First published in 1967. The problems of theoretical phonology are among the most controversial in linguistics. This monograph is a step towards an adequate logical reconstruction of phonological theories and is mainly concerned with Z. S. Harris’ structuralist theory, one of the principal phonological theories of the present day.
Topics covered in the work include almost all essential problems of theoretical phonology. The author establishes a set of basic concepts which define almost all other concepts of phonology, and gives an axiomatic characterisation of these concepts. The notion of a unit-length segment is analysed and defined, and a precise formulation of the principles of distribution is given. The author offers a formal analysis of the notion of a phoneme, and finally formulates and discusses fundamental hypotheses of phonology.
Preface; Part One: Logical Preliminaries; 1. Axiomatic Method and Phonology 2. Logical Apparatus 3. Elements of Mereology; Part Two: Axiomatic System of Phonology; 4. Primitive Notions 5. Axioms 6. Immediate Consequences of Axioms 7. Phonetic Chains 8. Predecessor, Successor and Segmenting Function 8. Utterances and Phrases 9. Phonetic Equivalence and the Notion of Word 10. Phones and Phonic Systems 11. Unit-Length Segments 12. Compound Features 13. Sounds and Phonetic Systems 14. Distribution of Sounds 15. Phonemes and the Fundamental Hypothesis of Phonology 16. Final Remarks; References; Index
This set of 23 volumes, originally published between 1952 and 1996, amalgamates a wide breadth of research on the subject of phonetics and phonology, including studies on the axiomatic method, nonlinear phonology, and prosodic phonology. This collection of books from some of the leading scholars in the field provides a comprehensive overview of the subject how it has evolved over time, and will be of particular interest to students of language and linguistics.