Date/Time: to
Event series: CYCLOPS-Colloquium

On the absence of crucially-simultaneous phonological interactions in natural language

Abstract: Theories of phonology should be able to generate attested types of interactions between phonological processes - including opaque interactions - and at the same time explain why certain conceivable types of interactions are unattested. I draw attention to three universals regarding unattested opaque interactions previously identified and defended in the literature by Chomsky & Halle 1968, Johnson 1972, Baković 2007, and Wolf 2011. These universals are expected in a rule-based theory of phonology where phonological rules must apply serially and can never apply simultaneously. I propose to unify the three universals under a general universal called "No-Simultaneity", which states that there are no crucially-simultaneous phonological interactions in natural language. I then argue that the universal has important implications for theories of phonology, by showing that certain phonological theories that aim to generate opaque interactions in parallel are too permissive and over-generate interactions that violate the universal. The result is a new argument for serialism in phonology and against recent proposals that opacity should be characterized as input-oriented (Chandlee, Heinz, and Jardine 2018, Pruitt 2022).



Previous talks