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Segmental Phonology

  • David Crystal
Part of the Disorders of Human Communication book series (DISORDERS, volume 3)

Abstract

Phonology is the study of the sound systems of languages. Out of the very wide range of sounds that the human vocal apparatus can produce, and which are studied by phonetics, only a relatively small number are used distinctively in any one language. The sounds are organized into a system of contrasts, which signal differences of meaning within the language. The aim of phonology is to establish on what basis this contrastivity operates, to describe the patterns of distinctive sound used in a language, and to make as general statements as possible about the nature of sound systems in the languages of the world. Putting this another way, phonology is concerned with the range and function of sounds in specific languages (and is often therefore referred to as “functional phonetics”); it is also concerned with the rules which can be written to show the types of phonetic relationships that relate and contrast words and other linguistic units1.

Keywords

Final Position Sound System Consonant Cluster Phonological Unit Phonological Rule 
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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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Crystal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Linguistic ScienceUniversity of ReadingGreat Britain

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