Explanations for sound change have traditionally focused on identifying the inception of change, that is, the identification of perturbations of the speech signal, conditioned by physiological constraints on articulatory and/or auditory mechanisms, which affect the way speech sounds are analyzed by the listener. While this emphasis on identifying the nature of intrinsic variation in speech has provided important insights into the origins of widely attested cross-linguistic sound changes, the nature of phonologization - the transition from intrinsic phonetic variation to extrinsic phonological encoding - remains largely unexplored.
This volume showcases the current state of the art in phonologization research, bringing together work by leading scholars in sound change research from different disciplinary and scholarly traditions. The authors investigate the progression of sound change from the perspectives of speech perception, speech production, phonology, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, computer science, statistics, and social and cognitive psychology. The book highlights the fruitfulness of collaborative efforts among phonologists and specialists from neighbouring disciplines in seeking unified theoretical explanations for the origins of sound patterns in language, as well as improved syntheses of synchronic and diachronic phonology.