This is an archive page; this conference occurred in May 2008.

The site for the 17mfm is available here.

The 16th 
Manchester Phonology Meeting

With a special session entitled...
featuring Abby Cohn, Sarah Hawkins
 and Aditi Lahiri
Thursday 22nd - Saturday 24th May 2008
Held at Hulme Hall, Manchester
Organised through a collaboration of phonologists at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester, the Universite Toulouse-Le Mirail and elsewhere.

Supported by a grant from the Linguistics Association of Great Britain.

For information about the mfm and its history and background, see the mfm homepage. 

programme + info  ||  travel + accommodation  ||  registration + booking  ||  special session


A draft version of the final programme for the 16mfm is available here

The abstract booklet is available here [NB: this is rather a large file - 4 MB].

 The list of participants is available here.

Registration will start at 11.30 on Thursday 22nd May in the Hulme Hall foyer. The conference proper will start at 12.00, with a midday meal, and the main conference events will start at 12.45. The first talk will start at 1.00. The conference will finish at 4.15pm on Saturday 24th May. There will be a poster session on Friday morning, and there will be two parallel sessions for talks throughout, apart from during the poster session and the special session.

Guidance for presenters
95 people have registered to attend the 16mfm, so it is unlikely that anyone (apart from the three speakers in the special session) will need more than 60 handouts (it's impossible to predict exactly how many people will be in any one session, of course...).

Notes for oral-paper-presenters: There will be an OHP in both rooms, but we expect that there will only a data projector and computer speakers in one of the two rooms - it is therefore very important that you make sure that you have let us know if you want to use such equipment. You will need to bring your own laptop if you are using the data projector, and we encourage you to bring handouts, too. There will not be a technician available during the conference to help with computer-assisted presentations, because it would be very expensive to pay for one, so, if you are using a computer for your talk, please make sure that you try out your presentation beforehand, in a meal or coffee break. You will have a 30 minute slot for your presentation and you can choose whether you would rather have 20 minutes to talk and 10 minutes for questions, or 25 minutes to talk and 5 minutes for questions.

Notes for poster-presenters: The poster displays will be set up on the evening before the poster session. You will have a space of about 5' (wide) x 3'9" (high) (152 cm wide x 114 cm high) for your poster. Each person presenting a poster will be provided with the means to affix their posters to the display board. Please feel free to bring handouts with you, so that those viewing your poster also have something to take away. Posters in previous years have taken a wide variety of forms, and there is no one single way to produce a good poster; the important things are that the font size is not too small, that it is easily readable and does not have too much text on it, that it sets out the main points that you want to argue for clearly, and maybe that it's eye catching, too. Some presenters bring one big poster which takes up all the space, others bring a series of A3 or A4 sheets of paper which can be fitted together on the poster board. During the poster session, you will be asked to stand by your poster (for at least a fair amount of the session) as conference participants walk around the displays, read your posters and ask you questions about them.

Registration and booking
The full-price, all-inclusive conference fee is GBPounds 120.00 (for bookings received by 2nd May 2008); this includes all meals (apart from breakfast, which you will want to book at your hotel). It is also possible to book for individual items, if you do not want to book all meals, and this will reduce the price you have to pay. The all-inclusive conference fee for students and unwaged participants is GBP 60.00 (for bookings received by 2nd May 2008). 

No more booking forms may now be sent in. If you would like to attend the 16mfm and have not yet booked, please contact

The conference fee does not cover accommodation, which you will need to book yourself (please use the information on the accommodation page to make your own arrangements).

Some of you will probably also want to stay in Manchester during the evening of Saturday (24th). For those that do, it might be nice to meet up for a post-conference meal. Jill Beckman has kindly agreed to organise a trip to a restaurant for the Saturday evening - this will be to the Mongolian Barbecue restaurant in the centre of Manchester. If you would like to come along to the meal on the 24th, please email Jill (using this address:, with "Mongolian Barbecue" in the subject line of the message by 16th May.

Travel and accommodation

Detailed information on accommodation possibilities and on how to get to the conference (with a selection of maps) are provided on separate pages:

Special session
A special themed session has been organised for Friday afternoon by members of the organising committee and the advisory board. This will feature invited speakers and will conclude in an open discussion session when contributions from the audience will be very welcome. The speakers at the session (in alphabetical order) are:

Abby Cohn (Cornell University)
Sarah Hawkins (University of Cambridge)
Aditi Lahiri (University of Oxford)

Session description: Phonology and the mental lexicon

Hypotheses about the nature and content of the mental lexicon have played a prominent part in many of the most important debates in phonological theory in the past half century. Diametrically opposed arguments have been advanced concerning how much phonological and phonetic information may be contained in lexical representations; whether the lexicon is computationally inert or rather provides the domain for significant synchronic generalizations; and to what extent lexical entries are autonomous from, or overlap with, other types of representations in long-term memory.

Early generative phonology espoused a set of tightly interlocking assumptions concerning the mental lexicon. In line with the structuralist tradition, the theory denied the existence of word-specific phonetic detail. Going further, the evaluation measure assigned the same cost to symbol tokens in underlying representations and in the statement of phonological rules. This resulted in a maximally economical lexicon, with all redundant information introduced in the rule component.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the assumption of underspecified lexical representations was put to use to explain a range of phenomena, such as lexically diffusing change or the fact that redundant features are often phonologically inert. This use of underspecification has lately fallen largely out of favour, but there is a line of work that adduces psycholinguistic evidence from word recognition phenomena in favour of underspecified lexical entries.

In compliance with the principle of Richness of the Base, classic OT has abandoned lexical underspecification. However, Richness of the Base upholds, and indeed strengthens, other fundamental assumptions of early generative models. All systematic phonological patterns are captured by means of constraint ranking, with the bias for markedness over faithfulness replacing SPE's evaluation measure. If language-particular generalizations hold over lexical entries at all, they do so inertly and indirectly by virtue of Lexicon Optimization.

Examplar theory departs from the structuralist tradition in a much more dramatic fashion. In its most radical versions, this theory depicts phonetic detail as lexically specific, reduces phonological generalizations to patterns inherent in memory traces, and abolishes the modular separation of the mental lexicon from episodic long-term memory.

The special session will explore the state of the art on these fundamental issues.


Organising Committee
The first named is the convenor and main organiser - if you would like to attend or if you have any queries about the conference, please feel free to get in touch with me (, or phone  +44 (0)131 651 1838).

 Patrick Honeybone (University of Edinburgh)
 Ricardo Bermudez-Otero (University of Manchester)
 Jacques Durand (Universite de Toulouse-Le Mirail)

Advisory Board
 Jill Beckman (Iowa) 
Bert Botma (Leiden)
 Philip Carr (Montpellier / ERSS, Toulouse-Le Mirail )
Mike Davenport (Durham)
 Daniel L. Everett (Illinois State)
 Paul Foulkes (York)
 S.J. Hannahs (Newcastle upon Tyne)
John Harris (UCL)
 Kristine A. Hildebrandt (Manchester)
 Martin Kramer (Tromso)
 Ken Lodge (UEA)
Aditi Lahiri (Oxford)
 Marc van Oostendorp (Meertens Instituut)
 Glyne Piggott (McGill)
Curt Rice (Tromso)
 Catherine O. Ringen (Iowa)
 Tobias Scheer (Nice)
 James M. Scobbie (QMU)
Daniel Silverman (San Jose State)
 Marilyn M. Vihman (York)
 Moira Yip (UCL)

This site is hosted by the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh.

Page created by Patrick Honeybone
                                                                      Last updated May 2008