Article published in:Advances in Functional Linguistics: Columbia School beyond its origins
Edited by Joseph Davis, Radmila J. Gorup and Nancy Stern
[Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 57] 2006
► pp. 63–86
Phonology as human behavior
Inflectional systems in English
This paper summarizes the theory and methodology of Phonology as Human Behavior (PHB) (or Columbia School Phonology) and applies it to the inflectional morphology of English both synchronically and diachronically. The basic hypothesis is that inflectional morphology is both functional and frequent and should therefore be composed of phonemes that are unmarked or relatively easy to make. My second hypothesis is that this tendency for favoring unmarked phonemes in inflectional morphology should increase over time. I examine the phonological components of the inflectional morphology of Modern English and compare them with the phonological components of the inflectional morphology of Old and Middle English and then trace the parallel development of inflectional morphology in Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic to Old English.
Published online: 20 December 2006
Cited by 1 other publications
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