The Phonology of English: A Prosodic Optimality-Theoretic Approach

Paperback | January 1, 1999

byMichael Hammond

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The Phonology of English offers a new approach to English phonology. It focuses on the prosody of the language, i.e. syllable and foot structure, and does so from an optimality-theoretic (OT) perspective. The focus is on surface distributional regularities and the results presented are based on extensive searches through various computerized lexicons. The outcome is a number of new generalizations about the phonology of English, along with confirmation of some familiar regularities. All of theseempirical results are discussed in detail and presented in extensive charts with a plethora of examples. The Phonology of English also offers a unique OT analysis. This provides a detailed introduction to the intricacies of the theory as applied to a significant amount of data. A number of important theoretical proposals are developed in this model, and the analysis presents the idea that certaincomplex constraints and their ranking can be derived in restricted ways from more basic constraints. In addition, the book also develops the idea that syllables of English can contain from zero to three moras. It is suggested that the phonology of English only makes sense if partial morphemes ofthe cranberry sort are licensed more widely. The book is thus intended as a detailed presentation of novel empirical results about the sound system of English, along with important theoretical results about phonological theory.

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The Phonology of English offers a new approach to English phonology. It focuses on the prosody of the language, i.e. syllable and foot structure, and does so from an optimality-theoretic (OT) perspective. The focus is on surface distributional regularities and the results presented are based on extensive searches through various comp...

Michael Hammond is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona. He has also held the position of Assistant Professor at the universities of Arizona, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Minnesota.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198700296

ISBN - 13:9780198700296

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Table of Contents

1. Some Basic IdeasThe sounds of English; Characterizing the sounds of English; Phonological generalizations; Treating phonological generalizations; Optimality Theory; Further reading2. SyllablesIntuitive evidence for the syllable; Distributional evidence for a syllable; A general theory of the syllable; Further reading3. English Syllables: margins and consonantsWord onsets; Word-final clusters; Medial clusters; Clusters vs. margins; Linear restrictions;Summary; Further reading4. English syllables: peaks and morasVowels and diphthongs; Co-occurrence restrictions; Mora-based restrictions; Syllabic consonants and [r]; Summary; Further reading5. Stress, Accent, and FeetWhat is stress?; What is a metrical foot?; Intuitive evidence for the foot; Distributional evidence for the foot; General theory of the foot; Further reading6. Syllables and StressBasic distributional regularities; The analysis; Summary; Further reading7. The Rightmost StressReview of previous results; The basic analysis; The role of syllable weight; Other nominal stress patterns; Final syllables; Verbs and adjectives; Summary; Further reading8. Other StressesOther stresses; Long vowels; Nonfinal primary stress; Morphemes and feet; Summary; Further reading9Some remaining issues; Statistics; Russian; Remaining issues; Further readingReferences

Editorial Reviews

`English Phonology: A Prosodic Optimality-Theoretic Approach examines the fascinating topic of distributional patterns in the phonology of English, a language with a well-studied and complex phonology, framed within Optimality Theory. It will find an audience ranging from the student to theactive researcher, and will define research directions in theoretical phonology and English phonology for some time to come.'Keren Rice, University of Toronto