Using Speech Community Data as Phonological Evidence

Josef Fruehwald (2011)


Classically, patterns of systematic alternations or static distributions in the description of a language have constituted the lion's share of phonological evidence. More recently, laboratory studies have been added to the collection of evidentiary tools for phonological investigation. Both of these approaches have provided the foundations of modern phonological theory, thus their utility is unquestionable. However, they both utilize controlled conditions on data collection which decontextualize language from its natural setting. The goal of this paper is to reaffirm the utility of naturalistic observations of a speech community to phonological investigation, in line with the variationist field of research beginning with Labov (1963).

Presented at Penn State Center for Language Science

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