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Auteur: Marc Van OOSTENDORP

Phonology between theory and data

Abstract/Résumé: Arguably, phonology as we currently know it is celebrating its first centenary this year, as the division between phonology (as the system of sounds) and phonetics (as the physical and physiological properties of those sounds) is a structuralist invention, and this invention in turn part of the heritage of Saussure. Where are we, then, 100 years after the beginning of this enterprise? I argue that a lot of important and interesting theories have been developed and that currently we are living in a time in which many new types of data are being discovered. It is our role as phonologists at the beginning of the 21st Century to integrate these new data with the existing theories: neither to reject the data, nor the theories as we have them, but to use the former in order to refine the latter.