Title: English Phonology and Phonological Theory
Subtitle: Synchronic and Diachronic Studies
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 17
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Author: Roger Lass
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521113243 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 19.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521113243 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 36.99
Dr. Lass examines certain crucial issues in phonological and general linguistic theory through detailed studies of English phonetics, dialectology and language-history. He argues that contemporary 'standard' phonological theory is inhibited and misled by the related disadvantages of an artificially constrained formalism and a restricted database. He confronts theories of English phonology with a much wider range of material than is usual, drawing for example on Scots, Northern and North-Midland English, East Coast American dialects, and many others. Dr. Lass offers solutions to many outstanding problems in the history of English. All the detailed discussions are informed by an overriding concern for the methodological and philosophical issues suggested by such problems. What kind of discipline is linguistics? What kinds of knowledge do its procedures yield and how are they validated?
Part I. Vowel Contrasts and their Deployment in English: 'Length' and 'System': 1. On the 'two kinds of vowels' in English; 2. Rules, metarules, and the shape of the Great Vowel Shift; 3. The Great Vowel Shift and its aftermath in the North Midlands;
Part II. Expanding the Database: The Yield of Comparative Method: 4. What kind of vowel was Middle English /a/ and what really happened to it?; 5. Middle English /c/ in New York City English;
Part III. Issues in General theory: Features, Rules and Classes: 6. On the phonological characterization of [?] and [h]; 7. Complementary modes of description in phonology; Epilogue.
Discipline of Linguistics