Eric Baković

Professor and Chair, Linguistics, UC San Diego

Pronouns: he, him, his / Why do pronouns matter?I respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the land of the Kumeyaay/Kumiai nation. / Whose land are you on?

About my work

I’m most interested in phonological theory, which aims to formally characterize the set of possible human language sound patterns — and, in principle, only that set. Some of my most recent collaborative work questions recent claims about the outer limit of the set of possible phonological patterns (McCollum, Baković, Mai, & Meinhardt, 2020; Meinhardt, Mai, Baković, & McCollum, 2022), investigates the typological predictions made by specific constraint-based optimization systems (Mai & Baković, 2020, Baković & Mai 2021, Baković & Bennett, to appear), defines a formal typology of process interactions and their relations to one another (Baković & Blumenfeld, 2019; Baković & Blumenfeld, 2022), and presents an unsupervised approach to learning human-readable descriptions of phonological processes from collections of related utterances (Barke, Kunkel, Polikarpova, Meinhardt, Baković, & Bergen, 2019). This latter work represents work now funded by NSF BCS Award #2021149.


  • 9500 Gilman Dr. #0108
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0108

  • AP&M 4260

  • (858) 534-1159 (voice)
    (858) 534-4789 (fax)

Recent publications (click to expand)

  • Baković, Eric, & Wm. G. Bennett, to appear. "Faithfulness and underspecification." Proceedings of the 2022 Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2022). [lingbuzz/007074] [alternative copy]

  • Baković, Eric, & Lev Blumenfeld. 2022. “A formal typology of process interactions.” Submitted for review. [lingbuzz/006861] [alternative copy]

  • Meinhardt, Eric, Anna Mai, Eric Baković, and Adam G. McCollum. 2022. “Weak determinism and the computational consequences of interaction.” Accepted, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. [lingbuzz/006712] [alternative copy]

  • Baković, Eric, Jeffrey Heinz, and Jonathan Rawski. 2021. “Phonological abstractness in the mental lexicon.” In Anna Papafragou, John Trueswell, and Lila Gleitman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Mental Lexicon, pp. 11-32 Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198845003.013.14 [Oxford] [postprint] [preprint]

  • Baković, Eric, & Anna Mai. 2021. “Comparing positional licensing patterns in HG and OT.” Supplemental Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2020). [OA article] [ROA-1378] [abstract] [poster] [YouTube video]

  • McCollum, Adam G., Eric Baković, Anna Mai, and Eric Meinhardt. 2020. “Unbounded circumambient patterns in segmental phonology.” Phonology 37.2, pp. 215-255. doi:10.1017/S095267572000010X [Cambridge Core sharing code: 982DA8C4E8CAE0198A2512332F71F992] [postprint] [lingbuzz/005051]

  • Mai, Anna, & Eric Baković. 2020. “Cumulative constraint interaction and the equalizer of HG and OT.” Supplemental Proceedings of the 2019 Annual Meeting on Phonology (AMP 2019). [OA article] [ROA-1366] [abstract] [poster]