LINGUIST List 17.2774

Tue Sep 26 2006

Books: Phonology: de Lacy

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <>

Directory         1.    Joyce Reid, Markedness: de Lacy

Message 1: Markedness: de Lacy
Date: 20-Sep-2006
From: Joyce Reid <>
Subject: Markedness: de Lacy

Title: Markedness Subtitle: Reduction and Preservation in Phonology Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 112 Published: 2006 Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Author: Paul de Lacy, Rutgers University Hardback: ISBN: 0521839629 Pages: 466 Price: U.S. $ 99.00
Hardback: ISBN: 0521839629 Pages: 466 Price: U.K. £ 55.00

'Markedness' refers to the tendency of languages to show a preference forparticular structures or sounds. This bias towards 'marked' elements isconsistent within and across languages, and tells us a great deal aboutwhat languages can and cannot do. This pioneering study presents agroundbreaking theory of markedness in phonology. De Lacy argues thatmarkedness is part of our linguistic competence, and is determined by threeconflicting 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 soundsto be collapsed ('conflation').

He shows that due to these mechanisms, markedness occurs only whenpreservation is irrelevant. Drawing on examples of phenomena such asepenthesis, neutralization, assimilation, vowel reduction andsonority-driven stress, Markedness offers an important new insight intothis essential concept in the understanding of human language.

1. What is markedness?;2. Theory;3. Markedness reduction;4. Preservation of the marked;5. Conflation in reduction;6. Markedness conflation in preservation;7. Markedness conflict: vowels;8. Prediction and alternatives;9. Conclusions.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
Written In: English (eng )

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