The Limits of Variation
By (author) San Duanmu
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Syllable Structure by San Duanmu
Book DescriptionThis book looks at the range of possible syllables in human languages. The syllable is a central notion in phonology but basic questions about it remain poorly understood and phonologists are divided on even the most elementary issues. For example, the word city has been syllabified as ci-ty (the 'maximal onset' analysis), cit-y (the 'no-open-lax-V' analysis), and cit-ty (the 'geminate C' analysis). San Duanmu explores and clarifies these and many other related issues through an in-depth analysis of entire lexicons of several languages. Some languages, such as Standard and Shanghai Chinese, have fairly simple syllables, yet a minimal difference in syllable structure has lead to a dramatic difference in tonal behavior. Other languages, such as English, German, and Jiarong, have long consonant clusters and have been thought to require very large syllables: San Duanmu shows that the actual syllable structure in these languages is much simpler. He bases his analyses on quantitative data, paying equal attention to generalizations that are likely to be universal. He shows that a successful analysis of the syllable must take into account several theories, including feature theory, the Weight-Stress Principle, the size of morpheme inventory, and the metrical representation of the syllable. San Duanmu's clear exposition will appeal to phonologists and advanced students and will provide a new benchmark in syllabic and prosodic analysis. He also offers an answer to the intriguing question: how different can human languages be?
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199267590
(241mm x 162mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 16-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author San Duanmu
Theory of Phonological Features, Hardback (March 2016)
This book outlines a system of phonological features that is minimally sufficient to distinguish all consonants and vowels in the languages of the world. San Duanmu focuses on a straightforward procedure to interpret empirical data and reveals a surprisingly simple feature system whereby a two-way contrast for each feature proves sufficient.
Syllable Structure, Paperback (February 2010)
This book looks at the range of possible syllables in human languages. The syllable is a central notion in phonology but phonologists are divided on even the most elementary issues. San Duanmu explores and clarifies these and many other related issues through an in-depth analysis of entire lexicons of several languages.
Phonology of Standard Chinese, Paperback (October 2007)» View all books by San Duanmu
Presents the study of the phonology of Standard Chinese. This book contains theoretical solutions to many problems in Chinese phonology, such as word length variation, word order, and the application of the third tone sandhi. It is intended for those with an interest in Chinese languages or phonology.
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Author Biography - San Duanmu
San Duanmu is Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1990 and has held teaching posts at Fudan University, Shanghai (1981-86) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1991-present). He is the author of The Phonology of Standard Chinese (2nd edition 2007, Oxford).
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