Thème / Theme
Phonologie, interfaces et modélisation
Fonction / Position
Thèmes de recherche / Research themes

My research activities are conducted with a focus on two key divides that run through the field of phonology:


1.         Structure / melody

Following long-term research which aims at reducing a number of phonological categories, such as laryngeal and sonority features, to structure, I am exploring the borderline between structure and melodic material. After having obtained interesting results in the field of phonotactic constraints on consonantal clusters (see Carvalho 2017), I am currently extending this research to determine why and how phonological representations must and can disentangle weight from timing, thereby unifying the contributions of moraic phonology and of the theories of the X-skeleton from the 1980s. This study is conducted with a focus on Romance stress systems, especially Portuguese and Spanish.


2.         Representation / computation

Another topic has recently become a privileged theme of research: to what extent can phonological theory ultimately conciliate representations and computation? Following on from Kiparsky's (1993) "Blocking in Non-derived environments", I assume that phonology is inherently representational insofar as the inner workings of the phonological module are considered; only interaction between phonology and morphosyntax (through affixation, sandhi, etc.) can yield derivation. This line of research was summarized in an article published in 2021, and will be pursued in close association with a second question: can representational approaches eliminate the need for serial derivations, and thus for opaque processes?


Some representative publications from the last ten years are listed (and can be downloaded) below.


Enseignements / Teachings

J'enseigne la phonologie en licence et en master.

Publications représentatives / Representative publications

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2024b. The Ibero-Romance rhotics: Of fake geminates, weight and sonority. Isogloss. Open Journal of Romance Linguistics 10(1)/7, 1-18. DOI:

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2024a. Phonèmes flottants et positions vides : des traces très utiles. Le français moderne 92(1), 121-134.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2023b. From binary features to elements: Implications for markedness theory and phonological acquisition. Radical: A Journal of Phonology 3, 346-384.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2023a. The paradox of Portuguese /Vr/-rhymes: Disentangling weight from length via structure-based sonority. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 8(1), 1–23.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2022. -s e -z em português: segmento idêntico mas estrutura diferente. Letrônica 29 (1), 1-11.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2021. [With D. Passino & T. Scheer.] Syllable structure and (re)syllabification. In C. Gabriel, R. Gess & T. Meisenburg (ed.), Manual of Romance phonetics and phonology. Berlin: Mouton-De Gruyter, 89-126.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2021. Representation vs derivation: The case for a modular view of phonology. Radical: A journal of phonology 1, 292-327.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2020. Entre phonologie et lexique : l'alternance schwa/è en français. Le français moderne 2020, 211-220.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2017b. Je ll’ai vu: Perception-driven allomorphic optimization of French l'. Probus, International Journal of Romance Linguistics 29, 47-66.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2017a. Deriving sonority from the structure, not the other way round: A Strict CV approach to consonant clusters. The Linguistic Review 34, 589-614.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2014, C/V interactions in Strict CV. In S. Bendjaballah, N. Faust, M. Lahrouchi & N. Lampitelli (ed.), The form of structure, the structure of form. Essays in honor of Jean Lowenstamm. Amsterdam : John Benjamins, 123-138.

Carvalho, J. Brandão de, 2013, Why there is no backness : the case for dismissing both [coronal] and [dorsal]. In J.-L. Léonard & S. Naïm (ed.), Backness and backing. Munich : Lincom, 45-58.