|Phonology broadly encompasses representations of sounds of human languages and of language-particular relations between those sounds. Diana Archangeli's research, by focusing specifically on the features which make up those sounds, addresses issues central to both representations and rules.
With respect to issues of representation, Archangeli has proposed underspecification: individual sounds have the minimal number of features possible in their most basic representation.
In joint work with Doug Pulleyblank of University of British Columbia, Archangeli has developed a parametric model for expressing relations between representations, a model which makes clear predictions made about possible and impossible relations.
Underspecification and parametric rules are fairly simple, straightforward formal models. Despite their formal restrictiveness, neither takes into account the physical side of phonology, nor the fact that the formal logical possibilities vastly exceed the attested combinations found in natural languages. In response, Archangeli (jointly with Pulleyblank) has developed a model of feature co-occurrence constraints. This model restricts conditions on relations and representations to those which reflect physical properties of the articulatory and acoustic system.
Archangeli's most recent work in this area is exploring the sets of rules which may or may not co-occur within a language. her work in this area takes an optimization approach to integrating the formal parameters of the rule sets with their physically rounded conditions.
Archangeli's research also includes (I) study of prosodic templates; (ii) fieldwork in Indonesia on the phonology of Sasak and Bugis; (iii) exploration of the syntactic behavior of Sasak clitics (jointly with Dr. Husni Muadz, Universitas Mataram).