A Minimalist Program for Phonology

Bridget Samuels

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Minimalism

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199549368
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

A Minimalist Program for Phonology

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  • Linguistics
  • Phonetics and Phonology



This article applies minimalist concerns to the domain of morphophonology. It advocates a bottom-up approach to phonology, made possible by treating the phonological module as a system of abstract symbolic computation, divorced from phonetic content. This approach has come to be called ‘substance-free phonology’. The article argues that phonologists must stop the practice of ‘substance abuse’, or misguidedly mixing the study of phonological form with the properties of phonetic content.

Keywords: minimalism; morphophonology; abstract symbolic computation; substance-free phonology

Article.  8928 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Phonetics and Phonology

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