Phonetics and phonology 1949–1989
Phonetics and Phonology have had noticeable developments in the last forty years: phonetics from the articulatory descriptions of sounds of Pike’s Phonetics (1943), to a physiological set of distinctive features of Chomsky & Halle’s The Sound Pattern of English (1968); the acoustic displays of Potter’s Visible Speech (1947) to a set of acoustic distinctive features in Jakobson, Fant, Halle’s Preliminaries (1951). Suprasegmental characterizations have developed from impressionistic labels of tone, stress, length and intonation to an experimentally quantifiable set of parameters characterizing these aspects of speech in a unified manner in Lehiste’s Suprasegmentals (1970). Phonology progressed from the autonomous to the integrated, and from the structural to the transformational/generative, from Pike’s Phonemics (1947), and Trubetzkoy’s Grundzüge (1939) to a complex system of levels/tiers/strata that represent speech in a more detailed, holistic and integrated manner. Current approaches recognize not only the features and segments of the speech continuum, but the rules that organize these into the phonological system. Approaches to the explanation of this organization have been many: the segmental/sequential approach of American phonemicists, Praguian phonologists and early generativists developed into a phonological component that consists of segments, organized into syllables that pattern into rhythmic feet which constitute the geometry of the sequence as a multi level/tier/stratum. These developments are all considered generative, but labelled Natural-Generative, Autosegmental-Genera-tive, Non-Linear-Generative, Metrical-Generative, etc. ‘Generative’ is kept to maintain the twin characteristics of being integrated and rule governed. There has been a shift in the paradigm: from segments to features and from structural to transformational with significant developments in both paradigms in the last forty years.