Syllable Structure: The Limits of Variation

Autor San Duanmu
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 4 feb 2010
This book looks at the range of possible syllables in human languages. The syllable is a central notion in phonology, yet basic questions about it remain poorly understood and phonologists are divided on even the most elementary issues. For example, the word city has been syllabified as ci-ty (the 'maximal onset' analysis), cit-y (the 'no-open-lax-V' analysis), and cit-ty (the 'geminate C' analysis).San Duanmu explores and clarifies these and many other related issues through an in-depth analysis of the entire lexicons of several languages. Some languages, such as Standard and Shanghai Chinese, have fairly simple syllables, yet a minimal difference in syllable structure has led to a dramatic difference in tonal behavior. Other languages, such as English, German, and Jiarong, have long consonant clusters and have been thought to require very large syllables: San Duanmu shows that the actualsyllable structure in these languages is much simpler. He bases his analyses on quantitative data, paying equal attention to generalizations that are likely to be universal. He shows that a successful analysis of the syllable must take into account several theories, including feature theory, theWeight-Stress Principle, the size of morpheme inventory, and the metrical representation of the syllable. San Duanmu's clear exposition will appeal to phonologists and advanced students and will provide a new benchmark in syllabic and prosodic analysis. He also offers an answer to the intriguing question: how different can human languages be?
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ISBN-13: 9780199581108
ISBN-10: 019958110X
Pagini: 292
Ilustrații: Tables
Dimensiuni: 156 x 234 x 16 mm
Greutate: 0.46 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Locul publicării:Oxford, United Kingdom

Notă biografică

San Duanmu is Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1990 and has held teaching posts at Fudan University, Shanghai (1981-86) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1991-present). He is the author of The Phonology of Standard Chinese (2nd edition, OUP, 2007).


The author's arguments... are logical, clear, systematic, persuasive, and convincing. Inspiring for scholars and worthwhile for all advanced students of phonology.