Steven Bird

in The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276349
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743573 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics


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  • Computational Linguistics
  • Phonetics and Phonology


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This article presents the fundamentals of descriptive phonology and gives an overview of computational phonology. Phonology is the systematic study of sounds used in language, and their composition into syllables, words, and phrases. It introduces some of the key concepts of phonology by simple examples involving real data and gives a brief discussion of early generative phonology. It analyses the autosegmental phonology using some data from African tone language. This article considers in detail one level of phonological hierarchy, namely, the syllable. It reveals many interesting issues that are confronted by phonological analysis. Some of these theoretical frameworks include: lexical phonology, underspecification phonology, government phonology, declarative phonology, and optimality theory. The article provides a means for phonological generalizations such as rules and constraints to give a finite-state interpretation.

Keywords: phonology; computational phonology; syllables; autosegmental phonology; finite-state interpretation

Article.  7332 words. 

Subjects: Computational Linguistics ; Phonetics and Phonology

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