"Defining Vagueness - Part 2," Nicholas Bacuez
Tue, October 18, 2011 • 2:00 PM • HRH 2.118 French and Italian Lounge
Defining Vagueness - Part 2
A talk by Nicholas Bacuez
A crucial aspect of the study of intonation is to distinguish what part of it is phonological (systemic) and what part is phonetic (accidental). The ultimate goal of my line of research is to describe this evasive boundary with tools that match its nature. Last year, I discussed the concept of vagueness in linguistics and the way it can be instantiated through the application of fuzzy set theory to intonation patterns. In this year’s presentation, I will extend the discussion to the concepts of category and prototype, as they derive from vagueness. Within this frame, I will discuss the evolution of my research. I have been refining my methodology, applying the tools of fuzzy set theory to each variable and at every step. The results of a pilot study on French closed questions will allow me to provide a detailed account of the way the natural variation of intonation is "fuzzified and defuzzified", that is, captured in an empirical way. Finally, I will describe my ongoing experiments on further intonation patterns.
Nicholas Bacuez is a a Ph.D. candidate in French Linguistics