ABSTRACT What are the sources of variation in the input, and how much do they matter for language acquisition? This study examines frequency variation in manner-of-articulation classes in child and adult input. The null hypothesis is that segmental frequency distributions of language varieties are unigram (modelable by stationary, ergodic processes), and(More)
A number of Russian verbs lack 1sg non-past forms. These paradigmatic gaps are puzzling because they seemingly contradict the highly productive nature of inflectional systems. We model the persistence and spread of Russian gaps via a multi-agent model with Bayesian learning. We ran three simulations: no grammar learning, learning with arbitrary analogical(More)
Old Norse and Middle Tamil are all languages in which weight is claimed to be exclusively binary in the poetic metrics. As I demonstrate through corpus studies of these traditions, the poets were sensitive to additional grades of weight, such that finely articulated continua of syllable weight can be inferred from distributional asymmetries in the metres.(More)
Sprung rhythm is a complex poetic metre invented and used by Gerard Manley Hopkins. We reexamine and amplify a seminal analysis of this metre by Kiparsky (1989). We coded the sprung rhythm corpus for stress, weight and phrasing, then used a computer program to locate every scansion compatible with Kiparsky's analysis. The analysis appears to be nearly(More)