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Khalil Iskarous


Khalil Iskarous

Assistant Professor
University of Southern California

Khalil Iskarous is an Assistant Professor in Linguistics at the University of Southern California. His work focuses on the relationship between abstract phonological patterns and their biophysical realization. Some of the languages he's worked on recently are Russian, Navajo, English, German, and Catalan. He also does experimental work on animals that have muscular systems that resemble the tongue, specifically octopus arms, and worms, to understand how the different movement tasks of these animals dynamically structures their movements in ways similar to how phonology structures tongue movement for speech.


  • Tutorial on dynamical systems analysis in theoretical syntax and phonology

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

    Many contributors to theoretical syntax and phonology, e.g. Goldsmith, Uriagereka, Vergnaud, Idsardi, Smolensky, and Prince, have used dynamical systems analysis to make sense of some fundamental computational properties of natural language. Yet, dynamical systems analysis does not usually form part of the linguistics curriculum. In this tutorial, dynamical systems analysis will be introduced from scratch, then two case studies will be summarized: 1) Uriagereka's work on phase periodicity and frustration; 2) Goldsmith, Prince and Idsardi's work on syllabification and metricity; The tutorial will concentrate on the fundamental ideas, and why dynamical systems analysis has seduced many linguists in the past.