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Segmentation. Forms of Expression. Oppositions and Distinctions. Paradigmatic Structures

  • Bertil Malmberg
Part of the Kommunikation und Kybernetik in Einzeldarstellungen book series (COMMUNICATION, volume 2)

Abstract

It has already been pointed out that the sound-wave emanating from the mouth of a speaker is physically a continuum. Both the wave form as such — in the form in which it appears when registered for instance on an oscillograph film (Fig. 14) — and the picture given by a sound spectrograph (Fig. 47) on the basis of a formant analysis, show no more than an incessant variation of the different parameters mentioned in Chap. III. Even in cases where typical segments of an apparently steady-state nature may be seen, there is hardly any possibility of indicating an indisputable point where one segment starts and the preceding one ends. The classical distinction established for instance by the phoneticians of last century between typical sound positions and transitional sounds (“glides”, “Gleitlaute”, “Übergangslaute”, etc.; Ellis, Merkel, Sievers) does not hold. Everything is transition. And even if one factor, e.g. voice, or nasality, may be said to cease at a given point (in the original complex curve, or on the spectrogram), this factor only rarely coincides with the other factors which together characterize a given segmental unit (e.g. a vocoid or a contoid). Even the early kymograms revealed the existence of transitional phases without any independent linguistic or communicative function.

Keywords

Stressed Syllable Expression Unit Vowel Length Marginal Unit Phonetic Transcription 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Bibliographical Notes

  1. For the concept of glide as opposed to the stable or typical sound phases, see A. Ellis, “On early English pronunciation”, 1869; E. Sievers, “Grundzüge der Phonetik”, 2nd ed., 1881, p. 107 – 108 (the first edition had the title “Grundzüge der Lautphysiologie”, 1876);Google Scholar
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  22. Dwight D. Bolinger’s work has the title “Generality, Gradience, and AU-or-none”, 1961. For Roman Jakobson’s theory, see particularly “Kindersprache, Aphasie und allgemeine Lautgesetze” / Språkvetenskapliga Sällskapets i Uppsala förhandlingar 1940–1942/, and also Jakobson —Halle, “Fundamentals of Language”, 1956, pp. 55 – 82. See also my own article “Om vår förmåga — och oförmåga — att behärska ett språksystem” /Nordisk Tidsskrift for Tale og Stemme, 1961, pp. 41–61/, and my reports to the IXth Intern. Congress of Linguists, Cambridge, USA, 1962, and to the Vth Intern. Congress of Phon. Sciences. Münster 1964.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertil Malmberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ArtsUniversity of LundSweden

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