Edited By Małgorzata Fabiszak, Karolina Krawczak and Katarzyna Rokoszewska
Towards More Radical Solutions for Categorization Problem in Phonology A Cognitive Grammar Perspective
In the present paper, I make an attempt to consolidate two perspectives on the categorization of phonological units: one linguistic, the other neurophysiological. My goal here is to propose a more adequate description and better understanding of the cognitive / neurophysiological basis for speech production as well as the nature of phonology / phonetics interface1. Simultaneously, the analysis should shed some light on the degree of adequacy of the analytic tools available in Cognitive Grammar with respect to the problems with categorization of phonological segments, phonemes, allophones, and category overlaps.
Among the problems with phonological analysis that remain unresolved is the issue of category overlap, illustrated by Mompean-Gonzalez’s (2004: 445) discussion on the simultaneous category membership of two allophones: /ɾ/ and /ɾ̥/ in two phonemic categories: /t/ and /d/. A question that is particularly tantalizing in this context is: How are the hearers able to identify the intended meaning in cases such as writing/riding, biddy/bitty? The answer will be sought within Wickelgren’s (1969) proposal on context-sensitive allophones and the analytic potential of Langacker’s (1987) Cognitive Grammar.
The paper consists of three parts: (i) a brief discussion on the fundamental assumptions of Cognitive Grammar that are directly relevant for the present analysis (the symbolic nature of language, the phonological structure as conceptual structure, the notion of profile/base alignment); (ii) an introduction of Wickelgren’s (1969) proposal concerning serial order in noncreative behavior; (iii) an attempt to blend Wickelgren’s “context sensitive...
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