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Origins of Sound ChangeApproaches to Phonologization$
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Alan C. L. Yu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573745

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573745.001.0001

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Enlarging the scope of phonologization *

Enlarging the scope of phonologization *

(p.3) 1 Enlarging the scope of phonologization*
Origins of Sound Change

Larry M. Hyman

Oxford University Press

This chapter has three goals: (i) to define and delimit the notion of ‘phonologization’; (ii) to determine how phonologization fits into the bigger picture; (iii) to discuss a few examples, e.g. the effects of voiced obstruents (‘depressor consonants’) on pitch; vowel harmony; word and utterance demarcation. The chapter begins by considering the original definition of phonologization (‘A universal phonetic tendency is said to become “phonologized” when language-specific reference must be made to it, as in a phonological rule." (Hyman 1972:170)), a concept which can be traced back at least as far as Baudouin de Courtenay (1895 [1972:184]). Particular attention is paid to the role of contrast in the phonologization process. After presenting canonical examples of phonologization (particularly transphonologizations, whereby a contrast is shifted or transformed but maintained), it is suggested that the term ‘phonologization’ needs to be extended to cover other ways that phonological structure either changes or comes into being. Throughout the article emphasis is on what Hopper (1987:148) identifies as ‘movements towards structure’: the emergence of grammar (grammaticalization) and its subsequent transformations (regrammaticalization, degrammaticalization). After showing that phonologization has important parallels to well-known aspects of ‘grammaticalization’ (Hyman 1984), the chapter concludes that phonologization is but one aspect of the larger issue of how (phonetic, semantic, pragmatic) substance becomes linguistically codified into form.

Keywords:   phonologization, depressor consonants, tone, atr vowel harmony, grammaticalization

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