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Phonological Typology

Ed. by Hyman, Larry M. / Plank, Frans

Series:Phonology and Phonetics [PP] 23

eBook (PDF)
Publication Date:
April 2018
Copyright year:
2018
ISBN
978-3-11-045193-1
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Is phonological typology possible without (universal) categories?

Maddieson, Ian

Abstract

Discussions of the sound structure of languages rely on a long tradition of categorization. In this chapter the question of whether it is possible to devise a continuous descriptive framework that does not rely on categories is considered and rejected. Complete identity between utterances does not occur and in any case cannot form the basis for generalization. Certain frameworks devised to compare rhythm types, sonority, and overall basic phonological complexity employ scalar variables, but these are in practise founded on categorical assumptions. Doing typological work in phonology without reliance on categories is considered unlikely to be possible.

Abstract

Discussions of the sound structure of languages rely on a long tradition of categorization. In this chapter the question of whether it is possible to devise a continuous descriptive framework that does not rely on categories is considered and rejected. Complete identity between utterances does not occur and in any case cannot form the basis for generalization. Certain frameworks devised to compare rhythm types, sonority, and overall basic phonological complexity employ scalar variables, but these are in practise founded on categorical assumptions. Doing typological work in phonology without reliance on categories is considered unlikely to be possible.

Citation Information

Ian Maddieson (2018). Is phonological typology possible without (universal) categories?. In Larry M. Hyman, Frans Plank (Eds.), Phonological Typology (pp. 107–125). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110451931-004

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110451931

Online ISBN: 9783110451931

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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