Aspects of Dynamic Phonology by Toby D. Griffen

By Toby D. Griffen

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Extra resources for Aspects of Dynamic Phonology

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In Modern Welsh, the i n i t i a l obstruction of the word ci [ c h i : ] 'dog' has traditionally been described as occurring w i t h the highest point of the tongue body forward at the palate (a voiceless aspirated palatal stop), while that of its plural form cwn [k u:n] has traditionally been described as occurring w i t h the highest point of the tongue body back at the velum (a voiceless aspirated Dynamic Phonology velar stop). h 47 Thus, in the segmental approach, there are two phones [c ] (or h [ k ' D and [ k ] , the former w i t h the (segmentally) inherent feature [-back] and the l a t t e r w i t h the inherent feature [+back].

A laryngeal pattern may be as short as (but no shorter than) a sustain­ able sound the size of a syllable, or as long as a breath group (compare Lieberman 1967), or, indeed, as long as a discourse block. It is not a subset of a reasonably determinate set of possible laryngeal patterns (although, to be sure, the number is theoretically f i n i t e ) . The importance of the laryngeal p a t t e r n , however, lies not so much in the basic laryngeal opposition itself. Rather, the crucial aspect of the l a r y n ­ geal pattern (especially insofar as phonology is concerned) lies in the larynge­ al pattern prosody, traditionally associated w i t h intonation.

In order to see just how nonsegmental this distinctive feature analysis has been, we should compare it w i t h the phonemic methods. In phonemic analysis, the t r a d i t i o n a l mode of operation has been tied to the notion of the speech segment, the phone and allophone of segmental linguistic phonetics and the phoneme of segmental phonology (phonemics). Intrinsic to this approach to analysis, segments have been seen to vary in accordance w i t h certain p r i n ­ ciples (as in Trubetzkoy 1968, 1969) or discovery procedures (as in Hockett 1955).

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