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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Academic Paper


Title: Generative phonology in the late 1940s
Author: John A. Goldsmith
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/goldsmith
Institution: University of Chicago
Linguistic Field: Linguistic Theories; Phonology
Abstract: This paper offers a careful reading of an article published by Rulon Wells in "Language" in 1949 on the subject of automatic alternations in phonology. Read with a modern eye, it reveals that phonologists were exploring the value and use of phonological derivations, including both abstract representations and intermediate representations, in the late 1940s. Contrary to what has been suggested in the literature, Bloomfield's explorations in rule ordering published in 1939 were not isolated and without influence. Our conclusion is the null hypothesis: that there is an intellectual continuity from the work of Sapir and Bloomfield, through that of Wells and Harris, to that of Chomsky & Halle. We conclude by offering some suggestions as to why this is not widely recognised in the field.

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This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 25, Issue 1.

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