Article

Distinctive Features

Daniel Currie Hall and Jeff Mielke

in Linguistics

ISBN: 9780199772810
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0012
Distinctive Features

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  • Linguistics
  • Anthropological Linguistics
  • Language Families
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In phonological theory the building blocks of speech sounds are often argued to be what are called “distinctive features.” They typically have phonetic definitions and phonetically inspired names (e.g., [voice], [nasal], [labial]). While various algorithms for feature specification exist, segments and natural classes of segments are typically interpreted as bundles of the phonetically defined feature values that match their phonetic descriptions. Throughout the history of distinctive feature theory, a major goal has been to identify a set of features that is adequate for describing the segmental contrasts and phonologically important segment groups observed in the world’s languages.

Article.  10078 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Anthropological Linguistics ; Language Families ; Psycholinguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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