2015 - 2016

  Structural and Perceptual Similarity                                                                 
Evan Gary CohenWebb - School of Languages102Wed1400-1600 Sem  2
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description
Structural and Perceptual Similarity
Evan Cohen

Course website: http://moodle.tau.ac.il
e-mail: evan@post.tau.ac.il
Lessons: Wed. 14:00-16:00, @@@ Office hours: Mon. 14:00-15:00, @@@

Course Description:
The course investigates the notion of Similarity within morphophonological systems. We will endeavour to define this elusive notion within phonological (and non-phonological) contexts. We start by focusing on various definitions, both from a phonological point of view, as well as from other aspects such as visual similarity, psychological similarity and more. We continue with an investigation of the role of similarity in various phonological domains (rhyming, rhotics, blends, reduplication). Additional phonological phenomena also involving similarity will be mentioned (hypocoristics, speech errors, word games, priming, paradigm leveling etc.).

NOTE: Students who took the course "Similarity 0627.3009" cannot take this course.

Course Requirements:
• Prerequisites: Advanced Phonology (at least 90%)
MA students who are not from the linguistics department will receive background material and personal guidance before the beginning of the semester from the lecturer, and are exempt from taking Advanced Phonology.
• Attendance (bring handouts and papers to class). Students failing to attend 80% of the classes cannot complete the course.
• Reading assigned material (the syllabus is in chronological order – fire at will)
• Keeping up-to-date with assignments and information on the course website
• One class presentation
• Final paper

• Class presentation – 20%
• Draft – 10%
• Final paper: 70%
• Note: Any assignment/paper submitted after the due date (regardless of the reason) will have 10% deducted.

Class presentation:
Students will give one class presentation during the semester. The presentation can be any one of the following (and if you have other ideas, present them to me privately):
• Data and/or preliminary analysis of your ongoing similarity research (much preferred)
• Your take on a paper of your choice referring to the notion of similarity (in any domain!)
Your presentation should be around 10 minutes long. It may be shorter, but try not to allow it to become considerably longer.
Final Paper:
You are required to select a topic for your final paper on your own (see the many possible domains above too), though you must consult with me beforehand. Basically, any paper regarding the role of similarity in morphophonology is fine. Note, all papers have to deal with linguistic data.
MA students who are not from the linguistics department may present papers from other research domains, provided the papers deal with the concept of language in general.

Very important: data. Your paper cannot be written on the basis of a handful of lexical items, so make sure your corpus is rich in data. There is no such thing as "sufficient data". The more, the merrier. Make sure your data is presented in an organised and systematic manner. Of course, it goes without saying that you have some theoretical statement to make about the data. You're not just organising a corpus and presenting it.

You will submit one draft of your paper, getting the necessary feedback to continue your study. This draft must follow the course timetable and minimally include the following:
• The sort of data (not necessarily a complete corpus) you're dealing with along with the relevant language background. Give a general idea of the sort of phenomena observed, and the questions the data raise.
• A little on the possible theoretical frameworks you'll be applying, the layout of your paper, etc.
• Final paper: Your paper may be no longer than 15 pages (including references, not including appendices with complete data tables), 1.5 or double spaced A4 sheets. Your analysis should be original, comprehensive and coherent.

1. First lecture: 2.3.2016
2. Draft: 5.5.2016 (PDF or DOC, via email, by 23:59)
3. Last lecture: 8.6.2015
4. Final paper: 14.7.2015 (PDF or DOC, via email, by 23:59)

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