The Ins and Outs of phonology

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In this article I discuss and motivate the defining features of phonology – what phonology is and what phonology isn’t. I defend the position that the conception of phonology held by many phonologists is invalid. I argue that notions such as contrast, articulation, diachrony, morphological alternations and segments play no role in phonological theory. The empirical record suggests that phonological events more closely resemble syntactic ones. These events obey the non-arbitrariness constraint (a logical connection is required between the nature of the event and the context in which it occurs) and the minimality condition (events take place whenever their conditions are met). And finally, phonological theory has empirical content. The various claims found in this paper can be falsified.


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