PhonoApps demo

PhonoApps: Learning phonology online

Peter Jurgec and George Steel, University of Toronto

Advances in technology now make it possible to rethink certain aspects of how we teach phonology. PhonoApps are a collection of interactive online tools that help students learn basic phonological concepts. We present two of these tools:

  • Featurize! facilitates the understanding of natural classes. Users select a set of segments and the application determines whether it is a natural class, and if so, outputs the relevant features. The feature and segment set is entirely customizable.
  • Derive! allows users to specify underlying representations, rules, and their order. The set of user-specified rules is applied in the order for a real-time derivation.

PhonoApps allow students to grasp key phonological concepts more quickly and directly by engaging with the mechanism of feature assignment and rule interaction. Furthermore, students can explore questions that have not been easily addressable in phonology courses at the undergraduate level, including typologies, opacity, and rule formalization.