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Linguistics Phonology
by
Paul de Lacy
  • LAST REVIEWED: 21 June 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0033

Introduction

The term “phonology” has several meanings. It is often used to refer to generalizations about sounds and sound combinations (often called sound patterns) in and across languages. In contrast, within generative grammar “phonology” refers to a particular cognitive module. Many generative theories propose that the module takes inputs, consisting of strings of symbols (called phonological symbols, segments, phonemes, underlying forms, or the input, depending on the theory). The symbols may be accompanied by information about morphology, syntax, and perhaps even some aspects of meaning. The module produces an output representation, which serves as the input to the phonetic modules; these modules ultimately provoke muscle movements that can result in speech sounds. A common point of confusion is the belief that the phonological module manipulates speech sounds; in fact the phonology manipulates representations that are sent to the phonetic module, which then converts them into phonetic representations that are then implemented as muscle movements that, given the right factors, can produce audible sound. The two meanings of “phonology” are not in opposition. Phonology (sound patterns) makes up some of the data used in theorizing about the phonology (the cognitive module). There are large variations in sound patterns across languages. For example, Hawai’ian has nine contrastive consonants, whereas Ubykh has eighty-six. However, there are commonalities too, though many are disputed. For example, every language has either an alveolar voiceless stop of some kind or a glottal stop or both. Similarly, no language lacks words that start with a consonant. There are also large variations in phonological modules among humans; however, a great deal of research contends that all phonological modules share common properties, at least in their underlying structures. Although the outputs of languages are diverse, much work has argued that the representations and processes used to generate phonological outputs are very similar—perhaps identical—in all phonological modules, with only certain aspects of the phonological module (e.g., rules, constraint ranking) differing between modules.

Foundational Works

Pāṇini’s grammar of Classical Sanskrit includes the earliest comprehensive description of a phonological system (see Pāṇini 1897 for a translation). In the modern era, Saussure 2011 (originally published in 1916) was instrumental in directing research toward the synchronic study of phonology and away from diachronic change (see Diachronic Phonology). Trubetzkoy 1969 (originally published in 1939) provides a comprehensive framework for understanding synchronic phonologies as logical systems. Until the middle of the 20th century, phonological research focused on taxonomy and description. Chomsky and Halle 1968 changed the focus of research to the cognitive processes that generate and perceive speech sounds: the phonological module and its interfaces became the object of study for many researchers, and phonologies came to be understood as the outcome of those processes. There are many extant theories of phonology (see Theories). Anderson 1985 provides a history of theoretical developments in the 20th century up until the early 1980s.

  • Anderson, Stephen R. 1985. Phonology in the twentieth century: Theories of rules and theories of representations. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    A history of theoretical developments in phonology up until the early 1980s.

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    • Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The sound pattern of English. Studies in Language. New York: Harper and Row.

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      Commonly referred to as SPE, this book is the founding text in generative phonology. It established the study of phonology as part of the cognitive sciences.

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      • Pāṇini. 1897. The Ashtadhyayi. Book 6. Translated by Srisa Chandra Vasu. Benares, India: Sindhu Charan Bose.

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        A translation of Pāṇini’s Ashtadhyayi (अष्टाध्यायी), the central part of his grammar. The earliest complete grammar of any language (in this case, Classical Sanskrit).

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        • Saussure, Ferdinand de. 2011. Course in general linguistics. Rev. ed. Edited by Perry Meisel and Haun Saussy. Translated by Wade Baskin. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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          Originally published in 1916. Marks the beginning of the modern study of synchronic phonological systems. Introduced important notions, such as arbitrariness and contrast.

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          • Trubetzkoy, N. S. 1969. Principles of phonology. Translated by Christine A. M. Baltaxe. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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            Originally published in 1939. One of the earliest and most comprehensive theories of sound patterns. Part of the Prague school (see The Prague School). Introduced significant concepts, such as the phoneme, contrastiveness, and the distinction between phonetics and phonology.

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            Textbooks

            There are many textbooks on phonology and phonological theories. Perhaps the most comprehensive introduction to generative phonological theories before optimality theory (OT) is Kenstowicz 1994. Much of Michael Kenstowicz’s book—especially the parts on representation—remain relevant for OT-based theories. A number of textbooks focus on a specific phonological theory, such as Kager 1999 and McCarthy 2008 (cited under Optimality Theory and OT Theories) for classical OT. There are also several collections of exercises with answers, such as Halle and Clements 1983 and Cowan and Rakušan 1985. Textbooks take a variety of theoretical and pedagogical approaches, from the functionalist viewpoint of Clark, et al. 2007 to the strong emphasis on typology in Odden 2005 and to the more standard formal, theoretical approaches of Roca and Johnson 1999 and Gussenhoven and Jacobs 2005. Many textbooks are advanced introductions to particular areas or concepts; these are mentioned throughout this article.

            • Clark, John, Colin Yallop, and Janet Fletcher. 2007. An introduction to phonetics and phonology. 3d ed. Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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              Provides an introduction to phonology from a functionalist perspective.

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              • Cowan, William, and Jaromira Rakušan. 1998. Source book for linguistics. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

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                An extensive collection of phonetic, phonological, and morphophonological problem sets with answers. The problem sets are primarily related to early generative theories.

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                • Gussenhoven, Carlos, and Jaike Jacobs. 2005. Understanding phonology. 2d ed. Understanding Language Series. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                  An introduction to phonology of the more traditional type. Focuses primarily on phenomena below the word level and on rule-based theories. There are some short introductions to OT and a chapter devoted to phonology above the word level.

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                  • Halle, Morris, and G. N. Clements. 1983. Problem book in phonology: A workbook for introductory courses in linguistics and modern phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                    A widely used collection of phonology exercises.

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                    • Kager, René. 1999. Optimality theory. Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                      The first textbook about OT, one of the most influential late-20th-century phonological theories. This textbook is not to be confused with the founding document of OT, Prince and Smolensky 2004 (cited under Optimality Theory and OT Theories) also called Optimality Theory.

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                      • Kenstowicz, Michael. 1994. Phonology in generative grammar. Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                        A comprehensive, advanced introduction to generative phonological theories before 1994. A great deal of the book—especially about representation—is relevant to later theories as well.

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                        • Odden, David. 2005. Introducing phonology. Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                          A textbook with exercises in a very typologically diverse set of languages. Emphasizes data analysis.

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                          • Roca, Iggy, and Wyn Johnson. 1999. A course in phonology. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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                            An early-20th-century textbook that takes a standard approach, emphasizing formalism and theory. Stresses learning through doing problem sets, extended by the same authors’ accompanying Workbook in Phonology (Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999).

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                            Edited Collections

                            There are many collections of articles on phonological description and theory. Such collections usually have a theme, such as descriptions of a particular phonological phenomenon or related languages or a specific phonological phenomenon analyzed from a variety of theoretical perspectives (e.g., Paradis and Prunet 1991). Some edited collections cover a variety of topics but have a shared theory or methodology (e.g., McCarthy 2003, Papers in Laboratory Phonology). There are also books that aim to give a wide-ranging coverage of phonological theories. For example, Goldsmith 1999 reproduces significant articles and excerpts on phonological theory. A small number of books provide overviews of a broad range of theoretical areas and concepts; they are typically aimed at readers who have at least a basic knowledge of phonological theory. Such “handbooks” include Goldsmith 1995; de Lacy 2007; Kula, et al. 2011; and van Oostendorp, et al. 2011.

                            • de Lacy, Paul, ed. 2007. The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                              DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371Save Citation »Export Citation »

                              A collection introducing various aspects of phonological theory. The book is divided into sections consisting of core phonological concepts, phonological phenomena, phonological interfaces, and phonological theory in various disciplines (e.g., language acquisition). Many of the chapters discuss optimality theory (OT), an influential theory since the 1990s. The website provides downloadable references and a way to search the book online.

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                              • Goldsmith, John A., ed. 1995. The handbook of phonological theory. Blackwell handbooks in linguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                A large collection on many aspects of phonological theory, several phonological theories, and specific languages. The chapters basically deal with phonological theories before 1993 (consequently there is little discussion of optimality theory [OT]).

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                                • Goldsmith, John A., ed. 1999. Phonological theory: The essential readings. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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                                  An edited book with a broad theme: influential articles in phonological theory.

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                                  • Kula, Nancy C., Bert Botma, and Kuniya Nasukawa, eds. 2011. The continuum companion to phonology. London and New York: Continuum.

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                                    A collection that spans theoretical and methodological topics. The first section is devoted to methodological issues in conducting fieldwork and language acquisition. The second is about research topics. The third focuses on relatively new areas of attention in phonology—laboratory phonology and usage-based phonology. The final chapter presents a historical overview of generative phonological theories.

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                                    • McCarthy, John J., ed. 2003. Optimality theory in phonology: A reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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                                      An example of an edited book with a specific theory as its theme.

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                                      • Papers in Laboratory Phonology. 1991–2010. Edited by Mary E. Beckman and John Kingston. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                        An example of a series of edited books united by a common theory or methodology (no new volumes will be added). Volumes 1–6 are published by Cambridge University Press under the title (or subtitle) Papers in Laboratory Phonology. The series (Volumes 7–10) has been continued as the journal Laboratory Phonology (cited under Journals), published by Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                        • Paradis, Carole, and Jean-François Prunet, eds. 1991. The special status of coronals: Internal and external evidence. Phonetics and Phonology 2. San Diego, CA: Academic.

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                                          A collection of articles with the theme of coronal consonants from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

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                                          • van Oostendorp, Marc, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, eds. 2011. The Blackwell companion to phonology. 5 vols. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                            The most extensive collection of introductory articles on phonological topics. There are 124 articles, each eight to ten thousand words in length.

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                                            Reference Resources

                                            Phonological topics are discussed in most (if not all) encyclopedias of linguistics, including Frawley 2003 and Brown 2006. Dryer and Haspelmath 2011 provides a great deal of information about phonological typology online. Crystal 2008 provides short, concise definitions of linguistic terms.

                                            • Brown, Keith, ed. 2006. Encyclopedia of language and linguistics. 2d ed. 14 vols. Amsterdam and London: Elsevier.

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                                              An extensive reference work covering all areas of linguistics. One of the first to use online multimedia resources.

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                                              • Crystal, David. 2008. A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 6th ed. The Language Library. Oxford and Cambridge, MA. Blackwell.

                                                DOI: 10.1002/9781444302776Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                Provides definitions of linguistic terms that are concise yet detailed enough to be useful to the advanced student.

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                                                • Dryer, Matthew S., and Martin Haspelmath. The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. 2011.

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                                                  A large database of linguistic features, including a great deal of phonological information. Provides maps identifying the geographic distribution of particular linguistic features.

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                                                  • Frawley, William J., ed. 2003. International encyclopedia of linguistics. 2d ed. 4 vols. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                    A comprehensive work with 850 entries. The entries provide enough detail for beginning graduate students as well as a good range of references.

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                                                    Bibliographies

                                                    The most extensive lists of references are probably found in the references sections of the major handbooks cited under Edited Collections. The de Lacy 2007 references are available online. There are also bibliographies devoted to specific phonological topics (e.g., Dresher and Rice Annotated Bibliography on Contrast and Complexity) and languages (Newman‘s Arabic Phonetics and Phonology Bibliography). There is no central online resource for finding publications in phonology. Apart from major reference aggregators, searching for a particular phonological topic on Google Scholar will often provide useful resources. Academics often include lists of their publications on their web pages. Lewis 2009 has an extensive bibliography of linguistic publications, though it is not devoted solely to phonology.

                                                    Collections, Resources, Software, and Databases

                                                    There are several online collections of articles. The most extensive is Prince, et al. Rutgers Optimality Archive, an online archive for articles, theses, and resources related to optimality theory (OT). There are specific collections for individual theories; see the appropriate subsections in Theories for details. Baković 2011 is the longest-running web blog devoted to phonology. There are a variety of databases for phonological research. Some have very broad scope, such as the Typological Database System and Ian Maddieson and Kristin Precoda’s phonemic inventory database (UCLA Phonological Segment Inventory Database). Others have a narrower focus, either on a particular phonological mode (e.g., Yvan Rose and Greg Hedlund’s phonological language acquisition database Phon), a phenomenon (e.g., Hume 2000), or a theoretical issue. There is a small but growing number of software programs devoted to phonological analysis, such as Hayes, et al. 2003, as well as software that includes phonological analysis and learning functions, such as Paul Boersma and David Weenink’s Praat: Doing Phonetics by Computer.

                                                    Journals

                                                    The journal Phonology is entirely devoted to phonological theory. Laboratory Phonology is devoted to experimental work that elucidates or is informed by phonological theory. Although there are no other journals devoted solely to phonology, many linguistics journals regularly include articles on phonological theory and description.

                                                    Derivation and Relatedness Between Forms

                                                    The idea that there are formal relations that hold between distinct phonological representations is found in all phonological theories. In pregenerative theories a phonemic representation contained abstract phonological symbols and was related to an allophonic representation that provided detailed phonetic symbols (see Joos 1966). This distinction carried over into generative phonology: in The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under Foundational Works) the “underlying form” is transformed by rules through a series of intermediate forms into the “surface form.” In contrast, optimality theory (OT), and in particular correspondence theory within OT (McCarthy and Prince 1999), departs from the SPE conception in significant ways: the underlying (or “input”) form is associated via a relation called correspondence to multiple surface forms (called candidates). The correspondence relation holds not only between input forms and output candidates but also between morphemes within the same output form (specifically between reduplicative morphemes and bases), thereby blurring the distinction between derivational relatedness and other types of morphological relatedness. Correspondence relations have also been argued to hold between members of a morphological paradigm (Benua 2000) and between distinct output forms (as in opacity). A great deal of work has focused on determining how many related representations (or “levels”) there are and how they can be related. Some of the most complex interactions involve opacity, in which the surface form’s relationship to the underlying form is significantly obscured (Kiparsky 1976, McCarthy 1999). The theory of lexical phonology and morphology (LPM) posits several self-contained levels of representations (see Lexical Phonology and Morphology and Stratal Optimality Theory). Although generative phonology’s distinction between underlying and surface forms has been highly influential, some theories and proposals seek to eliminate underlying forms, with relations holding solely between output forms (e.g., Burzio 1998).

                                                    • Benua, Laura. 2000. Phonological relations between words. Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics. New York: Garland.

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                                                      Argues that the same formal relations that hold between inputs and outputs also hold between derivationally related output forms of morphological paradigms.

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                                                      • Burzio, Luigi. 1998. Multiple correspondence. Lingua 103:79–109.

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                                                        Contends that there is no need for underlying forms; phonological processes are expressed via relations between surface forms.

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                                                        • Joos, Martin. 1966. Readings in linguistics I: The development of descriptive linguistics in America, 1925–56. 4th ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                          A collection of work in structuralist linguistics containing several significant contributions in phonology. Those contributions emphasize the relation between an abstract phonemic representation and a more phonetically detailed allophonic level.

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                                                          • Kiparsky, Paul. 1976. Abstractness, opacity, and global rules. In The application and ordering of grammatical rules. Edited by Andreas Koutsoudas, 160–184. Janua Linguarum: Series Maior. The Hague: Mouton.

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                                                            Identifies types of opacity, in which the relationship of the surface form to the underlying form is not straightforwardly recoverable. Cases of opacity have proved to be some of the most challenging to explain in a restrictive manner in a variety of phonological theories.

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                                                            • McCarthy, John J. 1999. Sympathy and phonological opacity. Phonology 16:331–399.

                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0952675799003784Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                              Proposes a theory to account for opacity that uses the same relations that hold between underlying and surface forms.

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                                                              • McCarthy, John J., and Alan S. Prince. 1999. Faithfulness and identity in prosodic morphology. In The prosody-morphology interface. Edited by René Kager, Harry van der Hulst, and Wim Zonneveld, 218–309. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511627729Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                Proposes a highly influential theory (correspondence theory) of the relationship between inputs and outputs and extends it to other dimensions. An earlier, lengthier version is available at the Rutgers Optimality Archive (Prince, et al., cited under Collections, Resources, Software, and Databases), ROA #60.

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                                                                Contrastiveness

                                                                The concept of contrast is found in the earliest phonological theories. Trubetzkoy 1969 (originally published in 1939) argues that phonological systems could be understood as systems of minimally contrasting elements. The idea that only contrasting phonological specifications are present—or have a significant status—figured in many subsequent phonological theories. It can be seen in some theories of underspecification in which representations are pared down to only those elements that are contrastive (see Dresher, et al. 1994). The concept is also central to some early-21st-century phonological theories (e.g., Dresher 2009). However, the theories of The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE) and classical optimality theory (OT, see Optimality Theory and OT Theories) adopt full specification: all feature values are present in output candidates. In fact, in classical OT the principles of richness of the base and lexicon optimization mean that noncontrastive output forms will be stored in lexical entries (so [khæt] “cat” will have the underlying form /khæt/, not /kæt/). However, there are versions of OT that have contrast as a central concept, as discussed in Łubowicz 2011. Dresher 2009 includes a detailed history of contrast in phonological theories. Steriade 2007 provides an introduction to contrast and its manifestation in modern theories. Dresher and Rice Annotated Bibliography on Contrast and Complexity is an extensive annotated bibliography on contrast.

                                                                • Dresher, B. Elan. 2009. The contrastive hierarchy in phonology. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511642005Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                  The first part of this book provides a history of contrast in phonology. The second part presents a theory in which contrastiveness is a central concept.

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                                                                  • Dresher, B. Elan, Glyne Piggott, and Keren Rice. 1994. Contrast in phonology: Overview. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics 13:iii–xvii.

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                                                                    A summary of theories of contrast and a reference list up until 1994.

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                                                                    • Dresher, Elan, and Keren Rice, eds. Annotated Bibliography on Contrast and Complexity.

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                                                                      An extensive annotated bibliography about contrast and the related notion of minimizing representation.

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                                                                      • Łubowicz, Anna. 2011. The phonology of contrast. Advances in Optimality Theory. Oakville, CT: Equinox.

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                                                                        Argues for the centrality of a notion of contrast, set within OT. Note that the author’s last name may be spelled “Lubowicz” or “Łubowicz” on various websites.

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                                                                        • Steriade, Donca. 2007. Contrast. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Edited by Paul de Lacy, 139–157. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371.008Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                          A critical overview of theories of contrast with particular attention paid to OT. The accompanying web page includes a recommended reading list and references.

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                                                                          • Trubetzkoy, N. S. 1969. Principles of phonology. Translated by Christine A. M. Baltaxe. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                            Originally published in 1939. One of the earliest phonological works to identify contrastiveness and give it a central explanatory role. Trubetzkoy’s ideas about contrast and the related notion of the phoneme have influenced almost all phonological theories and continue to be influential.

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                                                                            Representation

                                                                            A great deal of research in phonology has focused on representation: phonological symbols and the nonderivational relations that hold between them. Linear representational theories treat phonological representations as a single string of symbols (discrete units); such representations were used in the Prague school and The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE). Nonlinear representations have many parallel strings coordinated by relations. The earliest nonlinear theory was Firthian prosodic analysis (Firth 1948). The autosegmental phonology theory of representation forms the basis of the most widely used nonlinear theories in generative theories (Goldsmith 1976). Nonlinear representations were originally established for tone (Goldsmith 1976) but soon spread to subsegmental features (Clements and Hume 1995) and prosodic structure (Selkirk 1984). A somewhat different type of representational theory is the grid (Prince 1983), which consists of vertical strings of grid marks connected to prosodic elements. Grid theory is used primarily in theories of metrical structure and differed from its precursors in having no constituents (though constituents were added in later versions of grid theory). The relationship between theories of representation and theories of rules/constraints is complex. In some cases, elaboration of representational structure has allowed rule/constraint formalism to be simplified. An example is the introduction of syllable constituents (Kahn 1976), which simplified rules that formerly had to specify disjunctive environments (e.g., “word final or preconsonantal” was replaced by “syllable final”). A major issue in representational theories is how much information is included in phonological representations. Some theories have phonological representations that are close to phonetic ones in terms of the fine detail of their specifications (see Phonetics). At the other extreme, some theories have very sparsely specified phonological representations with redundant features systematically eliminated (Steriade 1995; also see Contrastiveness). Harris 2007 provides an introduction to central issues in theories of phonological representation.

                                                                            • Clements, George N., and Elizabeth Hume. 1995. The internal organization of speech sounds. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John Goldsmith, 245–306. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                              A review of the linear and nonlinear approaches to subsegmental features.

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                                                                              • Firth, J. R. 1948. Sounds and prosodies. Transactions of the Philological Society 47.1: 127–152.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-968X.1948.tb00556.xSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                Helped establish Firthian prosodic analysis—an approach that emphasizes the independence of aspects of phonological representation.

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                                                                                • Goldsmith, John. 1976. An overview of autosegmental phonology. Linguistic Analysis 2.1: 23–68.

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                                                                                  An overview of the autosegmental theory, which argues that phonological representations consist of several strings connected by “autosegmental” relations.

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                                                                                  • Harris, John. 2007. Representation. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Edited by Paul de Lacy, 119–138. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371.007Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                    An overview of the development of representational theories in phonological theory with particular attention paid to the linear-nonlinear distinction.

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                                                                                    • Kahn, Daniel. 1976. Syllable-based generalizations in English phonology. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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                                                                                      One of the earliest works to argue for the formal representation of a prosodic element in a generative theory.

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                                                                                      • Prince, Alan. 1983. Relating to the grid. Linguistic Inquiry 14.1: 19–100.

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                                                                                        Introduced the grid, consisting of vertical strings of gridmarks “x” over particular prosodic entities. Grid theory provides a very straightforward way of establishing rhythmic structure without representing constituency.

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                                                                                        • Selkirk, Elisabeth O. 1984. Phonology and syntax: The relation between sound and structure. Current Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                          The antithesis of a linear theory, Selkirk’s proposal has many layers of prosodic elements and forms the basis of most early-21st-century conceptions of phonological prosodic organization. This book summarizes Selkirk’s previous proposals and work on the prosodic hierarchy.

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                                                                                          • Steriade, Donca. 1995. Underspecification and markedness. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John Goldsmith, 114–174. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                            A critical overview of theories of underspecification, where phonological representations omit predictable or noncontrastive features.

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                                                                                            Markedness and Universals

                                                                                            The terms “markedness” and “universal” have many meanings. For current purposes it is useful to classify the two as either “surface” or “theoretical.” Surface universals and markedness are generalizations about sound patterns and their frequency. For example, the observation that almost every language has a [t] is a universal tendency; it has been taken as evidence that [t] has a special status—that it is “less marked” than the less typologically frequent [p], for instance. Many examples are in Greenberg 1978. Theoretical universals and markedness are about asymmetries in the structure of a particular theory. Certainly, such theoretical asymmetries may result in asymmetries in sound patterns, but this is not necessarily the case. For example, many authors have argued that certain generative theories permit the input->output context-free mapping /p/->[t] but not /t/->[p] (e.g., de Lacy 2006). However, translating this theoretical claim into an observation about sound patterns is very difficult; it does not guarantee that every language with a [p] also has a [t]; underlying /t/ could be eliminated by other processes. In practice, the two meanings of “universals” and “markedness” are often used interchangeably. It is also difficult—in fact impossible—to make any statement about sound patterns without expressing the generalization in terms of some theory. There are many disagreements about which surface universals exist and how to explain them. Some see universals/markedness as a side effect of language change, whereas others assert that at least some are due to synchronic restrictions on cognitive mechanisms (see Diachronic Phonology). Several general approaches to explaining universals and markedness in generative theories have been taken. Some theories contend that markedness effects are due to asymmetries in feature values and how rules/constraints refer to them (e.g., Chomsky and Halle 1968, de Lacy 2006). Others argue that markedness relates to the absence of certain features (or feature values) and representational structures (see Representation) and still others to restrictions on constraint ranking (see Optimality Theory and OT Theories). Rice 2007 identifies many of the uses of the term “markedness” and provides critical commentary on its relation to theories in generative phonology.

                                                                                            • Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The sound pattern of English. Studies in Language. New York: Harper and Row.

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                                                                                              Commonly referred to as SPE, this book is the founding text in generative phonology. Chapter 9 presents a conception of markedness that derives from specialized segmental feature values and restrictions on how rules may refer to them.

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                                                                                              • de Lacy, Paul. 2006. Markedness: Reduction and preservation in phonology. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                One of the more recent theories of theoretical markedness, set within optimality theory (OT). The book argues that although there are clear theoretical universals, their interactions mean that surface universals are difficult to detect.

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                                                                                                • Greenberg, Joseph H., ed. 1978. Universals of human language. Vol. 2, Phonology. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                  A collection of articles on surface universals (e.g., palatalization, syllabic consonants, nasal vowels, and so on). Greenberg’s work is highly influential in its methods and findings.

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                                                                                                  • Rice, Keren. 2007. Markedness in phonology. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Edited by Paul de Lacy, 79–97. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371.005Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                    An overview of the concept of markedness in phonological theory. Identifies many uses of the term “markedness” and discusses work on the concept in phonological theories.

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                                                                                                    Innateness and Substance

                                                                                                    A major research topic is whether phonological representations and processes are hardwired (innate) or learned. For example, assuming that there is a restriction on [k] at the end of words (*k#), *k# could either be innate or have been learned using a mechanism that is sensitive to the relative difficulty of perceiving (or producing) word-final [k]. Ohala 2010 argues that many phonological phenomena have phonetic motivations. Diana Archangeli and Douglas Pulleyblank’s theory of grounded phonology (Archangeli and Pulleyblank 1994) is significant in asserting that phonetic factors influence phonological restrictions within a generative theory, focusing on vowel harmony. A great deal of work since then has argued the same point within the framework of optimality theory (OT); overviews are provided in Hayes and Steriade 2004 and Gordon 2007. In the early 21st century there is a spectrum of views about which aspects of the phonological module are innate and which are learned. Phonetic grounding is not the only alternative to innateness; it is also possible that rules/constraints are constructed by detecting patterns in the synchronic language, leading to nonphonetically grounded rules/constraints. Taken to an extreme, the learner would deduce the synchronic form of the phonological module by detecting patterns in the input, a view that may be espoused in some versions of evolutionary phonology (see Diachronic Phonology).

                                                                                                    • Archangeli, Diana, and Douglas Pulleyblank. 1994. Grounded phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                      Asserts that phonetic factors influence the form of phonological rules and restrictions, set within generative theory.

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                                                                                                      • Gordon, Matthew. 2007. Functionalism in phonology. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology. Edited by Paul de Lacy, 61–77. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486371.004Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                        An overview of theories of how phonetic factors influence phonological rules/constraints and representations.

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                                                                                                        • Hayes, Bruce, and Donca Steriade. 2004. Introduction: The phonetic bases of phonological markedness. In Phonetically based phonology. Edited by Bruce Hayes, Robert Kirchner, and Donca Steriade, 1–33. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486401.001Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                          Provides an overview of arguments for the idea that the form of phonological constraints (set in OT) is determined or influenced by a speaker’s “partial understanding of the physical conditions under which speech is produced and perceived” (p. 1).

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                                                                                                          • Ohala, John J. 2010. The relation between phonetics and phonology. In The handbook of phonetic sciences. 2d ed. Edited by William J. Hardcastle, John Laver, and Fiona E. Gibbon, 663–677. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                                                                                            An overview of a variety of conceptions about how phonetics influences phonological representation and computation.

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                                                                                                            Interfaces

                                                                                                            A great deal of research has focused on the “interfaces” of phonology—the points of connection between the phonological module and other cognitive modules. There is no doubt that phonological processes can be influenced by (or refer to) information from other modules or representations. For example, phonological processes often refer to morphological (see Morphology) and syntactic (see Syntax) information in their environments. However, there is disagreement about whether phonological processes may refer directly to semantic information (see Semantics). Similarly, it is controversial whether the structure of the lexicon (as in lexical frequency information) can influence phonological processes (see Lexicon). Exactly how phonological processes might refer to phonetic information is a lively area of research (see Phonetics, Innateness and Substance). The handbooks cited under Edited Collections provide useful introductions to the many issues surrounding phonological interfaces.

                                                                                                            Morphology

                                                                                                            The interaction between morphology and phonology is probably the most extensively studied of the phonological interfaces. A fundamental issue is when and how phonological information is introduced into the derivation; see Lexical Phonology and Morphology and Stratal Optimality Theory for discussion. A related issue is whether phonological conditions can change morph order (morphs are lexical items’ phonological representations). Prosodic morphology claims that they can; for example, a ban on syllable codas could force a prefix to have its morph realized after a root (McCarthy and Prince 1986). Similarly, phonological restrictions can cause morphs to be broken up and mixed together in so-called templatic morphological systems. Morph order is usually determined by referring to morphological structure, but exactly where morphological structure is established (whether in the lexicon, a morphological module, or the syntactic module) is controversial. Phonological processes can refer to certain morphological information, including “root” and “affix” (Beckman 1998), morphological heads (Revithiadou 1999), abstract affix classes (Siegel 1979), and abstract word classes (Itô and Mester 1999). A great deal of work has established that phonological processes are sensitive to the distinction between lexical and functional word categories (Selkirk 1995). There are also remarkable processes in which morpheme realization and concatenation seem to be intimately connected with phonological restrictions. Cases include reduplication, in which the phonological content of a morpheme is copied from a nearby morpheme (McCarthy and Prince 1996), and subtractive morphology, in which a morpheme is apparently realized by removing phonological material. There is also disagreement on what a morph is. The majority view is that every lexical item has a phonological string associated with it and that this string undergoes transformations. However, some have argued that morphemes are realized via phonological processes (Anderson 1992).

                                                                                                            • Anderson, Stephen R. 1992. A-morphous morphology. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                              Argues that morphemes are expressed as rules rather than as objects (i.e., strings).

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                                                                                                              • Beckman, Jill N. 1998. Positional faithfulness. PhD diss., Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst.

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                                                                                                                Provides evidence that phonological processes can refer to the morphological notion “root.”

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                                                                                                                • Itô, Junko, and Armin Mester. 1999. The phonological lexicon. In The handbook of Japanese linguistics. Edited by Matsuko Tsujimura, 62–100. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                  Argues that phonological rules are sensitive to abstract classes of lexical items.

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                                                                                                                  • McCarthy, John, and Alan Prince. 1996. Prosodic morphology 1986. Technical Report #32. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science.

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                                                                                                                    A highly influential work that helped establish the importance of prosodic restrictions on the realization of morphemes. Provides powerful accounts of reduplication and minimal word effects as involving the need to satisfy restrictions on prosodic constituents.

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                                                                                                                    • Revithiadou, A. 1999. Headmost accent wins: Head dominance and ideal prosodic form in lexical accent systems. PhD diss., Leiden Univ.

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                                                                                                                      Argues that phonological processes can refer to the head morphemes of morphological structures.

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                                                                                                                      • Selkirk, Elisabeth. 1995. The prosodic structure of function words. In University of Massachusetts occasional papers (UMOP) 18: Papers in optimality theory. Edited by Jill Beckman, Laura Walsh Dickey, and Suzanne Urbanczyk, 439–469. Amherst: Graduate Linguistics Student Association, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst.

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                                                                                                                        Provides a theory of phonological sensitivity to the lexical versus functional status of words.

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                                                                                                                        • Siegel, Dorothy. 1979. Topics in English morphology. New York: Garland.

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                                                                                                                          A seminal work that argues that phonological rules are sensitive to abstract classes of affix.

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                                                                                                                          Syntax

                                                                                                                          There are phonological phenomena that are sensitive to syntactic structure. Kaisse 1985 argues that such sensitivity is achieved by having rules that refer directly to syntactic elements. In contrast, Selkirk 1978 and Nespor and Vogel 1986 contend that such reference is indirect: phonological rules instead refer to phonological phrases; it is these phrases that are influenced by syntactic structure. There have been a variety of theories about how such phonological phrases refer to syntax; Truckenbrodt 1995 presents a theory set with optimality theory (OT). Another major point of disagreement is whether phonological restrictions can force syntactic movement (Zubizarreta 1998, Samek-Lodovici 2005). The handbooks cited under Edited Collections contain concise introductions to the syntax-phonology interface. Inkelas and Zec 1990 contains many articles that have proven influential in later theoretical developments.

                                                                                                                          • Inkelas, Sharon, and Draga Zec. 1990. The phonology-syntax connection. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                            An influential collection of articles on the phonology-syntax interface, including discussion of direct and indirect reference of phonological rules to syntactic structures as well as discussion of syntax-phonology interaction in a variety of languages.

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                                                                                                                            • Kaisse, Ellen M. 1985. Connected speech: The interaction of syntax and phonology. Orlando, FL: Academic.

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                                                                                                                              A significant proponent of the “direct access” view of the syntax-phonology interface, in which phonological rules can refer directly to syntactic structure.

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                                                                                                                              • Nespor, Marina, and Irene Vogel. 1986. Prosodic phonology. Studies in Generative Grammar. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, and Riverton, NJ: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                Argues for indirect reference—that phonological processes are sensitive to prosodic structure, which is related to certain aspects of syntactic structure.

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                                                                                                                                • Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 2005. Prosody-syntax interaction in the expression of focus. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 23.3: 687–755.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1007/s11049-004-2874-7Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Presents a typology and theory of phonology-syntax interactions, based in OT.

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                                                                                                                                  • Selkirk, Elisabeth O. 1978. On prosodic structure and its relation to syntactic structure. In Nordic prosody II: Papers from a symposium. Edited by Thorstein Fretheim, 111–140. Trondheim, Norway: Tapir.

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                                                                                                                                    One of the earliest works in generative phonology about the syntax-phonology connection. Introduced a number of major concepts, including the concept of indirect phonology-syntax reference.

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                                                                                                                                    • Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 1995. Phonological phrases: Their relation to syntax, focus, and prominence. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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                                                                                                                                      A theory of how syntactic phrases relate to phonological phrases.

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                                                                                                                                      • Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa. 1998. Prosody, focus, and word order. Linguistic Inquiry Monographs. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                        Shows that the position of focused constituents is influenced by prosodic requirements, though argues for a theory in which syntactic movement occurs before prosodic structure is constructed.

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                                                                                                                                        Phonetics

                                                                                                                                        In generative theories of phonology, the phonological module’s outputs are sent to the phonetic module. The laboratory phonology research movement has steadily increased knowledge and interest in this interface, most significantly expressed through the Papers in Laboratory Phonology series (cited under Edited Collections), now a journal (Laboratory Phonology, cited under Journals). There are several introductions to the issues surrounding the interface (e.g., Keating 1996, Cohn 2007; see also relevant chapters in the handbooks cited under Edited Collections). In many theories phonological representations consist of discrete symbols and do not provide enough information to specify all aspects of a continuous phonetic signal; therefore the phonetic module must add information. For example, in the theory of the phonology and phonetics of tone and intonation in Pierrehumbert and Beckman 1988, the phonological output specifies sparse targets for tone realization; the values between them are filled in—“interpolated”—by phonetic algorithms. Phonetic interpolation has been extended to other features too (e.g., Cohn 1990). Some theories conceive of phonological representations as being much more like phonetic ones (e.g., Browman and Goldstein 1992). A great deal of attention has also been paid to how sensitivity to phonetic information might influence the form of phonological rules/constraints and representations (see Innateness and Substance).

                                                                                                                                        • Browman, Catherine P., and Louis Goldstein. 1992. Articulatory phonology: An overview. Phonetica 49.3–4: 155–180.

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                                                                                                                                          Articulatory phonology argues for great similarity between phonological and phonetic representations, differing from the more categorical phonological representations of many other theories.

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                                                                                                                                          • Cohn, Abigail C. 1990. Phonetic and phonological rules of nasalization. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

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                                                                                                                                            Phonological and phonetic theories of nasalization applying interpolation to a feature other than tone.

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                                                                                                                                            • Cohn, Abigail C. 2007. Phonetics in phonology and phonology in phonetics. In Working papers of the Cornell phonetics laboratory. Vol. 16. Edited by Pittayawat Pittayporn and Hye-Sook Lee, 1–31. Ithaca, NY: CLC.

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                                                                                                                                              An introduction to some key issues about the phonology-phonetic interface, focusing on developments since the mid-1990s.

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                                                                                                                                              • Keating, Patricia A. 1996. The phonology-phonetics interface. In Interfaces in phonology. Edited by Ursula Kleinhenz, 262–278. Studia Grammatica. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                An important introduction to key issues about the phonology-phonetics interface, summarizing work up to the mid-1990s.

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                                                                                                                                                • Kingston, John, and Randy L. Diehl. 1994. Phonetic knowledge. Language 70.3: 419–454.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/416481Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Argues that phonetic implementation of phonological outputs is a complex process: implementation is not entirely automatic, that is, determined by the phonological representation, with fixed implementation processes. Instead, there can be multiple ways of realizing the same phonological structure, and they can vary depending on context.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Pierrehumbert, Janet, and Mary Beckman. 1988. Japanese tone structure. Linguistic Inquiry Monographs. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                    Presents a theory of intonation and tone that builds on the authors’ previous work. It contends that intonation phonological specifications are sparsely indicated and that the phonetic component adds a great deal of detail.

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                                                                                                                                                    Semantics

                                                                                                                                                    There is limited evidence that phonological processes can refer directly to semantic information (for focus, see Syntax). The idea that phonological units can demarcate semantic or syntactic constituents or boundaries is clearly articulated as far back as Trubetzkoy 1969 (originally published in 1939). More recent work has argued that such demarcation is a side effect of how phonological restrictions refer to morphological and syntactic boundaries (see Syntax) rather than realization of the semantic domain or boundary information by means of specific phonological information. However, Bybee 1985 argues that degree of semantic fusion is realized by or strongly influences the degree of phonological fusion of morphemes. There have also been proposals that nonmorphemic phonological strings can have a related meaning, called sound symbolism or phonosemantics; an example is the sequence [sl], which is claimed to evoke slipperiness (at least in certain English dialects). This concept is opposed to Ferdinand de Saussure’s view (Saussure 2011, cited under Foundational Works) that the sound-meaning relationship is arbitrary. There are other types of sound symbolism too, detailed in Nuckolls 1999 and Hinton, et al. 1994.

                                                                                                                                                    • Bybee, Joan L. 1985. Morphology: A study of the relation between meaning and form. Typological Studies in Language. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                      Argues for a more direct phonological-semantic relationship in which phonological mechanisms can refer to certain semantic properties.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Hinton, Leanne, Johanna Nichols, and John J. Ohala, eds. 1994. Sound symbolism. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                        The most extensive single collection of articles about sound symbolism.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Nuckolls, Janis B. 1999. The case for sound symbolism. Annual Review of Anthropology 28:225–252.

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                                                                                                                                                          An article that outlines evidence for sound symbolism and provides relevant references.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Trubetzkoy, N. S. 1969. Principles of phonology. Translated by Christine A. M. Baltaxe. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                                            Originally published in 1939. Part 2 of Trubetzkoy’s book argues that syntactic or semantic boundaries and domains are demarcated by certain types of phonological symbols and processes. Work in phonology has seen such demarcations as the result of the ability of phonological restrictions to refer to certain syntactic boundaries rather than as the realization of syntactic/semantic boundaries/domains.

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                                                                                                                                                            Lexicon

                                                                                                                                                            Arguments have been made that large-scale properties of the lexicon can directly affect phonological processes. For example, Bybee 2001 contends that usage influences the application of certain phonological processes. For instance, words or phrases that are used often might undergo phonological processes that reduce their size in some sense (e.g., deletion, vowel reduction), whereas less frequently used words might not undergo such processes. A number of linguists have argued that the lexicon has a significant effect on phonological processes: “The phonotactic patterns that can be observed in the lexicon directly determine the mental representation of the phonotactic constraints” (Frisch, et al. 2004, p. 180).

                                                                                                                                                            Diachronic Phonology

                                                                                                                                                            Diachronic phonology (also called historical phonology) is the study of how and why sound systems change over time. In the 19th century diachronic phonology was almost the sole focus of research into phonological systems. Discoveries such as Grimm’s law established that there was regularity in phonological change that could be studied rigorously. Some late-20th- and early-21st-century theories have placed a heavy emphasis on sound change as a means of explaining synchronic phonological patterns; they argue that certain (or perhaps all) synchronic patterns are the side effect of regularities in and restrictions on diachronic change and are not due to synchronic generative processes (e.g., Ohala 1983, Blevins 2004). There is much controversy around this issue (e.g., Kiparsky 2008). One of the most significant debates was over whether diachronic phonological change (and perhaps all diachronic change) is sudden or gradual. Labov 1994 presents evidence that both types occur and advances a theory, as does Kiparsky 1995. However, some have argued that all change is gradual (Bybee 2001). There are a variety of textbooks about diachronic phonology; they invariably contain significant portions devoted to phonological and phonetic change, such as Hock 1991 and Crowley and Bowern 2010. Short introductions to diachronic linguistics can be found in the handbooks cited under Edited Collections. Many language descriptions used to include (or even be entirely about) diachronic change in the language; it has now become common for discussion of diachronic change to be minimized or omitted.

                                                                                                                                                            • Blevins, Juliette. 2004. Evolutionary phonology: The emergence of sound patterns. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                              One of the lengthiest arguments that patterns seen in synchronic sound systems are due to the processes involved in diachronic change.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Bybee, Joan. 2001. Phonology and language use. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511612886Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Argues that all sound change is gradual and diffusing as opposed to sudden.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Crowley, Terry, and Claire Bowern. 2010. An introduction to historical linguistics. 4th ed. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                  One of many introductions to historical linguistics. It is updated very regularly and focuses on non-Indo-European languages. The majority of the book is about phonological and phonetic change.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Hock, Hans Henrich. 1991. Principles of historical linguistics. 2d ed. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                    A classic and comprehensive introduction to historical linguistics with a significant portion devoted to sound change.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Kiparsky, Paul. 1995. The phonological basis of sound change. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John Goldsmith, 640–670. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Asserts that both gradual and abrupt diachronic change occur because of the form of generative theory, particularly lexical phonology and morphology (LPM) (see Lexical Phonology and Morphology and Stratal Optimality Theory).

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Kiparsky, Paul. 2008. Universals constrain change; change results in typological generalizations. In Linguistic universals and language change. Edited by Jeff Good, 23–53. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Argues that innate restrictions on the phonological components limit how languages change.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Labov, William. 1994. Principles of linguistic change: Internal factors. Oxford: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                          An influential work that advanced both research methodology in and understanding of sociolinguistics and diachronic linguistics. Identifies mechanisms and limits on linguistic change as well as how change is influenced by and influences broader linguistic systems.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Ohala, John J. 1983. The origin of sound patterns in vocal tract constraints. In The production of speech. Edited by Peter F. MacNeilage, 189–216. New York: Springer-Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                                            An early and influential argument that factors involved in production and perception of speech influence typological sound patterns.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Ohala, John J. 1989. Sound change is drawn from a pool of synchronic variation. In Language change: Contributions to the study of its causes. Edited by Leiv Egil Breivik and Ernst Håkon Jahr, 173–198. Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A significant article in proposing two mechanisms—hypocorrection and hypercorrection—to explain why sound change occurs.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Theories

                                                                                                                                                                              A comprehensive theory of phonology consists of many different parts, both derivational and representational. Some parts are often relatively independent from each other and even interchangeable between theories, with minor modifications. For example, classical optimality theory (OT) (Prince and Smolensky 2002, cited under Optimality Theory and OT Theories) has almost no commitment to any particular theory of constraint substance or theories of representation. Consequently, designating a particular cluster of parts as a distinct theory from another cluster of parts is to some extent subjective. Even so, there are commonly accepted clusters of concepts and subtheories that are designated “theories of phonology.” A selection of some of the major phonological frameworks is in this section. Introductions and overviews to various theories and parts of theories are provided in the handbooks cited under Edited Collections and the textbooks cited under Textbooks. The earliest theory discussed here is that of the Prague school, which established that phonological systems could be analyzed as logical systems and introduced many influential concepts. The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968) proposed the first generative phonological theory and has profoundly influenced every theory since. In some sense, later theories can be seen as a reaction to SPE’s permissive rules and rule-ordering system. Lexical phonology and morphology (LPM) imposes restrictions on how and where rules can apply; its concepts of levels and cyclicity remain highly influential and current (see Lexical Phonology and Morphology and Stratal Optimality Theory). Government phonology emphasizes the role of representations and severely limits derivational processes. OT rejects SPE’s rule ordering for a system of constraints that are ranked and violable, though there are many OT theories (see Optimality Theory and OT Theories).

                                                                                                                                                                              The Prague School

                                                                                                                                                                              The Prague school (or Prague linguistic circle) refers to a group of linguists who emphasized a synchronic, structured approach to linguistic description and analysis. Many of the concepts of the Prague school influenced later theories, particularly ideas of abstractness, the distinction between phonetics and phonology, and contrastiveness and the phoneme. The Prague school’s aims and ideas have been developed in linguistic anthropology and semiotics. Of the Prague school’s work, Jakobson 1968 and Trubetzkoy 1969 stand out; they introduced concepts that have proven influential in many later theories, including segmental contrastiveness and markedness, and emphasized the importance of a variety of sources of evidence, including child language and aphasia (damage to specific areas of the brain). Although there were many connections between their theories, the Prague school’s members did not agree on every point. For example, Nikolai Trubetzkoy’s theory is relatively more abstract than Roman Jakobson’s.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Jakobson, Roman. 1968. Child language, aphasia, and phonological universals. Translated by Allan R. Keiler. Janua Linguarum: Series Minor. The Hague and Paris: Mouton.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Originally published in German in 1941. An influential work that established the significance of concepts such as markedness. It also emphasizes the study of language acquisition and aphasia as sources of evidence for phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Trubetzkoy, Nikolai. 1969. Principles of phonology. Translated by Christine A. M. Baltaxe. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Originally published in 1939. One of the earliest and most comprehensive theories of sound patterns, this work established the concepts of contrast and the phoneme and applied them to a variety of languages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  SPE

                                                                                                                                                                                  The theory of generative phonology proposed by Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle in The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968) has almost certainly been the most influential phonological framework. The theory has phonological inputs that are transformed by context-sensitive rewrite rules into a series of successive forms. SPE presents a theory of rule form and rule ordering along with theories of representation and markedness. Dresher 2005 places SPE’s contribution in the context of other phonological theories. SPE has had a profound influence on subsequent generative theories, including the theory of lexical phonology and morphology (LPM) and optimality theory (OT).

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The sound pattern of English. Studies in language. New York: Harper and Row.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    The earliest, most comprehensive statement of generative phonology. Essential in understanding the fundamental concepts behind generative theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dresher, Elan. 2005. Chomsky and Halle’s revolution in phonology. In The Cambridge companion to Chomsky. Edited by James McGilvray, 102–122. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      An overview of the influence of The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968) on later theories and the influence of previous theories on it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Lexical Phonology and Morphology and Stratal Optimality Theory

                                                                                                                                                                                      A major issue for generative theories was—and still is—whether there is a single derivational module or several connected submodules. The theory of lexical phonology and morphology (LPM) made the influential proposal that there are several derivational submodules associated with morphosyntactic domains of different sizes: notably, lexical rules apply within words, whereas postlexical rules can apply across word boundaries (Kiparsky 1982, Mohanan 1986). Within the lexicon, there can be several groups of rules (“levels”). In some levels, rules must apply to the output of every morphological operation; in others, rules apply once to the form. One of the overarching goals of LPM was to limit the power of the rule system of The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE) by restricting how and when certain rules could apply. LPM was formulated using rules and (for some theories) rule ordering; in lexical phonology and morphology within optimality theory (LPM-OT) and stratal optimality theory (OT), the core principles are expressed in the constraint-based parallelist OT framework (Kiparsky 1982, Bermúdez-Otero 2011).

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bermúdez-Otero, Ricardo. 2011. Cyclicity. In The Blackwell companion to phonology. Vol. 4. Edited by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, and Keren Rice, 2019–2048. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Presents a comparison of stratal OT with other OT approaches to morphosyntactic conditioning in phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Kiparsky, Paul. 1982. Lexical phonology and morphology. In Linguistics in the morning calm: Selected papers from SICOL-1981. Edited by the Linguistic Society of Korea, 3–91. Seoul, Korea: Hanshin.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          One of the earliest works on lexical phonology establishing major principles that strongly influenced later theories, including stratal OT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kiparsky, Paul. 2000. Opacity and cyclicity. Linguistic Review 17:351–367.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1515/tlir.2000.17.2-4.351Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Introduces the core goals of LPM-OT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mohanan, K. P. 1986. The theory of lexical phonology. Studies in natural language and linguistic theory. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, and Boston: Reidel.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              An accessible introduction to lexical phonology and a development and application of the theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Government Phonology, Dependency Phonology, and Particle Phonology

                                                                                                                                                                                              Government phonology (GP) is one of the oldest phonological theories that is still being actively developed by a significant number of researchers. Instead of rules, there are principles and restrictions that refer to representational nodes and—perhaps more significant—to a variety of relations that can hold between them. GP emphasizes representations and restricts the power of transformational rules. It aims to provide a very restricted set of parameters in terms of which languages may vary; in terms of the representation of segmental features, GP (as presented in Kaye, et al. 1985) uses basic unary elements (not binary or multivalued features), an idea originated in Anderson and Jones 1974 and also developed in dependency phonology (Ewen 1995) and particle phonology (Schane 1984). In Kaye, et al. 1990 GP has a syllable structure that stands out from most other theories’ representations: there are relations that hold directly between segments rather than being mediated by a tree structure; early-21st-century work in GP proposes the elimination of tree structure entirely (Scheer 2004). The focus of most work in GP has been on subsegmental and syllable structure; there has been less work on metrical structure in GP (though see Szigetvári and Scheer 2005).

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Anderson, John, and Charles Jones 1974. Three theses concerning phonological representations. Journal of Linguistics 10:1–26.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                The origin of the idea that subsegmental specifications are unary primes rather than bivalent or multivalent features. This idea was developed in particle phonology, dependency phonology, and GP.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dependency Phonology. Universität Bremen.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Contains a short introduction, some articles, and a short bibliography. The website is still under development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ewen, Colin J. 1995. Dependency relations in phonology. In The handbook of phonological theory. Edited by John Goldsmith, 570–585. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    The earliest, most comprehensive statement of dependency phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kaye, Jonathan, Jean Lowenstamm, and Jean-Roger Vergnaud. 1985. The internal structure of phonological elements: A theory of charm and government. Phonology Yearbook 2:305–328.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      An accessible overview of the core principles of government phonology. The theory is developed further in later work. Available online through purchase.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kaye, Jonathan, Jean Lowenstamm, and Jean-Roger Vergnaud. 1990. Constituent structure and government in phonology. Phonology 7.2: 193–231.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        This article makes significant proposals about representation and structural relations that became highly influential in later work in the theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Schane, Sanford A. 1984. The fundamentals of particle phonology. Phonology Yearbook 1:129–155.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Provides the foundations of particle phonology. Its theory of representation has a very minimal alphabet of formatives; permutations of relations express a variety of distinct segments. Particle phonology’s emphasis on minimal representational primitives has proven influential across many related theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Scheer, Tobias. 2004. A lateral theory of phonology: What is CVCV, and why should it be? Studies in Generative Grammar. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            An extensive exploration and expansion of GP incorporating advances in the theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Szigetvári, Péter, and Tobias Scheer. 2005. Unified representations for the syllable and stress. Phonology 22:37–75.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Extends GP concepts to deal with stress systems, arguing that many generalizations that are expressed through hierarchical structure in other theories can be captured by referring to the segmental tier and relations between segments.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Optimality Theory and OT Theories

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Optimality theory (OT) is a generative theory that differs in significant ways from the theory of derivation in The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE). In SPE an input form was transformed by rules into a series of intermediate forms; the output was the form to which no further rules could apply. In OT the input form is related to a multiplicity of output forms (“candidates”). The winning candidate is selected by a mechanism that refers to constraints and a ranking of those constraints. The founding document is Prince and Smolensky 2004 (originally published in 1993). The OT of Prince and Smolensky 2004 is not committed to any specific theory of representation or constraints; its core properties relate primarily to how candidates are generated and evaluated. A great deal of work in OT is available at Prince, et al.Rutgers Optimality Archive. OT has been and remains very influential. However, it is more accurate to characterize OT as a framework with many different theories of phonology set within it; in fact the core principles of OT can be applied not only to phonology but also to syntax (and to other modules). Although several OT theories share the concept of evaluation of multiple candidates, using constraints and a ranking, there are also many differences between them. For example, in the version of OT that became popular soon after Prince and Smolensky 2004 (classical OT), all possible candidates are evaluated at the same time. In contrast, in harmonic serialist OT only candidates that minimally differ from the input are evaluated. Then a new set of forms that diverge minimally from the winner are evaluated, and so on (McCarthy 2000). As another example, stochastic OT is a theory that adopts the concepts of multiple concurrent candidate evaluation and constraints. However, constraints are arrayed along a continuous scale, with a probability distribution for each constraint (Boersma and Hayes 2001). An extremely influential theoretical proposal is the McCarthy and Prince 1999 mechanism of relating inputs to outputs (and many other related forms): correspondence theory. Textbooks about OT are cited under Textbooks. McCarthy 2002 provides an advanced introduction, and McCarthy 2008 shows how to analyze a variety of phonological phenomena using OT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Boersma, Paul, and Bruce Hayes. 2001. Empirical tests of the gradual learning algorithm. Linguistic Inquiry 32.1: 45–86.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Provides an introduction to a stochastic version of OT. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • McCarthy, John J. 2000. Harmonic serialism and parallelism. In Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society. Edited by Masako Hirotani, Andries Coetzee, Nancy Hall, and Ji-Yung Kim, 501–524. Amherst, MA: Graduate Linguistics Students Association, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Explores ways a serial (step-by-step) evaluation of candidate output forms could be implemented within the general OT framework.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McCarthy, John J. 2002. A thematic guide to optimality theory. Research Surveys in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An advanced introduction to OT. It is a useful follow-up to Kager 1999 (cited under Textbooks).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McCarthy, John J. 2008. Doing optimality theory: Applying theory to data. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1002/9781444301182Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A guide on how to analyze phonological phenomena using a specific theory (i.e., OT).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • McCarthy, John J., and Alan Prince. 1999. Faithfulness and identity in prosodic morphology. In The prosody-morphology interface. Edited by René Kager, Harry van der Hulst, and Wim Zonneveld, 218–309. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the foundational articles of optimality theory. Presents a theory of relations between derivationally related forms; argues that similarity between related forms is due to restrictions on those relations. An earlier version is Rutgers Optimality Archive (ROA) #60.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Prince, Alan, Eric Baković, and Paul de Lacy, eds. Rutgers Optimality Archive.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A large, active online archive devoted to work in OT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Prince, Alan, and Paul Smolensky. 2004. Optimality theory: Constraint interaction in generative grammar. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The founding document of OT that establishes core principles of the theory. Originally published in 1993 by Rutgers University (Rutgers Technical Reports TR-2). It is also available at the Rutgers Optimality Archive, ROA #537.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Other Theories

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are many phonological theories. The ones cited in the other subsections are only a select few. Others include the theory of constraints and repair strategies (Paradis 1988), declarative phonology (Scobbie, et al. 1996), natural phonology (Stampe 1979), natural generative phonology (Hooper 1976), evolutionary phonology (Blevins 2004, cited under Diachronic Phonology), two-level morphology (Koskenniemi 1983), harmonic phonology (Goldsmith 1993), articulatory phonology (Browman and Goldstein 1992), and many others. There is so much conceptual overlap and common purpose among phonological theories that the interested reader is advised simply to choose one that has ample, accessible literature and study it in depth; this path will lead naturally to the rich array of ideas in phonological research. For a useful list of theoretical schools of phonology, see Gabriel Hong’s Schools of Phonology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Browman, Catherine P., and Louis Goldstein. 1992. Articulatory phonology: An overview. Phonetica 49.3–4: 155–180.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The theory of articulatory phonology sees phonological representation as closely allied to phonetic representations, with phonetic representation constraining phonological structures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Goldsmith, John. 1993. Harmonic phonology. In The last phonological rule: Reflections on constraints and derivations. Edited by John Goldsmith, 21–60. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harmonic phonology has three parallel levels of representation. Each level has a set of constraints, and the levels are linked by rules.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hong, Gabriel. Schools of Phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A list of schools of phonological theory in both alphabetical and creation order.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hooper, Joan B. 1976. An introduction to natural generative phonology. New York: Academic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Natural generative phonology (NGP) is very close in spirit and form to The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE). However, NGP aims to minimize abstractness, emphasizing surface-true generalizations and relationships between output representations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Koskenniemi, Kimmo. 1983. Two-level morphology: A general computational model for word-form recognition and production. Publication 11. Helsinki: Univ. of Helsinki, Department of General Linguistics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A computational model of finite-state phonology, close to The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE) in some respects but employing parallel computation and foreshadowing conceptions of underlying surface relations later employed in optimality theory (OT).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Paradis, Carole. 1988. On constraints and repair strategies. Linguistic Review 6:71–97.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Discusses core principles of the theory of constraints and repair strategies. The theory emphasizes constraints, which differ from rule-based frameworks, and introduces concepts of constraint conflict, influencing optimality theory (OT).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Scobbie, James, John Coleman, and Steven Bird. 1996. Key aspects of declarative phonology. In Current trends in phonology: Models and methods. Vol. 2. Edited by Jacques Durand and Bernard Laks, 685–709. Manchester, UK: Univ. of Salford.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A phonological theory that does not employ serial derivations but rather constraints. In fact, all phonological elements are constraints; representations are replaced by constraints (which can be divided into universal, language-specific, and morpheme-specific types).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Stampe, David. 1979. A dissertation on natural phonology. Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics. New York: Taylor and Francis.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Originally presented in 1972 as the author’s PhD dissertation. The founding document of natural phonology, a theory that proposes a collection of basic (“natural”) processes that get suppressed during acquisition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Phonological Phenomena

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Many phonology books and articles are about specific phonological phenomena, such as tone, assimilation, and stress. Such divisions should be treated with caution. For example, authors differ on what constitutes a tonal phenomenon; in fact within particular theories there is often no clear formal distinction between tonal and intonational phenomena. Even so, although the labeling of a cluster of phenomena as tonal is somewhat arbitrary, it has proven to be useful and something that many phonologists apparently find intuitively satisfying. The same comments can be made for any other phenomenon. Phonological phenomena are often arranged into two broad classes: subsegmental (or just segmental) and suprasegmental. The division relates to where the action takes place—to whether there is change in segments or their features or in prosodic structure. In reality, subsegmental change is often limited to specific suprasegmental domains, and suprasegmental processes are often sensitive to segmental sonority or features.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Subsegmental Phenomena

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Subsegmental phenomena deal with phonological changes and patterns of segments and segment properties. The types of processes can usually be grouped into assimilative patterns (in which two phonological segments become more alike), dissimilation (in which segments become less similar), and neutralization or change (in which a segment’s properties alter, usually in a particular environment). On the assimilative side, Hansson 2001 provides a typology of consonant harmony, a process that involves two or more consonants becoming more similar in their input-to-output transformation. Other assimilative processes include vowel harmony, surveyed in detail in Archangeli and Pulleyblank 1994, and nasal harmony; Walker 2000 provides an extensive typology of such systems. Suzuki 1998 provides a broad typological survey of dissimilations. Beckman 1998 provides a typological survey of environmentally conditioned neutralization. De Carvalho, et al. 2008 discusses lenition and fortition, phenomena that seem to combine neutralization and assimilation. All the works cited in this section include detailed typological surveys as well as theories of the phenomena they discuss. Overviews of the phenomena cited are in the handbooks cited under Edited Collections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Archangeli, Diana, and Douglas Pulleyblank. 1994. Grounded phonology. Current Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Presents a detailed theory and description of types of vowel harmony (particularly ATR [advanced tongue root] harmony).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Beckman, Jill N. 1998. Positional faithfulness. PhD diss., Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Provides an influential theory of subsegmental feature change with particular emphasis on the role of prosodic and morphological environment in conditioning change.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • de Carvalho, Joaquim Brandão, Tobias Scheer, and Philippe Ségéral, eds. 2008. Lenition and fortition. Studies in Generative Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An edited collection of articles about lenition and fortition in which consonants change their manner or place of articulation in specific morphological or phonological environments.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hansson, Gunnar Ólafur. 2001. Theoretical and typological issues in consonant harmony. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Berkeley.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Presents a typological description and theory of consonant harmony in which some or all consonants within a domain must agree in a particular feature.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kaun, Abigail. 1995. The typology of rounding harmony: An optimality theoretic approach. PhD diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Presents a typological description and theory of vowel harmony with particular attention to rounding.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Suzuki, Keiichiro. 1998. A typological investigation of dissimilation. PhD diss., Univ. of Arizona.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Presents a typological description and theory of dissimilation in which some or all segments within a domain must disagree in a particular feature.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Walker, Rachel. 2000. Nasalization, neutral segments, and opacity effects. New York: Garland.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presents a typological description and theory of nasal harmony in which some or all segments within a domain must agree in nasality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Suprasegmental Phenomena

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Suprasegmental phenomena involve manipulation of tone, intonation, and groups of segments. Nespor and Vogel 1986 provide a broad survey of prosodic phenomena— those mechanisms that involve grouping segments into constituents—and processes that refer to those constituents. A number of theories have focused on a particular prosodic level, such as the Clements and Keyser 1983 influential theory of syllable structure, which led to more elaborate theories, such as Hyman 1985. Hayes 1995 is an extensive and influential work about metrical phonology, where syllables are grouped into feet. Apart from prosodic constituents, there has been a vast amount of work on tone; Yip 2002 provides a comprehensive overview of descriptions and theories. There has also been a great deal of work on intonation; Gussenhoven 2004 provides a detailed introduction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Clements, George N., and Samuel Jay Keyser. 1983. CV phonology. A generative theory of the syllable. Linguistic Inquiry Monographs. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Presents a theory of the syllable with minimal structure.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gussenhoven, Carlos. 2004. The phonology of tone and intonation. Research Surveys in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511616983Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An extensive introduction to theories of tone and intonation with particular focus on intonation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hayes, Bruce. 1995. Metrical stress theory: Principles and case studies. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Provides extensive descriptions of many metrical stress systems and a theory of metrical stress.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hyman, Larry M. 1985. A theory of phonological weight. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, and Cinnaminson, NJ: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Advances a popular theory of the syllable with particular evidence drawn from stress systems.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Nespor, Marina, and Irene Vogel. 1986. Prosodic phonology. Studies in Generative Grammar. Dordrecht, The Netherlands, and Riverton, NJ: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Provides an extensive overview of prosodic constituents and subsegmental phenomena that refer to constituents.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Yip, Moira. 2002. Tone. Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A detailed introduction to tone in phonological theory, this book also discusses the typology of tonal phenomena and the perception and acquisition of tone.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Acquisition and Learnability

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Language acquisition and learnability deal with how language is learned. Jakobson 1968 established the importance of language acquisition data as a source of evidence for phonology. The majority of research has been in first-language acquisition. Smith 1973 is an early work that has significantly influenced both theory and method in acquisition. Boersma and Levelt 2004 provides an overview of late-20th- and early-21st-century theoretical developments, focusing on optimality theory (OT) (see Optimality Theory and OT Theories). Kager, et al. 2004 contains more advanced articles. Second-language acquisition (i.e., when a speaker learns a language other than his or her native one) has received much less attention; Archibald 1998 provides a survey of work in generative phonology. However, a conference—New Sounds—is devoted entirely to second-language phonological acquisition. Work in learnability focuses on the computational aspect of language acquisition, with Tesar and Smolensky 2000 providing an influential theory (see also Computational Phonology). Bernhardt and Stemberger 1998 offers an extensive, accessible work that discusses both first- and second-language acquisition and aphasia as well. Shorter introductions are in the handbooks cited under Edited Collections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Archibald, John. 1998. Second language phonology. Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 17. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A survey of theories of the acquisition of the phonology of a second (i.e., nonnative) language.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bernhardt, Barbara, and Joseph Paul Stemberger. 1998. Handbook of phonological development from the perspective of constraint-based nonlinear phonology. San Diego, CA: Academic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An extensive work about first- and second-language acquisition with a great deal of data and discussion of a range of theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Boersma, Paul, and Clara Levelt. 2004. Optimality theory and phonological acquisition. Annual Review of Language Acquisition 3:1–50.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1075/arla.3.03boeSave Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An overview of work on phonological acquisition within OT with a primary focus on first-language acquisition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jakobson, Roman. 1968. Child language, aphasia, and phonological universals. Translated by Allan R. Keiler. Janua Linguarum: Series Minor. The Hague: Mouton.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Originally published in German as Kindersprache, Aphasie und allgemeine Lautgesetze in 1941. One of the earliest works to emphasize the importance of language acquisition as a source of evidence for linguistic theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kager, René, Joe Pater, and Wim Zonneveld, eds. 2004. Constraints in phonological acquisition. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511486418Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An edited collection of articles on phonological acquisition with particular attention paid to theories that use constraints.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • New Sounds.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The New Sounds conference started in 1990 and has since occurred at irregular intervals. It provides a venue for the presentation of research on the acquisition of second-language (L2) phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Smith, Neilson V. 1973. The acquisition of phonology: A case study. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A key work in language acquisition. Helped establish a variety of aims and methodologies for work in language acquisition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesar, Bruce, and Paul Smolensky. 2000. Learnability in optimality theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An influential theory of the mechanisms of language acquisition set within OT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Computational Phonology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Implementing models of phonological theories is crucial in understanding how those theories work. The algorithms and complex data structures that theories manipulate are beyond (and perhaps have always been beyond) manual methods of exploration. Early work in computational phonology includes Bobrow and Fraser 1968 and Johnson 1972, a work on finite-state transducers and the formalism in The Sound Pattern of English (SPE, Chomsky and Halle 1968, cited under SPE). Even so, at the end of the 20th century Bird 1994 asserted that “phonology remains largely unexplored from a computational standpoint” (p. iii). However, since the late 20th century there has been significant growth in computational phonology in part fueled by the rise of constraint-based theories (e.g., Bird 1995), particularly optimality theory (OT) (e.g., Tesar 1995). Many works in OT are in the Rutgers Optimality Archive (Prince, et al., cited under Collections, Resources, Software, and Databases). The website of the group Sigmorphon offers a bibliography and news on computational phonology and morphology, though the bibliographies do not seem to have been updated since 2000. Although there are few introductory works on computational phonology, Jurafsky and Martin 2009 presents an accessible introduction that covers more recent developments. Bird 2003 provides an accessible, concise introduction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bird, Stephen. 1994. Introduction to computational phonology. In Special issue: Computational phonology. Computational Linguistics 20.3: iii–ix.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lays out fundamental issues in computational phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bird, Stephen. 1995. Computational phonology: A constraint-based approach. Studies in Natural Language Processing. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A survey of work on computational phonology and an implementation of a phonological system that uses principles of late-20th-century phonological theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bird, Stephen. 2003. Computational phonology. In International encyclopedia of linguistics. Vol. 1. 2d ed. Edited by William J. Frawley, 380–381. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An updated overview of work in computational phonology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bobrow, Daniel G., and J. Bruce Fraser. 1968. A phonological rule tester. Communications of the ACM 11.11: 766–772.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1145/364139.364165Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of the earliest works in computational phonology focusing on rule-based theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Johnson, C. Douglas. 1972. Formal aspects of phonological description. Monographs on Linguistic Analysis. The Hague: Mouton.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An early work on computational phonology that expresses SPE’s rule formalism as finite-state transducers

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jurafsky, Daniel, and James H. Martin. 2009. Computational phonology. In Speech and language processing: An introduction to natural language processing, computational linguistics, and speech recognition. 2d ed. By Daniel Jurafsky and James H. Martin, 361–384. Prentice Hall Series in Artificial Intelligence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brief and accessible introduction to computational phonology and learning. Discusses finite-state models, OT, and stochastic OT.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • SIGMORPHON.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The website for the Association for Computational Linguistics Special Interest Group on Computational Morphology and Phonology. The site provides bibliographies, conference proceedings, and a forum for announcements.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesar, Bruce. 1995. Computational optimality theory. PhD diss., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An influential implementation of OT illustrating the close connection of computational phonology to learnability (see Acquisition and Learnability)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Descriptions of Individual Languages and Families

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Broadly speaking, there are two types of phonological descriptions: (1) descriptions of the phonological systems of specific languages and (2) descriptions of the phonological modules of individuals. In practice the distinction between the two types of description is often blurred; in fact work in phonological theory frequently assumes that descriptions of phonological systems are descriptions of phonological modules. Descriptions of the first type are often presented in a putatively “theory-neutral” way; such a style still makes a significant commitment to specific theories (usually rule-based serialist ones and theories of contrast), but the theoretical formalism chosen is assumed to allow comprehensive description and translate readily into other theoretical frameworks (e.g., the Routledge Descriptive Grammars series). There are fewer descriptions that commit to a particular theory and provide a description within that framework, though the Oxford University Press series Phonology of the World’s Languages mixes description and specific theoretical examination. Some books have an intense theoretical orientation, using particular theories to structure the description. For example, Buckley 1994 describes Kashaya phonology in the context of lexical phonology and morphology. Occasionally, particular phonological systems have provided a vehicle for advancing or illustrating a specific phonological theory (e.g., Chomsky and Halle 1968, Halle and Mohanan 1985). Phonological descriptions come in many forms, as books, book chapters, or journal articles; however, they most often appear as a part of larger description of grammars. Kaye 1997 is one of the few collections of articles devoted solely to phonological description.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Buckley, Eugene. 1994. Theoretical aspects of Kashaya phonology and morphology. Dissertations in Linguistics. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Provides a description of the phonological module of an idealized Kashaya speaker set within a particular theory (in this case, rule-based lexical phonology and morphology).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The sound pattern of English. Studies in Language. New York: Harper and Row.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Often called SPE. Perhaps the most well-known phonological book to focus on a particular language (English) and to use it as a theme in presenting and illustrating a theory of phonology. SPE also presents analyses of phonological phenomena in many other languages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Descriptive Grammars. 1989–. London and New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A book series devoted to entire grammars of languages. All the grammars contain a phonological description. This series is important because it uses a common descriptive framework with the aim of allowing easier cross-linguistic comparison. As of the early 21st century, twenty-five books are in the series.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Halle, Morris, and K. P. Mohanan. 1985. Segmental phonology of modern English. Linguistic Inquiry 16:57–116.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An article that focuses on a specific area of English as a means to develop a specific phonological theory (i.e., lexical phonology and morphology).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kaye, Alan S., ed. 1997. Phonologies of Asia and Africa (including the Caucasus). 2 vols. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Two volumes of articles, each a phonological description of a particular language or language family.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Phonology of the World’s Languages. 1993–. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A book series devoted to detailed descriptions of the phonology (and occasionally the morphology) of a particular language or related languages. As of the early 21st century, twenty books are in the series.

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