Welcome! I’m a phonologist and visiting assistant professor at the UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics. Below, you can read more about my research and teaching. My CV can be found at this link or on the sidebar.
office hours for spring 2018Mondays 11am–12pm and Wednesdays 1pm–2pm in Dwinelle 1222
My research interests:
papers and manuscripts
- Smith, Brian W. and Claire Moore-Cantwell (to appear). Emergent idiosyncrasy in English comparatives. Proceedings of the 47th Annual Meeting of North East Linguistic Society (NELS 47).
- Smith, Brian W. and Joe Pater (2017/submitted). French schwa and gradient cumulativity. Ms. (Comments welcome!)
- Smith, Brian W. (2017/in revision). –(a)licious and –(a)thon: new morphemes obey pre-existing constraints. Ms, University of California Santa Cruz. (Comments welcome!)
- Smith, Brian W. (2015). Phonologically-conditioned allomorphy and UR constraints. PhD Thesis, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
- Smith, Brian W. (2013). Ineffability and UR constraints in Optimality Theory. Ms, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
- McCarthy, John J., Kevin Mullin, and Brian W. Smith (2013). Implications of Harmonic Serialism for lexical tone association. In E. D. Botma and Roland Noske, eds., Phonological Architecture: Empirical, Theoretical and Conceptual Issues — Papers in Honour of Norval S.H. Smith. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. (Link is to a pre-print version)
- Pater, Joe, Robert Staubs, Karen Jesney and Brian Smith (2012). Learning probabilities over underlying representations. In the Proceedings of the Twelfth Meeting of the ACL-SIGMORPHON: Computational Research in Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology.
selected talks and posters
- Smith, Brian W. (2017). Using language-wide phonotactics to learn affix-specific phonology. Paper presented at the LSA 2017 Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.
- Smith, Brian W. and Joe Pater (2016). French schwa in harmonic grammar. Paper presented at 46th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL 46), Stonybrook University, NY.
- Smith, Brian W. (2015). A unified constraint-based account of the English indefinite article. Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Manchester Phonology Meeting Manchester, UK.
- Smith, Brian W. (2013). -(i)licious: A case of product-oriented allomorphy. Poster presented at the 21st Annual Manchester Phonology Meeting Manchester, UK.
- Smith, Brian W. (2012). Phonologically-conditioned ineffability and UR constraints in OT. Poster presented at the 20th Annual Manchester Phonology Meeting Manchester, UK.
- Pater, Joe, and Brian W. Smith (2011). Le ‘e’ en français: élision, épenthèse, les deux, ni l’un ni l’autre? Meeting on “Phonologie du Français Contemporain”, Paris, December 8th, 2011.
I've been lucky to teach linguistics at UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley. Here are some syllabi for my previous courses.
I grew up in New Jersey, and went to high school in Ocean City, NJ, in south south Jersey. I traveled north to attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where I majored in French and Linguistics. My French is a bit rouillé. For graduate school, I went to UMass Amherst. My dissertation is about phonologically-conditioned allomorphy and UR constraints, and it was advised by Joe Pater. After (and partially during) graduate school, I was a lecturer in the linguistics department at UCLA for two years, teaching phonology, phonetics, and sociolinguistics. Then I taught for a year at UC Santa Cruz. Now, I've found a home at UC Berkeley, continuing my northward journey through the UCs.
My non-academic interests are all drawn from the set of quaint, old-timey things people like to do in New England: contra dancing, traditional folk music, Sacred Harp singing, knitting and fiber arts. I also love classical music and music history. My favorite composers don't really form a natural class, except they're mostly 20th century and American/French/Russian (sometimes all three, like Stravinsky). Here's a list of favorites: Debussy, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Shostakovich. My favorite piece of music is probably the second movement of Rachmaninoff's piano concerto no. 4, which exists at the intersection of all the musics I love. I also enjoy video games and gaming, ever since Mario and Sonic.
I come from South Jersey, specifically the Jersey Shore, where people say things like "jimmies", "shoobies", "hoagies", and "water ice". Coastal South Jersey English sounds a lot like Philadelphia English, but it has some (I think) distinctive features. Here's a little description of Brian's English.