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Real data, contrived data, and the Yokuts Canon

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Abstract

For nearly half a century, Yokuts languages, especially Yowlumni (Yawelmani), have served as a “testing ground” in theoretical phonology. However, the data cited in this literature are, more often than not, forms contrived using rules adduced in the principle descriptive work (Newman 1944) rather than actually attested forms. This paper examines the scope of this practice and its implications from the perspective of scientific methodology. It also suggests reasons why Yokuts languages in particular have attracted so much attention from phonologists.

References

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