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LINGUIST List 23.5169

Mon Dec 10 2012

Books: Neutralization: Silverman

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <rebekahlinguistlist.org>

Date: 29-Nov-2012
From: Joyce Reid <jreidcambridge.org>
Subject: Neutralization: Silverman
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Title: Neutralization
Series Title: Key Topics in Phonology

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL: http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/isbn/item6687508/Neutralization/?site_locale=en_US

Author: Daniel Silverman

Hardback: ISBN: 9780521196710 Pages: 236 Price: U.S. $ 95.00
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521145015 Pages: 236 Price: U.S. $ 36.99


The function of language is to transmit information from speakers to
listeners. This book investigates an aspect of linguistic sound patterning
that has traditionally been assumed to interfere with this function –
neutralization, a conditioned limitation on the distribution of a language's
contrastive values. The book provides in-depth, nuanced and critical analyses
of many theoretical approaches to neutralization in phonology and argues for a
strictly functional characterization of the term: neutralizing alternations
are only function-negative to the extent that they derive homophones, and most
surprisingly, neutralization is often function-positive, by serving as an aid
to parsing. Daniel Silverman encourages the reader to challenge received
notions by carefully considering these functional consequences of
neutralization. The book includes a glossary, discussion points and lists of
further reading to help advanced phonology students consolidate the main ideas
and findings on neutralization.

Table of Contents

1. The rhyme and the reason of neutralization

Part I. Rhyme

Section 1. Observation and Description:
2. Topology
3. Taxonomy
4. Typology

Section 2. False Positives:
5. Partial phonemic overlap
6. Near-neutralization

Section 3. Explanation:
7. Ease of production
8. Ease of perception
9. Phonetic misperception
10. Semantic misperception: early proposals
11. Semantic misperception: recent proposals

Section 4. Exemplification:
12. Case study
13. Domains of application
14. Distinctions are drawn that matter

Part II. Reason: 15. Cement
16. Boundary signals
17. Prosodies
18. Transitional probabilities
19. The power of Babelese.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Written In: English (eng)

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