Phonological Representations

Rewriting rules, derivations and underlying representations is an enduring characteristic of generative phonology. In this book, John Coleman argues that this is unnecessary. The expressive resources of context-free Unification grammars are sufficient to characterize phonological structures and alternations. According to this view, all phonological forms and constraints are partial descriptions of surface representations. This framework, now called Declarative Phonology, is based on a detailed examination of the formalisms of feature-theory, syllable theory and the leading varieties of nonlinear phonology. Dr Coleman illustrates this with two extensive analyses of the phonological structure of words in English and Japanese. As Declarative Phonology is surface-based and highly restrictive, it is consistent with cognitive psychology and amenable to straightforward computational implementation.

• This book reviews current theories of the sound-structure of words and syllables • Presents technical arguments to support the use of declarative phonology rather than more complex theories • Dr Coleman presents detailed analyses of English and Japanese words and syllables to illustrate the framework of declarative phonology


Preface and acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. Segmental representations and their phonetic interpretation; 3. Segmental and transformational phonology; 4. Non-linear phonological representations in contemporary generative phonology; 5. Phonological representations in declarative phonology; 6. A declarative analysis of Japanese words; 7. A declarative analysis of English words; References; Index.