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Hidden Structure in Linguistics: The Organization of Sound Systems

will discuss some basic notions in the theory of phonology (sound systems
in language). The sounds of a language are generally assumed to be
composed of smaller constituents, called features. The features that
make up a sound cannot be directly obtained from its pronunciation, but
rather must be inferred from the system of contrasts that are at play
in a particular language. How to determine which features are contrastive
presents a logical and empirical puzzle that may be interesting
to students of physics, who are accustomed to explaining observable events
in terms of hidden structures that cannot be directly observed.

Event Type: 
Scientific Area(s): 
Event Date: 
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 14:00 to 15:30
Lazaridis Theatre
Room #: