ISCA Archive ExLing 2006
ISCA Archive ExLing 2006

Toward a rich phonology

Robert Port

A radically new conception of linguistic representations is proposed. The claim is that language is stored in memory in the form of large distributions of specific utterances in a rich high-dimensional space, sometimes called exemplar memory. This is the form the brain uses for understanding and creating utterances in real time. In contrast, the abstract, speaker-independent description of language (as modelled by alphabetical orthographies and by linguistic descriptions using phonemes, etc.) exhibits many structures and patterns that comprise a social institution, maintained by speakers over time, and approximating a discrete system made from components. However, these phenomena, shaped by social as well as articulatory and auditory factors, play no clear role in real-time language processing.

Cite as: Port, R. (2006) Toward a rich phonology. Proc. First ITRW on Experimental Linguistics, 261-264

  author={Robert Port},
  title={{Toward a rich phonology}},
  booktitle={Proc. First ITRW on Experimental Linguistics},