This textbook introduces phonological theory as a branch of cognitive science for students with minimal background in linguistics. The authors use basic math and logic, including set theory, some rules of inference, and basic combinatorics, to explain phonology, and use phonology to teach the math and logic. The text is unique in its focus on logical analysis, its use of toy data, and its provision of some interpretation rules for its phonological rule syntax.
The book's eight parts cover preliminary and background material; the motivation for phonological rules; the development of a formal model for phonological rules; the basic logic of neutralization rules; the traditional notions of allophony and complementary distribution; the logic of rule interaction, presented in terms of function composition; a survey of such issues as length, tone, syllabification, and metathesis; and features and feature logic, with a justification of decomposing segments into features and treating segments as sets of (valued) features. End-of-chapter exercises help students apply the concepts presented. Much of the discussion and many of the exercises rely on toy data, but more “real” data is included toward the end of the book. Exercises available online can be used as homework or in-class quizzes.
In this book, Hadas Kotek investigates the syntax and semantics of wh-questions, offering a new solution to a central question in the study of interrogatives: given that overt wh-movement is cross-linguistically common, is syntactic movement a prerequisite for the interpretation of wh-phrases? Some linguists argue that all wh-phrases undergo movement to interrogative C, even if covertly; others propose mechanisms of in-situ interpretation that do not require any movement. Kotek moves beyond these positions to argue that wh-in-situ does move covertly, but not necessarily to C. Instead, she contends, wh-in-situ undergoes a short movement step akin to covert scrambling. This makes the LF behavior of English parallel to the overt behavior of German.
Kotek presents a series of self-paced reading experiments, alongside judgment data from German, to substantiate the idea of covert scrambling. She introduces new diagnostics for the underlying structure of questions, using as a principal tool the distribution of intervention effects. This system allows her to offer the first unified account for a range of phenomena of interrogative syntax-semantics as pied-piping, superiority effects, the cross-linguistically varied syntax of questions, and intervention effects.
Kotek develops a theory of interrogative syntax-semantics; studies the phenomena of intervention effects in wh-questions, proposing that the nature of intervention is crucially tied to the availability of wh-movement in a question; and shows that covert wh-movement should be modeled as a short scrambling operation rather than an unbounded, successive-cyclic, and potentially long-distance movement operation.