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Research . 2014
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Research . 2014
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phonology sound structure

Authors: Cohn, Abigail;
Abstract

Consider the “words” shown in (1): (1) I II II a. *xoda poda poda[z] (cf. coda, codas) [x] as in German ch. b. *ngatus matus matus[ɪz] (cf. mattress, mattresses) =[ŋ] *rudih hurid hurid[z] (cf. herd, herds) c. *bnick blick blick[s] (cf. block, blocks) Fluent speakers of English would agree that none of these are actual words of English, yet most speakers would also agree that those in column I are not possible words (we use an * to indicate an impossible or “ungrammatical” form); while those in column II are. In addition, most speakers would agree that the plurals of the would-be words in column II would be pronounced as indicated in column III. How do we know this? Our knowledge of the sound patterns of our native language(s) comes not through memorizing a list of words, but rather by internalizing information about the allowed and disallowed sound patterns of that language. As fluent speakers of English, we know which sounds occur in our language and which don't. For example, in (1a), the [x] sound of German (written ch in borrowings from German, as in the German pronunciation of Bach) just doesn't occur in English. In addition, some occurring sounds of English are nevertheless restricted in the position where they occur within the word. As shown in (1b), the sound represented by the spelling sequence ng [ŋ] cannot occur at the beginning of a word (though it occurs in the middle (singer) or end (sing)), while h cannot occur at the end of a word (but it occurs at the beginning (hot) or middle (ahead)). We also know which sounds can be combined into a sequence. Thus in (1c), bl is an allowable sequence at the beginning of a word (blue), while bn is not. Finally, we also know how sound patterns alternate. For example, in the regular plural formation in English, what is written as s or es is pronounced [s], [z], or [ɪz] depending on certain properties of the last sound of the word. As native speakers, without thinking we produce the expected forms (block[s], herd[z], mattress[ɪz]). It is this knowledge about sound structure—which sounds occur, what their distribution is, how they can be combined, and how they might be realized differently in different positions in a word or phrase—that constitutes the study of phonology. Central to research in phonology is documenting and characterizing the full range of attested sound structures and patterns across the languages of the world.1 In this chapter, we explore some of the central generalizations about sounds, using theories and tools that allow us to insightfully analyze these patterns. We will focus on three areas: sound inventories and contrasts (Section 2), structure above the level of the sound unit or segment, that is prosodic organization (Section 3), and structure internal to the segment (Section 4). The general approach followed here is generative phonology (see Chomsky and Halle 1968, also Kenstowicz and Kisseberth 1979) where the goal is to develop a theory that accurately models a speaker's knowledge of his or her language. In Section 5, we consider phonology in a broader context, considering alternative views and identifying emerging trends.

This working paper is copyrighted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

28 references, page 1 of 3

Anderson, Stephen. 1985. Phonology in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Aronoff and Rees-Miller (eds. To appear) Handbook of Linguistics, 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Broselow, Ellen. 1995. Skeletal positions and moras. In The Handbook of Phonological Theory, ed. J. Goldsmith, 175- 205. Oxford: Blackwell.

Chomsky, Noam and Morris Halle. 1968. The Sound Pattern of English. (SPE) New York: Harper and Row.

Clements, G. N. 2003. Feature economy in sound systems. Phonology 20:287-333.

Clements, G. N. and Elizabeth Hume. 1995. The internal organization of speech sounds. In The Handbook of Phonological Theory, ed. J. Goldsmith. Cambridge: Blackwell, 245-306.

Cohn, Abigail C. 2011. Features, segments, and the sources of phonological primitives. In Where Do Phonological Features Come From?, ed. G. N. Clements and R. Ridouane. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 15-41.

Cohn, A, C. Fougeron, and M. Huffman. 2012. Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology. Oxford: OUP.

de Lacy, P. 2007. The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fromkin, Victoria. 1971. The non-anomalous nature of anomalous utterances. Language 47:27-52. [OpenAIRE]

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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
0
Average
Average
Average