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Research

My main area of research is Phonology. I am interested both in synchronic aspects (how sound systems are structured, the nature of phonological knowledge) and in diachronic aspects (how languages evolve). I like to see synchrony and diachrony as two ways of looking at the same phenomena. On the one hand, sound change offers us important evidence on mental categorization. On the other, present-day variation in speech shows us how languages change through time.

In my own work I aim to adopt a classical philological attitude. At least as a goal, I assume that I am responsible for explaining every word and every idiosyncrasy of the phenomenon in the language that I am studying. Keine Ausnahme ohne Regel. Two languages whose phonology and history I have studied in some detail are Spanish and Basque. I know less about the other Romance languages and about English. I have done only some limited research on other languages, including Aymara, a couple of Bantu languages and the Spanish-based creole Palenquero.

Some topics I am working on:

A long-term interest of mine is accentuation in Basque. Recently I have been working on the Swedish-type pitch-accent system employed in the dialect of Goizueta, Navarra, and its historical connection with other accentual systems found in Basque.

In the last few years I have also been working on accentuation in Spanish, including unstressed words and secondary stress phenomena.

At present I am also investigating consonant lenition in Spanish and other Romance languages.

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