Author: Juliette Blevins, Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Hardback: ISBN: 0521804280 Pages: 386 Price: U.S. $ 95.00
Hardback: ISBN: 0521804280 Pages: 386 Price: U.K. £ 55.00
Evolutionary Phonology is a new theory of sound patterns which synthesizes results in historical linguistics, phonetics, and phonological theory. In this groundbreaking book, Juliette Blevins explores the nature of sounds patterns and sound change in human language over the past 7000-8000 years, the time depth for which the comparative method is reasonably reliable. This book presents a new approach to the problem of how genetically unrelated languages, from families as far apart as Native American, Australian Aboriginal, Austronesian, and Indo-European, can often show similar sound patterns, and also tackles the converse problem of why there are notable exceptions to most of the patterns that are often regarded as universal tendencies or constraints. It argues that in both cases, a formal model of sound change that integrates phonetic variation and patterns of misperception can account for attested sound systems without reference to markedness or naturalness within the synchronic grammar.
Part I. Preliminaries: 1. What is evolutionary phonology? 2. Evolution in language and elsewhere 3. Explanation in phonology: a brief history of ideas
Part II. Sound Patterns: 4. Laryngeal features 5. Place features 6. Other common sound patterns 7. The evolution of geminates 8. Some uncommon sound patterns
Part III. Implications: 9. Synchronic phonology 10. Diachronic phonology 11. Beyond phonology