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The Social Origins of Language

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Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

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Book Information

   

Title: Markedness
Subtitle: Reduction and Preservation in Phonology
Written By: Paul V. de Lacy
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 112
Description:

'Markedness' refers to the tendency of languages to show a preference for
particular structures or sounds. This bias towards 'marked' elements is
consistent within and across languages, and tells us a great deal about
what languages can and cannot do. This pioneering study presents a
groundbreaking theory of markedness in phonology. De Lacy argues that
markedness is part of our linguistic competence, and is determined by three
conflicting mechanisms in the brain:
(a) pressure to preserve marked sounds ('preservation'),
(b) pressure to turn marked sounds into unmarked sounds ('reduction'), and
(c) a mechanism allowing the distinction between marked and unmarked sounds
to be collapsed ('conflation').

He shows that due to these mechanisms, markedness occurs only when
preservation is irrelevant. Drawing on examples of phenomena such as
epenthesis, neutralization, assimilation, vowel reduction and
sonority-driven stress, Markedness offers an important new insight into
this essential concept in the understanding of human language.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521839629
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 466
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00
U.K. £ 55.00