Peter Jurgec


My research interests fall within theoretical phonology. I am particularly interested in feature theory, assimilation, loanwords, tone, Optimality Theory, Harmonic Serialism, and Slavic languages. The major research areas are outlined below.

Check out my publications here.

Loanword phonology

Loanwords often behave differently than native words. In my dissertation at the University of Ljubljana (2009), I described the differences between loanwords and native words in Slovenian. To determine whether the speakers are sensitive to phonological foreignness, I conducted a series of perceptual experiments. This work established that Slovenian loanwords show disjunctive patterns when compared to native words. See my paper in Linguistic Inquiry (published version).


Assimilation is a patter in which a segment becomes more similar to another nearby segment. My thesis at the University of Tromsø¸ offers a unified theory of assimilation based in a constraint-based framework. The main insight is that relationships between assimilating segments are hierarchical. This predicts a previously underdescribed type of segment, termed icy target. I capture the patterns using an extension of Autosegmental Phonology. In my other work, I argue that consonant harmony can be captured using feature spreading.


Slovenian is an underdescribed Slavic language with some remarkable phonological patterns. Slovenian phonology has been one of my core interests. Over the years, I have worked on Slovenian loanwords, formant, frequencies, vowel, inventory, creaky voice, palatalization, and many more topics.

Harmonic Serialism

Harmonic Serialism is a serial version of Optimality Theory. Gen(erator) in Harmonic Serialism is restricted, and each input undergoes several cyclic evaluations. My recent paper in Linguistic Inquiry deals with ternary stress in Harmonic Serialism.