The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ryan Bennett at MIT

We are pleased to announce that Ryan Bennett will be visiting MIT this week. In addition to a colloquium talk on Friday, he will also be giving a mini course on Wednesday and Thursday, details found below.

Speaker: Ryan Bennett (UCSC)
Title: The sound patterns of Kaqchikel (Mayan): phonology, morphology, phonetics, and the lexicon
Time: 12:30-2:00 , Wednesday 5/2 and Thursday 5/3
Place: 32-D461

In this mini-course, I report on two projects investigating the sound structure of Kaqchikel (Mayan). The first talk analyzes prosodic differences between prefixes in Kaqchikel. Prefix phonotactics provide evidence for abstract, recursively-nested prosodic structure. Importantly, alternative analyses using morphologically-oriented mechanisms to capture this data make problematic predictions about the broader morphology. The second talk considers perceptual confusions between plain and glottalized stops in Kaqchikel, arguing that such confusions owe, in part, to the statistical structure of the language (e.g. phoneme distributions, and their acoustic similarity in spontaneous speech). Connections to sound change are also discussed, along with practical issues in running corpus studies and field experiments with under-documented and under-resourced languages.