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New from Oxford University Press!


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: Neutralization
Written By: Daniel Silverman
Series Title: Key Topics in Phonology

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.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780521145015
Pages: 236
Prices: U.S. $ 36.99

Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9780521196710
Pages: 236
Prices: U.S. $ 95.00