Understanding Phonology: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Phonology

3rd Edition

By Carlos Gussenhoven, Haike Jacobs

© 2011 – Routledge

336 pages

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Paperback: 9781444112047
pub: 2011-05-27
Hardback: 9781138127944
pub: 2015-09-10
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203777008
pub: 2013-11-26
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About the Book

This widely acclaimed textbook provides a complete introduction to the phonology of human languages ideal for readers with no prior knowledge of the subject.

This skilfully written text provides a broad, yet up-to-date, introduction to phonology. Assuming no previous knowledge of phonology or linguistic theory, the authors introduce the basic concepts and build on these progressively, discussing the main theories and illustrating key points with carefully chosen examples. A wide range of phenomena are covered: speech production, segmental contrasts, tone, quantity, prosodic structure, metrical relations and intonation. The main theories, including feature geometry and optimality theory are introduced, and their contributions to our understanding of phonology, as well as their shortcomings, are discussed objectively.

This new edition has been updated and revised to meet the needs of today's students. Difficult points are given fuller explanation, references have been updated, and new exercises have been introduced to enable students to consolidate their learning.


…gives a clear and accurate picture of current phonological theory in a small number of pages.
Nina Groennum, University of Copenhagen, about a previous edition

This is an excellent book. Clear, concise and explicit about problem areas. The exercises are very good and extremely useful.
John Goldsmith, University of Chicago, about a previous edition

Excellent course book!
Carsten Naeher, University of Bonn, about the second edition

"Readers will appreciate an introduction to phonology which requires time and effort to allow a consolidation of acquired knowledge for students and for those who are new in the field. The fact that this volume has been reprinted in 2005 attests to its quality and popularity among professional readers and students alike."

Chantal Paboudjian, The Phonetician, about a previous edition

Table of Contents

Preface to the third edition
IPA chart
1. Structures in languages
2. The production of speech
3. Some typology: sameness and difference
4. Making the form fit
5. Underlying and surface representations
6. Distinctive features
7. A case study: the diminutive suffix in Dutch
8. Transparency and opacity with rules and constraints
9. Levels of representation
10. Representing tone
11. Between the segment and the syllable
12. Feature geometry
13. Exploiting the feature tree
14. Stress and feet
15. Further constraining stress
16. Phonology above the word
Key to questions
Language index
Subject index

About the Authors

CARLOS GUSSENHOVEN, Professor of Linguistics, University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands and Queen Mary University, London, UK
HAIKE JACOBS, Professor of French Linguistics, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

About the Series

Understanding Language

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Subject Categories

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