Fundamental Concepts in Phonology

Fundamental Concepts in Phonology: Sameness and Difference

Ken Lodge
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    Fundamental Concepts in Phonology
    Book Description:

    This book is an investigation of the basic concepts of phonological theory. In particular it is concerned with the concepts of sameness and difference, each a sine qua non of classification. It is assumed that all academic disciplines operate with these two basic concepts when classification is involved.Since phonology is the area of linguistics that deals with the interface between the abstract system of native speaker knowledge and physical entities in the world, the linguistic classification of those physical entities needs to be guided by clear and rigorously applied criteria for deciding what constitutes the same sound and what not. During the development of modern linguistics over the past hundred years or so it has generally been assumed that the criteria for classification are to be found in a segmented version of the phonetic continuum of spoken language. This is still largely the case today, even though the system of native speaker knowledge of language is seen as a highly abstract mental representation of that knowledge. This book questions the basis of such assumptions, in particular segmentation, abstractness, monosystemicity and derivation.Key features:*The first book to deal with aspects of phonology which are often ignored or passed over very briefly in the available literature, yet are at the core of the subject. *Considers various recent developments across a range of phonological theories.*Explores a range of key issues in phonological theory which relate to the application of sameness and difference: biuniqueness, monosystemicity, derivation, specification, abstractness, segmentation, panlectal grammars.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3110-0
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
    (pp. vi-viii)
    Ken Lodge
    (pp. 1-13)

    Human beings classify the world around them. This classification occurs through language, which has led some linguists to go so far as to argue for linguistic determinism (Sapir, Whorf, Halliday). Whatever the merits and demerits of such a functional approach to the forms of language, as far as the human classification of the world (and beyond) is concerned, the development of a scientific account of reality has made the notions of sameness and difference central to such exploration. If x is considered ‘the same as’ y in certain respects, then x and y belong to the same category. If x...

    (pp. 14-24)

    I now want to turn to the specifically linguistic aspect of sameness and difference by looking first at a topic that all phonologists should agree with: the notion of meaningful contrast as the centre of phonological analysis. However, I would like to scrutinize it in a little more detail than is perhaps usual by considering how we, as phonologists, determine what constitutes sameness in phonology and what the consequences of that identification are. I will then elaborate on the topic in the later chapters of the book. As I have tried to show in the first chapter, one of the...

    (pp. 25-41)

    In this chapter I want to consider analyses which seem to assume some kind of biuniqueness. Thereby I want to demonstrate the way in which biuniqueness, and with it monosystemicity, obscure the facts and complicate the phonological analysis of language.

    Fudge (1967) discusses abstractness in phonological primes, an issue I return to in Chapter 5. In this paper he argues that the most important reason for distinguishing between phonetics and phonology is what Chomsky (1964) calls biuniqueness. The argument was originally made against a background of structuralist phonemics which equated the two. Any speech sound is interpreted as a segment...

    (pp. 42-64)

    I now want to turn to the matter of segmentation. This is not a matter of sameness and difference in the way that issues I have discussed so far have been, but it is an important background to phonetic description and phonological interpretation. There has been a long history of warnings against the seduction of the segment – for example, Paul [1890] (1970), Kruszewski [1883] (1995) and Baudouin de Courtenay [1927] (1972) – as pointed out succinctly by Silverman (2006). Later the concept was criticized by Firthian prosodists (see Palmer, 1970) and more recently reviewed by Bird & Klein (1990); the...

    (pp. 65-93)

    The issue of the abstractness of phonological representations seems to be consistently avoided in the literature generally. There is an assumption in many papers that phonetic implementation is not a problem and it is, therefore, not addressed. (This is instanced in the many contributions to Goldsmith, 1995, some of which I have already referred to in the previous chapters; this collection of papers has been chosen for particular scrutiny, firstly because I reviewed it some time ago, Lodge, 1997, and secondly it was intended to be a collection of up-to-date seminal papers on phonological theory.) On the other hand, there...

    (pp. 94-119)

    This chapter presents a set of proposals to take account of the views laid out in the previous chapters. As such, it does not deal with sameness and difference directly, but deals with the relationship between meaning and sound, that is, between phonological storage and phonetic realization. If the points of view taken in earlier chapters hold good, then we need to consider the details of this relationship in the context of a polysystemic, non-segmental, abstract approach of the kind presented in Lodge (2003a, 2007).

    Whether or not we decide on a monosystemic or a polysystemic approach, segments or layers...

    (pp. 120-142)

    It is generally assumed that we know which language is which and that consequently we can give a name to each one. But let us take this question of what English is by considering a few simple answers to see if they are sufficient. Firstly, we may say that English is the native language of those born in England. This is obviously too narrow because many speakers in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have English as their native language. So, we cannot equate a language with a country. English also has the...

    (pp. 143-153)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 154-160)