• Sign In
  • Help
  • My Basket0
The Emergence of Distinctive Features - Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory (Hardback)
  • The Emergence of Distinctive Features - Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory (Hardback)
zoom

The Emergence of Distinctive Features - Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory (Hardback)

(author)
£112.50
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 13/03/2008
  • We can order this

Usually despatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket

Check Marketplace availability

This book makes a fundamental contribution to phonology, linguistic typology, and the nature of the human language faculty. Distinctive features in phonology distinguish one meaningful sound from another. Since the mid-twentieth century they have been seen as a set characterizing all possible phonological distinctions and as an integral part of Universal Grammar, the innate language faculty underlying successive versions of Chomskyan generative theory. The usefulness of distinctive features in phonological analysis is uncontroversial, but the supposition that features are innate and universal rather than learned and language-specific has never, until now, been systematically tested. In his pioneering account Jeff Mielke presents the results of a crosslinguistic survey of natural classes of distinctive features covering almost six hundred of the world's languages drawn from a variety of different families. He shows that no theory is able to characterize more than 71 per cent of classes, and further that current theories, deployed either singly or collectively, do not predict the range of classes that occur and recur. He reveals the existence of apparently unnatural classes in many languages. Even without these findings, he argues, there are reasons to doubt whether distinctive features are innate: for example, distinctive features used in signed languages are different from those in spoken languages, even though deafness is generally not hereditary. The author explains the grouping of sounds into classes and concludes by offering a unified account of what previously have been considered to be natural and unnatural classes. The data on which the analysis is based are freely available in a program downloadable from the publisher's web site.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199207916
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 605 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 23 mm

You may also be interested in...

Making the Father of the Bride's Speech
Added to basket
Swearing Is Good For You
Added to basket
How to Swear
Added to basket
£9.99
Hardback
An Unkindness of Ravens
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Hardback
The Art of Rhetoric
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Will to Power
Added to basket
A Gardener's Latin
Added to basket
Bespoke
Added to basket
£14.99
Hardback
The New Penguin Russian Course
Added to basket
British Sign Language: Teach Yourself
Added to basket
Thank You for Arguing
Added to basket
How to Argue with a Cat
Added to basket
£7.99   £5.99
Paperback
Mythologies
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Etymologicon
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Let's Sign Pocket Dictionary
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.