Some Recent Publications by R. Port: 

Port, Robert F. (2011)  Phones and phonemes are conceptual blends, not cognitive letters. Accepted for presentation at the Cognitive Science Soc. Annual Meeting, July, 2011, Boston.  [PDF]

Port,  Robert F. (2010)  Language is a social institution: Why phonemes and words do not have explicit psychological form.   Ecological Psychology, 22, 304-326.    [PDF]

Port, Robert (2010)  Rich memory and distributed phonology. Language Sciences 32 (1) 43-55. [PDF]  A polemical summary for my view about phonology and language in just 15 pages.  The paper points out some commonalities between my theories centered on Rich Memory in phonology and the thinking of the Distributed Language Group (of Steven Cowley, Nigel Love, etc.).

Fowler, Carol (2010)  The reality of phonological forms: A reply to Port. Language Sciences 32, 56-59. [PDF] A critique of Port (2010) `Rich memory and distributed phonology,' by Prof. Carol Fowler of Haskins Labs and Univ of Connecticut. 

Port, Robert (2010)  The reality of phonological forms: A rejoinder.   Language Sciences 32 [PDF] A brief response to criticisms of the paper of above (Rich memory and distributed phonology).

Port, Robert  (2009) No role for phonology in speech processing: Taking a strong position. To appear in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA), Acoustical Society of America online publication. This paper is based on my Paris ASA poster in July, 2008 and is an earlier draft of ``Rich memory and distributed phonology'' above.

Port, Robert (2009)   The dynamics of language. In the Encyclopedia of Complexity and System Science (Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg), pp. 2310-2323. [PDF]    (My working title for the manuscript was ``Language and its two complex systems''.)  Presents the view of language as involving 2 complex systems, (1) human cultures which evolve languages over historical time and (2) human developmental learning where individuals learn to imitate and extend the culturally provided language.   This view turns out to have been anticipated by several other recent writers including at least Smith, Brighton and Kirby (2003) and Tomasello (2003, 2008).

Port, Robert (2008)  All is prosody: Phones and phonemes are the ghosts of letters. Keynote address for Prosody2008 in Campinas, Brazil. Appeared in conference proceedings. [PDF]

Port, Robert (2007)  How are words stored in memory? Beyond phones and phonemes. New Ideas in Psychology 25, 143-170. [PDF]  Summary of the argument against phones and phonemes as units in human memory and the argument supporting rich linguistic memory.

Port, Robert (2007) The problem of speech patterns in time.  In M. Gareth Gaskell (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics. (Oxford University Press) pp. 503-514.  [PDF]  General discussion of the problem of capturing the temporal patterns of speech.

Port, Robert (2006)  The graphical basis of phones and phonemes.   In  Murray Munro and Ocke-Schwen Bohn Eds.,  Second Language Speech Learning: The Role of Language Experience in Speech Perception and Production.  (John Benjamins, Amsterdam) pp. 349-365.    This essay focusses on why our intuitions about the segmental organization of speech are so powerful and persuasive.  The simple answer is that we all learned alphabetic writing when we were very young and this descriptive method is very useful and powerful.  But we need to learn to mistrust these intuitions since letter-like units are hopelessly inadequate for both our personal speech production and for perception of others' speech.   [PDF]

Port, Robert and Adam Leary (2005) Against formal phonology.   Language 81, 927-964.   [PDF]   A frontal assault on the phonetics of Chomsky and Halle. It seemed important to try to disabuse phonologists of the viability of beginning the study of phonology with the Chomsky-Halle system of universal segmental phonetic features (or any other universal feature system).

Port, Robert (2003) Meter and speech. Journal of Phonetics 31, pp. 599-611.[ PDF]   Metrical structures of music and speech can be modeled with dynamical systems that generalize the Haken-Kelso-Bunz model to account for behavior when people wag one finger (or other limb) on each side of the body.

Port, Robert (2002)  Implications of  rhythmic discreteness in speech. Paper prepared for the conference `Temporal Integration in the Perception of Speech'  in Aix-en-Provence, April 8-11, 2002.  [PDF]

Port, Robert (2002) `The dynamical systems hypothesis in cognitive science.'  Entry for the MacMillan ``Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science''. L. Nadel, Associate Editor.  Volume 1, pp. 1027-1032 [PDF].    A summary of the dynamical point of view about cognition contrasting it with the dominant symbolic or computational view. 3400 words.

Port, Robert (2002) Phonetics and motor activity. In Fabrice Cavoto (ed.) The Complete Linguist: A Collection of Papers in Honor of Alexis Manaster-Ramer. (LINCOM Europa: Munich )  pp. 329-344 (Volume 2).

Self-entrainment by parts of the human body is very similar to the tendency of speech to become rhythmic. This behavior is easily observed in repetitive speech.

van Gelder, Timothy and Robert Port (1995) `It's about time: An overview of the dynamical approach to cognition'.  In R. Port and T. van Gelder (1995) Mind as Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition.  (MIT Press, Cambridge MA)  The introductory chapter of this edited volume.  Provides a sketch of the main reasons why dynamical systems are the most appropriate mathematical framework for understanding human cognition, rather than the discrete models favored by most linguists and many cognitive scientists.   [This pdf, however, is somewhat damaged and is missing a few characters on the right side of many pages. Sorry.]  [PDF]

Last modified July 17, 2011  Port's homepage.