Linguistics Colloquium

Connecting Principles of Sound Structure Knowledge and Sound Structure Processing

Matt Goldrick
Northwestern University
Tue May 17th 2022, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Greenberg Room

Abstract: Although understanding the mind/brain has been argued to require linking theories at multiple levels of explanation (e.g., computational and algorithmic; Marr, 1982, a.o.), in practice specific research projects (my own included!) typically privilege theories of a particular kind to the exclusion of others. I'll discuss two recent projects from my research group that critically relied on connecting principles of sound structure knowledge and principles of sounds structure processing. The structured variation of external sandhi arises in part due to the nature of the psychological mechanisms that compute word forms in production. Psycholinguistic studies of implicit learning of phonotactic constraints yielded puzzles that can only be resolved by considering constraints on phonotactic grammars. Insights like these suggest researchers in the cognitive science of language may benefit from more explicit links between principles at multiple levels of explanation.