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Gregory R. Guy

Bio: Gregory R. Guy is an academic researcher from New York University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Variation (linguistics) & Phonology. The author has an hindex of 23, co-authored 59 publications receiving 1934 citations. Previous affiliations of Gregory R. Guy include University of Sydney & State University of Campinas.


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a quantitative explanation of the -t,d deletion is given in the form of a quantitative theoretical prediction, which is empirically verified in a study of seven English speakers.
Abstract: Variationist treatments of phonological processes typically provide precise quantitative accounts of the effects of conditioning environmental factors on the occurrence of the process, and these effects have been shown to be robust for several well-studied processes. But comparable precision in theoretical explanation is usually elusive, at the current state of the discipline. That is, the analyst is usually unable to say why the parameters should have the particular values that they do, although one can often explain relative ordering of environments. This article attempts to give a precise explanation —in the form of a quantitative theoretical prediction —of one robust quantitative observation about English phonology. The reduction of final consonant clusters (often called -t,d deletion) is well-known to be conditioned by the morphological structure of a target word. Deletion applies more in monomorphemic words (e.g., mist) than in inflected words (e.g., missed). In the theory of lexical phonology, these classes of words are differentiated by derivational history, acquiring their final clusters at different levels of the morphology. The theory further postulates that rules may apply at more than one level of the derivation. If -t,d deletion is treated as a variable rule with a fixed rate of application (p 0 ) in a phonology with this architecture, then higher rates of application in underived forms (where the final cluster is present underlyingly and throughout the derivation) are a consequence of multiple exposures to the deletion rule, whereas inflected forms (which only meet the structural description of the rule late in the derivation) have fewer exposures and lower cumulative deletion. This further allows a precise quantitative prediction concerning surface deletion rates in the different morphological categories. They should be related as an exponential function of p 0 , depending on the number of exposures to the rule. The prediction is empirically verified in a study of -t,d deletion in seven English speakers.

260 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Sep 2012-Language
TL;DR: In this article, a case study of lexical frequency effects on variable subject personal pronoun (SPP) expression in Spanish has been conducted, showing that the frequency effect has no independent direct effect, but operates entirely through interaction with other constraints.
Abstract: Much recent work argues that lexical frequency plays a central explanatory role in linguistic theory, but the status, predicted effects, and methodological treatment of frequency are controversial, especially so in the less-investigated area of syntactic variation. This article addresses these issues in a case study of lexical frequency effects on variable subject personal pronoun (SPP) expression in Spanish. Prior studies of Spanish SPP use revealed significant constraints including formal and semantic properties of the verb, and discourse factors such as a switch reference. These constraints appear to be confirmed in our analysis of 4,916 verbs from a spoken corpus of Spanish, as is a powerful role for lexical frequency. But the frequency effect—best configured as a discrete rather than continuous variable—is complex; statistically, it has no independent direct effect, but operates entirely through interaction with other constraints. All other constraints on SPP use are amplified in high-frequency forms, and some disappear at low frequencies. Frequency thus acts as a 'gatekeeper' and potentiator: above some frequency threshold, significant linguistic constraints on SPP use emerge; below the threshold they do not. We propose that this reflects experience and acquisition: speakers cannot formulate hypotheses about individual lexical items until they have sufficient evidence; the threshold is the level at which speakers have enough experience with a form to do so. These results have important theoretical and methodological implications. They require rich lexical representations incorporating frequency and collocational information. Methodologically they indicate the need for careful quantitative explorations of frequency, because its role as an enabler of other constraints produces unstable statistical results.

171 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors conducted a quantitative study of the use of Australian Questioning Intonation (AQI) and found that it has the social distribution characteristic of a language change in progress: higher rates of usage among working-class speakers, teenagers and women.
Abstract: Many speakers of current Australian English often use a high-rising intonation in statements. This usage, which has been termed Australian Questioning Intonation (AQI), has a nonpropositional, interactive meaning (checking for listener comprehension) and interacts with the turn-taking mechanism of conversation. A quantitative study of the use of AQI in Sydney reveals that it has the social distribution characteristic of a language change in progress: higher rates of usage among working-class speakers, teenagers, and women. Real time data confirm this, showing that the form was almost nonexistent in this speech community two decades earlier. The social motivations of this innovation are examined in terms of local identity and the entry of new ethnic groups into the community, and possible linguistic sources are discussed. The utility of quantitative methods in studying meaningful linguistic variables is demonstrated. (Australian English, language change in progress, intonation, sociolinguistic variation, social class, social motivation)

137 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors showed that coronal stop deletion can be treated as a probabilistic constraint with cumulative effects (the more shared features, the greater likelihood of deletion), which suggests an attractive theoretical integration of categorical and variable processes in the grammar.
Abstract: English coronal stop deletion is constrained by the preceding segment, so that stops and sibilants favor deletion more than liquids and nonsibilant fricatives. Previous explanations of this constraint (e.g., the sonority hierarchy) have failed to account for the details, but we show that it can be comprehensively treated as a consequence of the obligatory contour principle (OCP). The OCP, introduced to account for a variety of categorical constraints against adjacent identical tones, segments, and so forth, can be generalized as a universal disfavoring of sequences of like features: *[aF] [aFJ. Therefore, coronal stop deletion, which targets the set of segments /t,d/ defined by the features [-son, -cont, +cor], is favored when the preceding segment shares any of these features. But this requires adopting the assumption of inherent variability and interpreting the OCP as a probabilistic constraint with cumulative effects (the more shared features, the greater likelihood of deletion). This suggests an attractive theoretical integration of categorical and variable processes in the grammar. The systematic patterns of variation revealed by sociolinguistic studies of language use are generally modeled in theoretical frameworks that rely on the assumption of "inherent variability" (Labov, 1969; Weinreich, Labov, & Herzog, 1968); that is, the hypothesis that the human language faculty necessarily accommodates and generates variation, and that the workings of grammar have a quantitative, noncategorical, and nondeterministic component. This assumption underlies the variable rule model (Cedergren & Sankoff, 1973; Labov, 1969), which is given a more general formulation as a probabilistic generative model by Sankoff (1978). One of the attractive features of such models is that they offer an integrated account in which social and stylistic dimensions of variation can be modeled along with linguistic dimen. sions. Thus, in a standard variable rule analysis, social differences between individuals in a speech community are represented by their characteristic values of an input parameter, whereas independent linguistic parameters describe favorable and unfavorable linguistic contexts for the occurrence of particular variants. Stylistic variation is another independent parameter, which

136 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that the rate of -t,d absence in semi-weak verbs systematically declines with increasing age, and identified three ontogenetic stages in the development of the class.
Abstract: English has a class of “semiweak” verbs, which in the past tense have root-vowel ablaut as well as reflexes of the apical stop suffix, for example, kept, told. This study traces the development of this class in a sample of speakers aged 4–65. The evidence is derived from the variable rates of occurrence of the final -t,d in these words in the speech of individuals of different ages. The rate of -t,d absence in semiweak verbs systematically declines with increasing age. We identify three ontogenetic stages in the development of the class. In children's speech, these segments rarely appear, suggesting they are underlyingly absent. In young adults they appear but undergo the variable -t,d deletion process of English at the same high rate as noninflectional -t,d in words like west, old, implying that such speakers do not treat them as affixes. Finally, some adult speakers show a lowered deletion rate, suggesting that they accord the final stops separate morphemic status. The age distribution of this pattern implies that speakers only arrive at this analysis in adult life, after the age when acquisition is often assumed to be complete.

129 citations


Cited by
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MonographDOI
01 Jan 2003
TL;DR: Language and Gender as discussed by the authors is an introduction to the study of the relation between gender and language use, written by two leading experts in the field, who argue that the connections between language and gender are deep yet fluid, and arise in social practice.
Abstract: Language and Gender is an introduction to the study of the relation between gender and language use, written by two leading experts in the field. This new edition, thoroughly updated and restructured, brings out more strongly an emphasis on practice and change, while retaining the broad scope of its predecessor and its accessible introductions which explain the key concepts in a non-technical way. The authors integrate issues of sexuality more thoroughly into the discussion, exploring more diverse gendered and sexual identities and practices. The core emphasis is on change, both in linguistic resources and their use and in gender and sexual ideologies and personae. This book explores how change often involves conflict and competing norms, both social and linguistic. Drawing on their own extensive research, as well as other key literature, the authors argue that the connections between language and gender are deep yet fluid, and arise in social practice.

1,383 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For the past 20 years or so, linguists, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, and feminist thinkers have explored many aspects of this question, including sexist, heterosexist, and racist language; interruptions; graffiti and street remarks; names and forms of address; politeness; tag questions; directives; motherese; children's talk during play; schoolroom discourse; bilingualism and language contact; metaphors; shifts in word meanings; the language of science, religion, and war; silence and volubility; intonation; emotional expressiveness
Abstract: How do gender and language interact? For the past 20 years or so, linguists, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, and feminist thinkers have explored many aspects of this question. There are now dozens of books and hundreds of course offerings on gender and language (14, 20, 41, 60, 67, 92, 98, 99), specialized articles are found in many journals and collections (15, 21, 59, 78, 87, 90, 109, 110, 115), and review articles continue to appear (8, 32, 47, 74, 76, 89). Topics treated include sexist, heterosexist, and racist language; interruptions; graffiti and street remarks; names and forms of address; politeness; tag questions; directives; motherese; children's talk during play; schoolroom discourse; bilingualism and language contact; metaphors; shifts in word meanings; the language of science, religion, and war; silence and volubility; intonation; emotional expressiveness; religious and political rhetoric; sociolinguistic variation; and language change. This list is far from comprehensive but its scatter suggests an absence of theoretical coherence in language and gender studies. Partial integration of the range of linguistic phenomena that seem sensitive to gender is sometimes attempted by trying to explain them all in terms of a

1,295 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Mar 1989-Language
TL;DR: Etablissement de quelques principes de changement semantique sous-tendant le developpement des elements lexicaux et grammaticaux dans l'expression des modalites epistemiques.
Abstract: Etablissement de quelques principes de changement semantique sous-tendant le developpement des elements lexicaux et grammaticaux dans l'expression des modalites epistemiques

1,028 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors found that women lead men in rejecting linguistic changes as they are recognized by the speech community, a differentiation that is maximal for the second highest status group, and that sexual differentiation is independent of social class at the beginning of a change, but that interaction develops gradually as social awareness of the change increases.
Abstract: Two general principles of sexual differentiation emerge from previous sociolinguistic studies: that men use a higher frequency of nonstandard forms than women in stable situations, and that women are generally the innovators in linguistic change. It is not clear whether these two tendencies can be unified, or how differences between the sexes can account for the observed patterns of linguistic change. The extensive interaction between sex and other social factors raises the issue as to whether the curvilinear social class pattern associated with linguistic change is the product of a rejection of female-dominated changes by lower-class males. Multivariate analysis of data from the Philadelphia Project on Linguistic Change and Variation indicates that sexual differentiation is independent of social class at the beginning of a change, but that interaction develops gradually as social awareness of the change increases. It is proposed that sexual differentiation of language is generated by two distinct processes: (1) for all social classes, the asymmetric context of language learning leads to an initial acceleration of female-dominated changes and retardation of male-dominated changes; (2) women lead men in the rejection of linguistic changes as they are recognized by the speech community, a differentiation that is maximal for the second highest status group.

1,012 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors provide an empirically grounded account of what happens when more persons than one talk at once in conversation, and specify when such occurrences are problematic for the participants, and for the organization of interaction; what the features of such overlapping talk are; and what constraints an account of overlapping talk should meet.
Abstract: This article provides an empirically grounded account of what happens when more persons than one talk at once in conversation. It undertakes to specify when such occurrences are problematic for the participants, and for the organization of interaction; what the features of such overlapping talk are; and what constraints an account of overlapping talk should meet. It describes the practices employed by participants to deal with such simultaneous talk, and how they form an organization of practices which is related to the turn-taking organization previously described by Sacks et al. 1974. This “overlap resolution device” constitutes a previously unexplicated component of that turn-taking organization, and one that provides solutions to underspecified features of the previous account.

786 citations