Paul Boersma on “Parallel Bidirectional Phonology and Phonetics (BiPhon)”

This framework regards the grammar as consisting of two phonological levels of representation, sandwiched between two semantic and two phonetic levels (there may well be more levels, but this seems to be the minimum). Some levels and some mappings can be evaluated with direction-free constraints:

             ‘Meaning’ ------ semantic constraints
                       reference constraints
           <Morphemes> ------ morphemic constraints
                       lexical constraints
     |Underlying Form|
                       faithfulness constraints
        /Surface Form/ ------ structural constraints
                       cue constraints
       [Auditory Form]
                       sensorimotor constraints
   [Articulatory Form] ------ articulatory constraints

Several linguistic processes can be defined on this grammar:

          +------->  ‘Meaning’  -----+
          |                          |
          |                          |
          +--  +-->  <Morphemes>  <--+  ---+
               |                           |
               |                           |
               +-->  |Underlying Form|  <--+  --+
   recognition |                                |   phonological production
               |                                |
               +--  +--->  /Surface Form/  <----+
                    |                           |
         perception |                           |   phonetic implementation
                    +---  [Auditory Form]  <----+
                      [Articulatory Form]  <----+

It is still an open question which of the mappings between the representations are serial (“modular”) and which run in parallel instead.

The figure shows comprehension as a sequence of three modules, namely pre-lexical perception, morpheme (or word) recognition, and the access of meaning. The recognition module consists of two parallel mappings here. Other kinds of seriality and parallelism seem possible and plausible, though.

The figure shows production as a sequence of three modules, the last of which is a parallel mapping from Underlying Form to the three lower levels. This particular parallelism allows continuous phonetic considerations, such as articulatory effort and auditory distinctiveness, to influence discrete phonological decisions. Effects accounted for include licensing by cue, enhancement, apparent teleology in sound change, and incomplete neutralization.

The following examples work within the Optimality-Theoretic version of the framework (BiPhon-OT):

2005/06/25 Phonology without markedness constraints.
Presentation ICLaVE 3, Amsterdam, 24 slides.
Praat OT grammars: Perception | Production | Spirants
2006 Prototypicality judgments as inverted perception.
In Gisbert Fanselow, Caroline Féry, Matthias Schlesewsky & Ralf Vogel (eds.): Gradience in Grammar, 167–184. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Abstract]
Earlier version: Rutgers Optimality Archive 742, 2005/05/17.
2007/07/08 The evolution of phonotactic distributions in the lexicon.
Presentation Workshop on Variation, Gradience and Frequency in Phonology, Stanford. 32 slides.
2007 Some listener-oriented accounts of h-aspiré in French.
Lingua 117: 1989–2054.
Earlier version: Rutgers Optimality Archive 730, 2005/04/13.
2008/03/10 Emergent ranking of faithfulness explains markedness and licensing by cue.
Rutgers Optimality Archive 954. 30 pages.
Earlier version: Handout 14th Manchester Phonology Meeting, 2006/05/28.
2008 Paul Boersma & Silke Hamann:
The evolution of auditory dispersion in bidirectional constraint grammars.
Phonology 25: 217–270.
Material: scripts for the simulations and pictures.
Earlier version: Rutgers Optimality Archive 909, 2007/04/17.
Earlier version: Handout OCP 3, Budapest, 2006/01/17.
2009 Silke Hamann, Diana Apoussidou & Paul Boersma:
Modelling the formation of phonotactic restrictions across the mental lexicon.
In M. Ryan Bochnak, Peter Klecha, Alice Lemieux, Nassira Nicola, Jasmin Urban & Christina Weaver (eds.): CLS 45-1: Proceedings of the 45th annual meeting of The Chicago Linguistic Society: The main session, 193–206. [The publication date is 2011, although the editors write 2009 on all copyright statements; note: the version published in the book is an unreadable misprint.]
2011 A programme for bidirectional phonology and phonetics and their acquisition and evolution.
In Anton Benz & Jason Mattausch (eds.), Bidirectional Optimality Theory, 33–72. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Earlier version: Handout LOT Summerschool, June 2006, and Jadertina Summerschool (Rutgers Optimality Archive 868), 2006/09/12.
2009 Cue constraints and their interactions in phonological perception and production.
In Paul Boersma & Silke Hamann (eds.): Phonology in perception, 55–110. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Earlier version: Rutgers Optimality Archive 944, 2007/11/11.
2012 A constraint-based explanation of the McGurk effect. [preprint, 2011/07/03]
In Roland Noske & Bert Botma (eds.): Phonological Architecture: Empirical, Theoretical and Conceptual Issues, 299–312. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Earlier version: Rutgers Optimality Archive 869, 2006/09/15.
2017 Paul Boersma & Jan-Willem van Leussen:
Efficient evaluation and learning in multi-level parallel constraint grammars.
Linguistic Inquiry 48: 349–388. [copyright]

The following examples work within the neural-network version of the framework (BiPhon-NN):

2020 Paul Boersma, Titia Benders & Klaas Seinhorst:
Neural networks for phonology and phonetics.
Journal of Language Modelling 8: 103-177.
2019 Paul Boersma:
Simulated distributional learning in deep Boltzmann machines leads to the emergence of discrete categories.
Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, 5–9 August 2019. 1520–1524.
2021/11/30 Paul Boersma, Kateřina Chládková & Titia Benders:
Phonological features emerge substance-freely from the phonetics and the morphology.

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