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CLS Distinguished Language Science Colloquium

Friday, October 13, 2017 at 9:00am to 9:45am

127 Moore Building, UP

Dr. Joan Bybee, Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Linguistics (U of New Mexico), presents her research in the talk "Directionality in Language Change:  Lenition and Fortition". 

Abstract:  Broad cross-linguistic trends in language change occur in all parts of language structure. Given the general trend in sound change towards lenition, cases of apparent fortition require examination. Results from a cross-linguistic database of phonological processes show that fortitions are very rare, but the most common type is glide strengthening, especially of palatal glides. This strengthening can be related to the common assimilation process of palatalization and a palatalizing type of language is proposed, with Romance languages as good examples of this type.


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