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Empirical evidence in abstract phonology: The case of English

Tildelt: kr 64 999

I started research into the phonology of English during my undergraduate years at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, which I continued as a PhD student and completed in my dissertation entitled Strict CV Phonology and the English Cross-word Puzzle, defen ded with the highest qualifications (summa cum laude) in 2006. The revised version of my dissertation was published as a monograph in 2008. As a postdoctoral researcher, I have been working on diverse phenomena in English as well as in Germanic languages in general. The next stage in my research is the synthetization of these previous findings in the form of a coherent analysis to be presented as a habilitation thesis at my home institution, PPCU. The main focus of this research is on the role of empirica l evidence in phonological theory. A series of phenomena in English are considered and evaluated in the light of novel data, coming from various sources including phonetic studies, spoken language corpora and data from non-reference, lesser-known varietie s, and the results are confronted with the issue of abstractness in phonological descriptions and the phonetics-phonology interaction. I am applying for the Yggdrasil grant to be able to spend a semester at CASTL, Tromsø, accomplishing this final stage of my research leading to habilitation. Since in previous years I have managed to collect and clarify most of the language data to be discussed, what my research requires at this point is a thorough consideration of their theoretical relevance and consequen ces. The inspiring academic atmosphere of CASTL would provide a marvellous setting for this, where there are almost endless possibilities for collaborative work with fellow researchers who have also done work in the same fields. On the one hand, I could l ead a research seminar where I prepare discussion topics and select readings to consider; on the other, I would have access in the library to literature unavailable in Hungary.