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Onsets : Suprasegmental and Prosodic Behaviour (Hardcover)

Author: Topintzi, Nina

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Product Overview

`Contrast'-the opposition between distinctive sounds in a language - is one of the most central concepts in linguistics. This book presents an original account of the logic and history of contrast in phonology. It provides empirical evidence from diverse phonological domains that only contrastive features are computed by the phonological component of grammar. It argues that the contrastive specifications of phonemes are governed by language-particular feature hierarchies. This approach assigns a key role to abstract cognitive structures, challenging contemporary approaches that favour phonetic explanations of phonological phenomena. Tracing the evolution of the hypothesis that contrastive features play a special role in phonology, it shows how this insight has been obscured by misunderstandings of the role of the contrastive feature hierarchy. Questioning the widely held notion that contrast should be based on minimal pairs, Elan Dresher argues that the contrastive hierarchy is indispensable to illuminating accounts of phonological patterning.

The concept of the `onset', i.e. the consonant(s) before the vowel of a syllable, is critical within phonology. While phonologists have examined the segmental behaviour of onsets, their prosodic status has instead been largely overlooked. In fact, most previous accounts have stipulated that onsets are insignificant when it comes to the `heaviness' of syllables. In this book Nina Topintzi presents a new theory of onsets, arguing for their fundamental role in the structure of language in both the underlying and surface representation, unlike previous assumptions. To capture the weight behaviour of onsets, a novel account is proposed that relates their interaction with voicing, tone and stress. Using numerous case-studies and data from a variety of languages and phenomena (including stress, compensatory lengthening, gemination and word minimality), the book introduces a model that reflects the true behaviour of onsets, demonstrating profound implications for syllable and weight theories.

Specifications

Publisher Cambridge Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780521493352
SKU 213272699
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0521493358
Release Date 5/1/2010
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0268
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Part 125
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