Geoffrey S. Nathan

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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As with other levels of language, “doing” phonology within cognitive grammar requires a radical revision of how linguists think about their subject matter, particularly as compared with the dominant worldview of generative grammar. However, phonologists have not all adopted the dominant Chomskyan paradigm, with its attendant commitments to modularity, innateness, and the independence of language structure from other cognitive processes. A second difference with syntax is that there is considerable continuity within the fields of phonology from its inception in the latter part of the twentieth century to the beginnings of the twenty-first. Many of the categories and theoretical constructs that were introduced in the early development of phonology are still considered valid by virtually all theoretical bents, despite numerous theoretical revolutions. Phonemes, syllables, consonants, vowels, features, and even processes have some status in virtually all current phonological theories, both generative and functionalist. Although the generative grammar tradition has evolved considerably during the past fifty years, some fundamental principles are accepted by both generative and non-generative phonologists.

Keywords: phonology; cognitive grammar; syntax; phonemes; syllables; consonants; vowels; features; processes; generative grammar

Article.  9922 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Phonetics and Phonology

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