The regularity of regular sound change. Paper given at University of York, June 19, 2013.
The role of the lexicon in regular sound change Paper given at NWAV41, Bloomington, October 26, 2012.
The sociolinguistic intersection of Spanish and English. James E. Alatis plenary talk at TESOL Convention, Philadelphia, March 29, 2012.
What is to be learned. Keynote address at NELS 2010, Philadelphia, October 23, 2010.
Implications of sociolinguistic findings for phonological theory . PowerPoint presentation at the 18th Manchester Phonological Meeting, May 21, 2010.Enigmas of uniformity. PowerPoint presentation for plenary session at NWAV38, Ottawa, Canada on Oct 24, 2009.
Sound change: the regular, the unconscious, the mysterious. PowerPoint presentation for plenary address at the Hermann Paul Colloquy at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, May 2009.
Conditions for divergence and convergence in the micro-evolution of language. PowerPoint presentation of paper given at the panel on evolutionary models of change in linguistics and biology, Penn Linguistics Colloquium, March 27, 2009.The cognitive consequences of linguistic change: Misunderstanding in every-day life." PowerPoint presentation for paper given at NWAV37, Houston, Nov 8 2008.
Language Change in America. Penn Humanities Forum lecture at Harrison Auditorium, October 15, 2008.Where is Southern English heading? Pressures from North, South, East and West. PowerPoint presentation for talk delivered at "Linguistics Week" at Duke University on October 9, 2008. The Mysterious Uniformity of the Inland North. PowerPoint presentation of plenary talk given at Methods XIII, Leeds, August 7, 2008.
Isogloss configurations and the Architecture of Phonology: Nestling, Bundling and Diffusion. Power Point presenetation of Keynote paper at Workshop on Dialects as a Testing Ground for Theories of Language Change, Methods XIII, Leeds, April 8, 2008.
Return to the Obvious: The Ubiquity of Categorical Rules. The PowerPoint presentation of a talk given at the panel Panel on Usage-based and Rule-based approaches to phonological variation at the Sociolinguistics Symposium 17, Amsterdam, on March 4, 2008. Given some well documented cases of lexical diffusion and the effect of frequency on lenition procsses, the paper finds that these are not the major mechanisms in most of the sound changes now in progress. It begins with evidence from dialect geography which shows that the Great Vowel Shift was such a phoneetically defined regular sound change in England. A close examination of the fronting of /ow/ in the records of the Atlas of North American English (N=6736) finds a high degree of lexical regularity and no effect of word frequency. Some lexical items show slight fluctuations but no cases have been found of words not selected by the phonetically defined sound change.
Defining the Site of Linguistic Variation. The PowerPoint presentation of a talk given at the workshop on Locating Variabiliety: Formal Approaches at UMass Amherst on April 25, 2008. The central topic of this paper is the complementary relation between morphological and phonological variation, and its significance for the general architecture of language. In the examples presented, consistent phonological conditioning is accompanied by a single well established representation in the morhphological component, and cases of morhological variaion show no phonetic conditioning. This is not an obvious result, and the absence of counter examples implies a feed-forward, modular structure of morpholoical and phonological organization.
The Cognitive Capacities of the Sociolinguistic Monitor. The PowerPoint presentation of a plenary address given at the Sociolinguistics Symposium 17 in Amsterdam on March 5, 2008. The paper summarizes the findings of a number of experiments designed to determine listeners' sensitivity to freqiency, using the variables (ING) and (R) in three regions: Philadelphia, South Carolina and Boston/New Hampshire. Adult judges respond to a range of frequencies of a marked variant with a logarithmic function in which the impact of any given deviation from the norm is the proportional increase to the sum of deviations.. A surprising age effect appears, where all subjects over 23 show this function, but those younger are split into two different modal types: those who reproduce the function and those who do not..
The Life History of Language Change. The PowerPoint presentation of a plenary address given at the International Congress of Historical Linguistics at Montreal on August 6, 2007. The paper develops a general characterization of sequences of linguistic changes: triggering events, governing principles, forks in the road and driving forces. The major developments in the dialects of North America are linked in a single sequence, where diversity is the product of successions of bidirectional and unidirectional changes,.
Reducing the reading achievement gap for African American children. A PowerPoint presentation to the Fourth Annual Reading First Superintendents Summit Meeting in San Francisco, November 2, 2006.
10/18/06. Variation Theory and the Utility of Linguistics. A PowerPoint presentation to Faire Signe, a colloquium in honor of Pierre Encrevé at Paris on October 18, 2006. This paper showed how the questions of reading research with African American struggling readers can be answered decisively through the study of variation in speech production and errors in decoding texts.