Prague School Phonology. The History of the Prague School Phonology. Forerunner :. It is a circle consisted of a group of young scholars such as Trubetzkoy 25yr and Jakobson 20yr , who is the president from

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Prague School Phonology. The History of the Prague School Phonology. Forerunner :. It is a circle consisted of a group of young scholars such as Trubetzkoy 25yr and Jakobson 20yr , who is the president from The issues that this circle concerns are of both language and linguistics including problems of poetics, literature analysis, and general artistic structure under the influence of Slavic and historical linguistics. When the Revolution broke out on October the members of this circle fled and this circle nearly dismissed.

Foundation :. More importantly, de Saussure had left a legacy of modern structuralism which greatly influenced linguistics in general. Working within this structuralist tradition were, among others, a group of scholars known from as the Linguistic Circle of Prague. In phonology, two members of the Circle stand out: Roman Jakobson , who began his career in Moscow but moved to Czechoslovakia and worked there in the s before fleeing via Scandinavia to the USA; and Nikolai S.

Trubetzkoy , also of Russian origin, who was a professor in Vienna from until his death. Chronicle of the Prague School Phonology. The Representative Characters. Roman Jakobson From left to right: R. Jakobson L1 ,. Trubetzkoy L2. He also focuses the importance of linguistics on language acquisition, aphasia, act of communication, meaning in grammar, poetry, and the systematicity of language change.

So, for more information, you may consult functional phonology. This part can be found in the book, Roman Jakobson: A Bibliography of His Writings, which contains items of his writing from to So, for more information, see the functional structuralist phonology. Clarifying the distinction between phonetics and phonology by the criterion of function. Investigating insistently on phonic substance in terms of its various functions in individual languages.

Emphasizing on the concept of phonological opposition primary over phoneme secondary. Classifying phonological oppositions typologically instead of binaristic. Studying at Leipzig for PhD. Fleeing Moscow to Caucasus. The detailed recordings of the articles written by N.

Trubetzkoy were compiled in Principles of. Most of his articles can be found in the following publication:. Paris: C. Leon Stilman. New York: Columbia Univ. Im Auftrage der Akademie hrsg. Bon Rudolf Jagoditsch. Vienna: In Kommission bei R. Abriss einer Entwicklunsgeschichte. Rudolf Jagoditsch, Graz, H. Postscript by A. The Hague: Mouton.

The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. This book has the following three characteristics:. Discussing the nature of distinctive oppositions in theoretical, terms. Surveying analytical procedures, i. Giving extensive examples of the different oppositions of various languages. Main Theories and Tasks. Main Theory. This was a significant insight, which seemed to accord with linguistic experience. By the very nature of spoken language, a speaker is aware of differences and reacts to mispronunciation or interference with the system of oppositions.

But the isolation of individual phonemes from their spoken context is neither a typical nor an easy task. Most speakers seem incapable of doing it in any systematic way, and, in literate societies, usually resort to naming letters and spelling out a word rather than attempting to articulate separate phonemes. Besides discussing the nature of distinctive oppositions in theoretical terms, Trubetzkoy also surveys analytical procedures and gives extensive examples of the different oppositions of various languages.

He follows through the implications of the structural approach in a number of ways, particularly in the classification of oppositions. He is also responsible for the concepts neutralization and archiphoneme which are consistent with a functional view of the phoneme. Jacobson and Trubetzkoy also initiated modern distinctive feature theory.

The notion of component features is already implicit in the idea of opposition. This further strengthened their point that phonemes represented points in a system rather than physical or mental entities.

To specify the types of differences that can be found in general, and in characterize multiple pairs of elements e. To formulate general laws governing the relations of these correlations to one another within particular phonological systems. To account for historical change in terms of the phonological system rather than the individual sound which undergoes it, and to construe such changes as teleologically governed by considerations of the system.

To found phonetic studies on an acoustic rather than an articulatory basis, since it is the production of sound that is the goal of linguistic phonetic events and that gives them their social character. Important Concepts of Prague School. Distinctive Features :. Just as this signal contains a limited number of variables, so perceptual response to it operates with a limited number of categories.

The most famous elaboration of this approach is clarified in works by Jakobson, Fant and Hlle and Jakobson and Halle This scheme uses perceptual terms which reflect acoustic cues rather than articulatory mechanics. Jakobson and Halle employed only 12 features, which were listed with articulatory correlates as well as acoustic cues. All of the features are polar oppositions, allowing relative values. So the acute vowels of one language need not to be identical in nature with the acute vowels of another, provided that they are more acute than the grave vowels to which they are opposed.

Moreover, the same acoustic effect can be achieved by different articulatory means. Each feature is binary, with only two opposed values along a single dimension. Distinctive Features. Nonconsonantal Distinguishes sounds with low energy and relatively substantial obstruction in the vocal tract from nonconsonantal sounds; thus, for example, a typical vowel can be considered vocalic and nonconsonantal, an approximant such as lateral both vocalic and consonantal.

Clark and Yallop Neutralization :. For any particular system, biuniqueness is a requirement that phonemes and allophones can be unambiguously assigned to each other.

A problem in this connection is that contrastive systems are often unequally exploited. This means, for example, that two phonemes may be distinguished in some structures but not in others.

Following Trubetzkoy we may say that some phonemic oppositions are suspended or neutralized under certain conditions. Trubetzkoy distinguishes three kinds of neutralization. Firstly, a language has a contrast but only one of the relevant phonemes occurs under neutralization.

Suppose a language has a contrast of voiced and voiceless plosives in word-initial and word-final positions, nut only voiceless plosives occur word-finally. Since the word-final plosives are not in contrast with voiced plosives, the contrast of voicing is inoperative or neutralized word-finally. Secondly, neutralization may be represented by some kind of variation or alternation among the otherwise contrasting phonemes.

For example, in Indonesian, there are four nasal consonant phonemes bilabial, alveolar, palatal and velar. But sequences of nasal plus other consonants are homorganic, that is the nasal and following consonants are at the same point of articulation.

Thirdly, neutralization may be represented by a sound which is distinct from both of the otherwise contrasting phonemes. One of the most common instances of this kind of neutralization is where vowel contrasts are reduced under certain conditions. Historical Status and Influence. Historical Status:. The concept of neutralization and the theory of markedness is expanded in generative grammar as well as nowadays. Related Websites.

About distinctive features:. Anderson, Stephen R. Chicago: Chicago UP. The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Clark, John.

An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Oxford and Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell.


Introduction to the Principles of Phonological Descriptions

He is widely considered to be the founder of morphophonology. He was also associated with the Russian Eurasianists. Trubetzkoy was born into privilege. His father, Sergei Nikolaevich Trubetskoy , came from a Gediminid princely family. In , he enrolled at the Moscow University. While spending some time at the University of Leipzig , Trubetzkoy was taught by August Leskien , a pioneer of research into sound laws.


Nikolai Trubetzkoy


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