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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: The Contrastive Hierarchy in Phonology
Written By: B. Elan Dresher
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 121

'Contrast' - the opposition between distinctive sounds in a language - is
one of the most central concepts in linguistics. This book presents an
original account of the logic and history of contrast in phonology. It
provides empirical evidence from diverse phonological domains that only
contrastive features are computed by the phonological component of grammar.
It argues that the contrastive specifications of phonemes are governed by
language-particular feature hierarchies. This approach assigns a key role
to abstract cognitive structures, challenging contemporary approaches that
favour phonetic explanations of phonological phenomena. Tracing the
evolution of the hypothesis that contrastive features play a special role
in phonology, it shows how this insight has been obscured by
misunderstandings of the role of the contrastive feature hierarchy.
Questioning the widely held notion that contrast should be based on minimal
pairs, Elan Dresher argues that the contrastive hierarchy is indispensable
to illuminating accounts of phonological patterning.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521889731
ISBN-13: 9780521889735
Prices: U.K. £ 60.00
U.S. $ 110.00