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Evolutionary Phonology : The Emergence of Sound Patterns - Juliette Blevins

Evolutionary Phonology

The Emergence of Sound Patterns

Hardcover Published: 13th September 2004
ISBN: 9780521804288
Number Of Pages: 388

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Evolutionary Phonology is a new theory of sound patterns which synthesizes results in historical linguistics, phonetics, and phonological theory. In this groundbreaking book, Juliette Blevins explores the nature of sounds patterns and sound change in human language over the past 7000-8000 years, the time depth for which the comparative method is reasonably reliable. This book presents a new approach to the problem of how genetically unrelated languages, from families as far apart as Native American, Australian Aboriginal, Austronesian, and Indo-European, can often show similar sound patterns, and also tackles the converse problem of why there are notable exceptions to most of the patterns that are often regarded as universal tendencies or constraints. It argues that in both cases, a formal model of sound change that integrates phonetic variation and patterns of misperception can account for attested sound systems without reference to markedness or naturalness within the synchronic grammar.

'The book contains everything that makes a linguistics book fascinating to read: an overview of the field, a provocative theory for explaining phonological facts, and numerous contemporary and historical examples from a wide sample of languages to support the new theory ... As a whole, I think the book makes an interesting contribution to the field of phonology. The theory presented proposes that much of the complexity of human sound systems is due to historical processes that are set in motion by different kinds of misperception, while the actual learning and representations in the mind/brain are relatively simple and general ... Blevins' theory does not propose strict formal rules and algorithms to process and learn sound system, but rather a number of mechanisms, heuristics and ways of looking at linguistic phenomena that can be adapted to particular instances ... I consider this to be a practical perspective ... all in all, I found this book easier to read and less formal than most books on phonological theory ... this book is well worth reading for a new perspective on phonology that conforms to the trend towards more data-driven models of language.' Journal of Linguistics

Preliminaries
What is evolutionary phonologyi<$$$>1 2
Evolution in language and elsewhere
Explanation in phonology: a brief history of ideas
Sound Patterns
Laryngeal features
Place features
Other common sound patterns
The evolution of geminates
Some uncommon sound patterns
Implications
Synchronic phonology
Diachronic phonology
Beyond phonology
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521804288
ISBN-10: 0521804280
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 388
Published: 13th September 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.74

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