LING 085 — Spring 2018
Phonology II

Professor:Jonathan North Washington
Office:Pearson 105
Office phone:x6134
Office hours:T 14:00-15:30, W 13:15-14:45
Meeting time:M 7:00pm-9:45pm
Classroom:Pearson 005
Course website:
Course moodle site: S18 - LING085.01


The goal of this course is to acquaint you with a range of topics in and ways of thinking about Phonology by getting your hands dirty.

This course is a sequel to LING 045—Phonetics and Phonology. It is designed to provide further training in formal phonology, in terms of both data analysis and the fundamentals of phonological theory. Students will look deeply at both classic and later derivational versions of Optimality Theory, as well as some alternatives to OT, such as Articulatory Phonology. Once a common theoretical foundation has been established we will explore these topics through critical reading of major articles form the linguistic literature, as a way of exploring the details of the theories discussed, their strengths and weaknesses, and the rich cross-linguistic data that underlie them.

Required Materials

There are two textbooks for the course. Both are available in the bookstore and are on reserve in the library.

You'll need to be able to access Moodle ( Some materials we use for the course will be available there (readings, etc.), as will your grades, so make sure you can access it as soon as possible. If you have any trouble with it, notify me as soon as you can. Non-Swarthmore TriCo students may not have access to Moodle immediately at the beginning of the semester—let me know if this is the case for you, and I will make sure you have access to resources in some other way.

The course website (listed above, and linked to from the Moodle course) contains the schedule for the semester and this syllabus. I'll mostly put updates and new materials on Moodle this semester, so will be sure to make announcements about any major changes to the website.

Office Hours

I hold regular office hours (listed above), and can be available at other times by appointment—just send me an e-mail letting me know when you might prefer to meet.

If you are having any trouble with class, such as with understanding a concept or completing an assignment, please don't hesitate to ask me for help. I'm here to help you learn, so I encourage you to take advantage of my availability.


Course etiquette

Show up on time and silence cell phones. Food and drinks are generally not allowed in lab, per the policies for the room. However, I don't mind as long as you don't damage the equipment or disturb your classmates. If you need to step out of the class for any reason (bathroom, emergency phone call, etc.), please do so with minimum disruption (i.e., don't ask for permission).

Please use computers only for relevant classroom activities. In other words, please refrain from any sort of non-class-related activities, including messaging (e-mail, social media, etc.), homework for other courses, or even catching up on course reading. Even the best multitaskers are still not participating fully when they're engaging in unrelated endeavours. If it's too difficult to avoid the temptation of these other distractions, you may try strategies like disabling the computer's internet connection, using a filter for web usage, or similar.

Note on pronouns: if you'd like to be referred to by a pronoun that you think I might not guess correctly or if you notice me referring to you by some other pronoun than what you'd prefer, please let me know so that I can get it right.

Class material

All material covered during course-related activities—including assigned readings, quizzes, and labs—should be assumed to be required course content, and will be assumed background for later activities. It is each student's responsibility to attend all classes to learn the material covered. If you must miss a class (e.g., for an athletic or religious reason), it is courteous to notify your professor ahead of time if at all possible, but it will be your responsibility to learn about missed material from classmates. It is not my responsibility to make up for your absence or re-teach the material. (That said, let me know if you're having trouble making something up, and we'll figure something out.) With so few class meetings dedicated to each topic and the cumulative nature of the topics, missing one day can be a very big deal—so I really recommend trying not to miss class.

The assigned readings are to be read in advance of the class dates they're assigned for. The readings complement in-class activities and provide the necessary background; however, you should not assume that they will be fully summarized or reviewed in class. Students should be prepared to evaluate, integrate, or respond to the readings in class discussions. Each week it'll be made clear which readings are required and which may be skimmed or are entirely optional.

Any excuse for missing any course-related activities will need to be handled by your class dean. Please see the Medical Excuse Policy (, and remember to contact your class dean as soon as you can so that they can work with you.

Turning in assignments on time

Assignments will generally be due in physical form (on paper) and typed at the beginning of class on Mondays. Work on the assignment must be complete in order to engage with the day's topic, so it is essential that assignments be submitted on time.

Any assignments submitted late will be evaluated and feedback will be provided, but a grade of 0 will be recorded.

Academic Integrity

Using words or ideas from another source without attribution constitutes plagiarism, and misrepresenting another student's work as your own (or allowing another student to misrepresent your work as their own) is cheating. Please see the student handbook for the College's policies on academic misconduct ( Suspected cases of academic misconduct will be pursued to the full extent of College policy, including referral to the College Judicial Committee.

You are always expected to write up your own assignments. However, you may (and are encouraged to) discuss assignments with one another. Just be sure to cite others' ideas when you use them.

In short, submitting work that is not your own or providing a classmate with a solution will be considered academic misconduct and will be addressed as such (see above-mentioned policies). So please just be honest. And if you have any questions about what's considered acceptable, ask me first.


Most of your assignments will be graded with a fine-grained measure of completion and correctness based on normal letters grades and grade points (A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, and F = 0.0), with the standard modifiers + (one-third of a grade point higher) and - (one-third of a grade point lower). In addition, intermediate grades using parentheses or a slash may be used, giving the following correspondence between letter grade and grade points:


Course Grade Components

The grade in this course is broken down into the following components. Each component is expounded upon following the table.
Homework / reading responses:30%
Article presentations:15%
Midterm squib:15%
Final paper prposal:5%
Final paper presentation:10%
Final paper:15%

Homework and reading responses (30%)

Each week an assignment will be due that may involve solving problems and/or responding to the reading for the week. These are due typed on paper at the beginning of the class they are assigned for. See above for late policy.

Engagement (10%)

I do not grade on attendance, but you will be graded on engagement in the class, and this requires attendance. Beyond simply showing up and participating, you're encouraged to contribute to discussions by asking questions, answering questions, making relevant comments, helping classmates with in-class activities, etc. You will not be ridiculed for asking even simple questions—I want to make sure everyone grasps the concepts, and many are not as straightforward as they may first seem (or as I think they are). You are also expected to have read any assigned readings before class.

Article presentations (15%)

Each student is required to lead discussion on two to three readings of their choice throughout the semester. Readings will be chosen the first day from a list of readings by topic. Some students may not get their first choice, but efforts will be made to make sure everyone is happy with the readings they present on.

Presenters should read the pages thoroughly and prepare a handout addressing the author's proposal, arguments given, possible flaws or problems with the analysis, and questions from the presenter and their classmates. Students are encouraged to meet with a SPA prior to their presentation. Presenters are responsible for making sure there are sufficient handouts for the class; if you'd like me to print out copies please email me your handout by 6:30 at the latest.

Midterm squib (15%)

A short squib outlining an interesting problem in the field will be due around spring break. More information about this will be announced later.

Final paper proposal (5%)

A short (~1 page) proposal of the topic for the final paper will be due about 5 or 6 weeks before the paper is due.

Final paper presentation (10%)

Short presentations (length depending on number of students, but in the 10-15 minute range) of work in progress for the final paper will be presented during the final exam period for the class.

Final paper (15%)

A final paper or project will be due during finals period, [hopefully] after the presentations [depending on timing]. More information will be announced later.


If you believe you need accommodations for a disability or a chronic medical condition, please contact Student Disability Services (Parrish 113W, 123W) via e-mail at to arrange an appointment to discuss your needs. As appropriate, the office will issue students with documented disabilities or medical conditions a formal Accommodations Letter. Since accommodations require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact Student Disability Services as soon as possible. For details about the accommodations process, visit the Student Disability Services website at You are also welcome to contact me privately to discuss your academic needs. However, all disability-related accommodations must be arranged, in advance, through Student Disability Services.

Course outline (subject to revision)

(by class)
readingsadditional materials / readings
1 22 Jan

Course outline

Working in OT

McCarthy - Doing Optimality Theory (Ch. 1, pp. 41-94)

2 29 Jan

Working in OT

Pater (1999) - Austronesian Nasal Substitution and other NC effects

Bromberger & Halle (1989) - Why Phonology is Different

Reiss (2002) - The OCP and NoBanana

3 05 Feb

Prosodic structure, stress, alignment, metrical phonology

McCarthy & Prince (1993) - Generalized alignment

McCarthy & Prince (1994) - The Emergence of the Unmarked

Baković (1998) - Unbounded stress and factorial typology

Alderete (1999) - Head Dependence in Stress-Epenthesis Interaction

4 12 Feb

Prosodic structure, stress, alignment, metrical phonology

McCarthy (2003) - OT constraints are categorical

Elenbaas & Kager (1999) - Ternary Rhythm and the *Lapse constraint

Martínez-Paricio (2012) - Superfeet as recursion

Hyman (2006) - Word-Prosodic Typology

Hyman (2007) - Tone: Is it Different?

5 19 Feb

Opacity & Stratal OT

Baković (2011) - Opacity and ordering

Kiparsky (2000) - Opacity and Cyclicity

McCarthy (1999) - Sympathy and phonological opacity

Steriade (1999) - Paradigm Uniformity and the Phonetics-Phonology Boundary

Kiparsky (1985) - Some Consequences of Lexical Phonology

6 26 Feb


McCarthy & Prince (1999) - Faithfulness and identity in prosodic morphology (selections)

McCarthy & Prince (1995) - Faithfulness and reduplicative identity

Kiparsky (2007) - Reduplication in Stratal OT

Yu (1999) - Dissimilation in Reduplication: The case of emphatic reduplication in Turkish

Wedel (1999) - Turkish emphatic reduplication

7 05 Mar


Archangeli & Pulleyblank (2002) - Kinande vowel harmony: domains, grounded conditions, and one-sided alignment

Harvey & Baker (2005) - Vowel harmony, directionality and morpheme structure constraints in Warlpiri

Rose Walker (2004) - A typology of consonant agreement as correspondence

Kaun (2004) - The typology of rounding harmony

12 Mar

Spring break!

Midterm squib

8 19 Mar


Baertsch & Davis (2003) - The Split Margin Approach to Syllable Structure

Davis & Baertsch (2011) - On the relationship between codas and onset clusters

Baertsch & Davis (2009) - Strength relations between consonants: a syllable-based OT approach

Clements (1990) - The role of the sonority cycle in core syllabification

Baertsch & Davis (2008) - Decomposing the Syllable Contact Asymmetry in Korean

Gouskova (2004) - Relational hierarchies in Optimality Theory: the case of syllable contact

9 26 Mar

Harmonic Serialism

McCarthy (2016) - The theory and practice of Harmonic Serialism

McCarthy (2011) - Autosegmental spreading in Optimality Theory

McCarthy (2010) - An introduction to Harmonic Serialism

McCarthy (2009) - Harmony in harmonic serialism

10 02 Apr


Proposal for final paper (05 April)

Anderson (1981) - Why Phonology Isn't "Natural",

OR the following:

Buckley (2000) - On the Naturalness of Unnatural Rules


Hayes (1999) - Phonetically Driven Phonology: The Role of Optimality Theory and Inductive Grounding

Bermúdez-Otero (2005) - Phonological change in Optimality Theory

Smolensky (1996) - The initial State and ‘Richness of the Base’ in Optimality Theory

Tesar & Smolensky (1996) - Learnability in Optimality Theory

11 09 Apr

Optionality and variation

Hayes, Zuraw, Siptár, Londe (2009) - Natural and unnatural constraints in Hungarian vowel harmony

AND either

Hammond (2004) - Gradience, Phonotactics, and the Lexicon in English Phonology


Anttila Cho (1998) - Variation and change in Optimality Theory

Hayes & Londe (2005) - Stochastic Phonological Knowledge: The Case of Hungarian Vowel Harmony

Becker, Ketrez, Nevins (2008) - The Surfeit of the Stimulus: Analytic biases filter lexical statistics in Turkish devoicing neutralization

12 16 Apr

Articulatory phonology

Browman & Goldstein (1992) - Articulatory Phonology: An Overview

Gafos (2002) - A Grammar of Gestural Coordination

Gafos & Benus (2006) - Dynamics of Phonological Cognition

Saltzman (1995) - Dynamics and Coordinate Systems in Skilled Sensorimotor Activity

Browman & Goldstein (1991) - Gestural Structures: Distinctiveness, Phonological Processes, and Historical Change

Parrell (2011) - The role of gestural phrasing in Western Andalusian Spanish aspiration

Goldstein (2011) - Back to the past tense in English

13 23 Apr

Two-level phonology

Antworth (1991) – Introduction to Two-Level Phonology

Karttunen Beesley (2001) - A Short History of Two-Level Morphology

Koskenniemi (1983) - Two-Level Morphology: A General Computational Model for Word-Form Recognition and Production

Koskenniemi (1984) - A general computational model for word-form recognition and production

Kiraz (1994) - Multi-tape two-level morphology: A Case Study in Semitic Non-linear Morphology

14 30 Apr

Sub-regular phonology

Heinz (2009) - On the role of locality in learning stress patterns

Heinz (2010) - Learning Long-Distance Phonotactics File

Jardine (2015) - Computationally, tone is different

14 May

Final project presentations

17 May

Final paper