Phonetic Change and Phonology

Josef Fruehwald (2011)


In this paper, I will attempt to support the following two arguments

  1. Phonetic change is a distinct type of language change, displaying qualitatively different dynamics from syntactic, morphological, and phonological change.
  2. However, there is good evidence that categorical phonology plays a crucial role in the mediation of phonetic change.
I will propose that a model of phonetic change which adequately captures these effects, describes it as a change in language specific phonetic implementation of phonological objects. Phonetic change, then, can be localized to the implementation of particular phonological features, or bundle of features. I will conclude with some remarks about the consequences of this model for the nature of phonological representation.

Presented at MFM 19

Handout [PDF]

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