Vowel Patterns in Language

Vowel Patterns in Language

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Linguists researching the sounds of languages do not just study lists of sounds but seek to discover generalizations about sound patterns by grouping them into categories. They study the common properties of each category and identify what distinguishes one category from another. Vowel patterns, for instance, are analysed and compared across languages to identify phonological similarities and differences. This account of vowel patterns in language brings a wealth of cross-linguistic material to the study of vowel systems and offers theoretical insights. Informed by research in speech perception and production, it addresses the fundamental question of how the relative prominence of word position influences vowel processes and distributions. The book combines a cross-linguistic focus with detailed case studies. Descriptions and analyses are provided for vowel patterns in over 25 languages from around the world, with particular emphasis on minor Romance languages and on the diachronic development of the German umlaut.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 366 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1139064568
  • 9781139064569

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Preliminaries: functional grounding; 3. Generalized licensing; 4. Typological predictions; 5. Indirect licensing; 6. Identity licensing; 7. Direct licensing; 8. Maximal licensing; 9. Conclusion and final issues.show more

Review quote

'... essential reading for all phonologists.' Joe Pater, Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst '... the most thorough typological survey of prominence-based vowel patterns available ...' Laura J. Downing, ZAS Berlinshow more

About Rachel Walker

Rachel Walker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Nasalization, Neutral Segments and Opacity Effects (2000), and has contributed numerous articles to journals and books.show more