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Part of Key Topics in Phonology

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139557726

$ 34.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • The function of language is to transmit information from speakers to listeners. This book investigates an aspect of linguistic sound patterning that has traditionally been assumed to interfere with this function – neutralization, a conditioned limitation on the distribution of a language's contrastive values. The book provides in-depth, nuanced and critical analyses of many theoretical approaches to neutralization in phonology and argues for a strictly functional characterization of the term: neutralizing alternations are only function-negative to the extent that they derive homophones, and most surprisingly, neutralization is often function-positive, by serving as an aid to parsing. Daniel Silverman encourages the reader to challenge received notions by carefully considering these functional consequences of neutralization. The book includes a glossary, discussion points and lists of further reading to help advanced phonology students consolidate the main ideas and findings on neutralization.

    • Provides an in-depth intellectual history of theoretical approaches to neutralization
    • Each chapter contains discussion questions and suggestions for further reading
    • Includes a glossary giving basic definitions of key terms
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance Praise: "A detailed and critical exploration of neutralization that will be a valuable resource for both beginning and advanced scholars, regardless of theoretical orientation." --Beth Hume, The Ohio State University

    “Neutralization is a must-read for students and researchers interested in neutralization, a long-standing issue in phonological theory. Silverman’s comprehensive survey of traditional and current approaches is both useful and stimulating.” --Jongho Jun, Seoul National University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139557726
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. The rhyme and the reason of neutralization
    Part I. Rhyme
    Section 1. Observation and Description:
    2. Topology
    3. Taxonomy
    4. Typology
    Section 2. False Positives:
    5. Partial phonemic overlap
    6. Near-neutralization
    Section 3. Explanation:
    7. Ease of production
    8. Ease of perception
    9. Phonetic misperception
    10. Semantic misperception: early proposals
    11. Semantic misperception: recent proposals
    Section 4. Exemplification:
    12. Case study
    13. Domains of application
    14. Distinctions are drawn that matter
    Part II. Reason:
    15. Cement
    16. Boundary signals
    17. Prosodies
    18. Transitional probabilities
    19. The power of Babelese.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Studies in Phonology
  • Author

    Daniel Silverman, San José State University, California
    Daniel Silverman is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Language Development at San José State University, California.

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