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On formal universals in phonology

  • Andrew Nevins (a1)
Abstract

Understanding the universal aspects of human language structure requires comparison at multiple levels of analysis. While Evans & Levinson (E&L) focus mostly on substantive variation in language, equally revealing insights can come from studying formal universals. I first discuss how Artificial Grammar Experiments can test universal preferences for certain types of abstract phonological generalizations over others. I then discuss moraic onsets in the language Arrernte, and how its apparent substantive variation ultimately rests on a formal universal regarding syllable-weight sensitivity.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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