Theories of Language Sound Structure: Do Phonological Rules Exist?

Vortragende(r) Liberman, Mark
Institution(en) University of Pennsylvania
Datum 18.09.2019
Uhrzeit 11:00 Uhr
Ort ZAS, 3rd floor, room 308 (Trajekteraum)


The traditional organization of phonological theories involves a crucial redundancy, which poses a problem for language learners as well as linguists. Allophonic variation can be treated in two different ways:

first, as a mapping from symbols to symbols, via phonological rules or constraints; or second, as a mapping from symbols to signals, via principles of phonetic realization. Careful examination of specific cases of allophonic variation generally suggests (and never seems to

refute) a mode of description of the second type, in which structured phonological representations are mapped onto classes of phonetic trajectories. We should therefore consider the null hypothesis: a theory that entirely eliminates the symbolic treatment of allophonic variation, and makes post-lexical representations subject to direct phonetic interpretation, without any intervening symbol-manipulation.