The Berkeley Phonetics & Phonology Forum ("Phorum") is a weekly talk and discussion series featuring presentations on all aspects of phonology and phonetics.


Mondays 12-1
1303 Dwinelle


Meg Cychosz

Andrew Cheng

Berkeley Phonetics and Phonology Forum

Schedule of Talks for Spring 2017

January 23 -

Hannah Sande (UC Berkeley)
Modeling the morphology/phonology interface: Evidence from process morphology in Guébie

Based on multiple distinct phonological processes in Guébie (Kru), I propose a model of constraint-based phonology that has access to specific morphosyntactic information to account for both affixal and process morphology. Specifically, I describe an instance of scalar tone shift and a process of phonologically determined noun class agreement, both which can be modeled in Cophonology Theory, where the phonology has access to morphosyntactic features. While any single morphophonological process in Gu ebie could be accounted for by one of many phonological models, looking across phenomena in a language allows us to find a single model that best accounts for many distinct processes.

January 30 -

Richard McGowan (Consulting and Research Services in the Physics of Human Speech)
Vocal Tract Scaling, Surface Curvature, Aerodynamics and the Development of Speech

If a child is to produce adult-like speech, then that child’s spectrogram should be a scaled version of that of an adult. This means that a child, whose vocal tract is scaled up by the ratio of its vocal tract length to that of an adult, should, at the very least, produce a sequence of area functions that resembles those of the adult, because formant frequencies are determined by area functions. We explore two types of difficulties that very young children (9 to 24 month old) could have in producing adult-like speech according to the scaled spectrogram criterion, described above. We state the first type of difficulty in terms of hypotheses regarding the curvature of the tongue surface. In two dimensions, curvature can be conceived to be a measure of “waviness” of a curve, and this measure can be applied to sagittal and lateral outlines, such as those of the tongue and palate surfaces. The hypotheses regard limitations on highly curved tongue outlines for children. It will be shown that these hypotheses are consistent with observations of children’s production of syllable-initial, strong /ɹ/, undifferentiated tongue gestures during velar stop, and the two sibilant fricatives of English with diminished acoustic distinction. The other kind of difficulty regards the fact that formant frequencies and some spectral properties of aerodynamic noise sources do not scale in the same way. This is illustrated with oft reported fronting of velar stop consonants in children. It is argued that the child cannot simultaneously produce the expected formant frequency pattern and the expected time evolution of the noise spectrum after the release of an aspirated velar consonant. If time permits, we speculate on the relation between back vowel variability in children and limits on tongue curvature, as well as findings on the relative sizes of the mouth and pharynx in the developing child. We conclude by emphasizing that physical detail should be considered when we study children’s speech development.

February 6 -

Emily Myers (University of Connecticut)


February 13 -

Article Discussion (Group discussion of recent research, all are welcome!)

February 20 -

Presidents' Day (no meeting)

February 27 -

Jacob Phillips (University of Chicago)

March 6 -

Nicholas Rolle (UC Berkeley)
Phonological repairs of morphological accent assigned outside of a metrical window


March 13 -

Susan Lin (UC Berkeley)


March 20 -

Santiago Barreda (UC Davis)


March 27 -

Spring Break (no meeting)

April 3 -

Andrew Garrett (UC Berkeley)


April 10 -

Renee Kemp (UC Davis)


April 17 -

Robert Podesva (Stanford University)


April 24 -

Susan Lin, Meg Cychosz, and Alice Shen (UC Berkeley)
Instructional and biofeedback training in L2 contrast learning


May 1 -

Ingo Plag (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)


May 8 -

Andrew Cheng (UC Berkeley)