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CHAT: THEORY/CHAT: RE: English Sound Structure

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Sunday, February 27, 2000, 22:35
> On Fri, 25 Feb 2000, And Rosta wrote: > > > It's six years since I last taught more than phonemes-of-English phonology, > > so I'm not up to date with recent textbooks. I can't remember what textbooks > > I used, but I do remember that I was planning to use John Harris's _English > > sound structure_, > > I think that Harris' book is a fine example of balancing > theoretical concerns with real language data. It was a required > text for a course I took from Mike Hammond on English Phonology > (along with Giegerich's _English Phonology: An Introduction_ and > Chomsky and Halle's _The Sound Pattern of English_; Mike's book > was still in the scattered analyses stage). The theoretical > orientation is generative, but uses Government Phonology rather > than more familiar work based on distinctive features.
That reminds me: the other book I was going to use alongside Harris was Giegerich's, mainly, iirc, for its treatment of stress. I've always liked Government/Dependency/Particle Phonologies' use of elements/particles rather than distinctive features: that is, every primitive is independently pronounceable (and, moreover, according to at least some, is defined acoustically rather than articulatorily - Jakobson/Fant/Halle style). E.g. [+nasal] or 'N' is, unless combined with some element that overrides its default properties, is [n]. Aspiration, 'h', is by default [h]. Occlusion by default is [?]. Etc. /t/ is made up of coronality, occlusion, and noise. Lose the occlusion and noise and you get just coronality: the American/Australian tap or NW England approximant R. Lose just the noise and you get unaspirated [t], as in syllable codas. Lose just the occlusion and you get Irish English spirant taps or Scouse apicoalveolar fricatives. Lose coronality and noise and you get the glottal stop. And so on. ObConlang, though, Livagian phonology is very sniffy about phonetics, so doesn't really bother with formal analysis below the segmental level. --And.