Phonetic data and phonological analyses

J. C. Roux


This paper is basically concerned with the relationship between phonetic data and phonological analyses. I) It will be shown that phonological analyses based on unverified phonetic data tend to accommodate ad hoc, unmotivated, and even phonetically implausible phonological rules. On the other hand, it will be demonstrated that a phonological analysis (of the same phenomenon), based on verified phonetic data, accounts for these data in an acceptable, natural and credible manner. Examples will be taken from the phenomenon of labialization in Sesotho2) to illustrate the point that it is absolutely necessary to make a clearcut distinction between "data" and "facts" in generative phonological descriptions.

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ISSN 2223-9936 (online); ISSN 1027-3417 (print)

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