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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Linguistic Seminar Series - Me, You and Language: Three essential perspectives on Phonetics and Phonologies

When: Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 4:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Where: Online:

Speaker: James Scobbie

We have the pleasure to welcome James Scobbie (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh) to our linguistic seminar series.


How are phonetics and phonology related? How do they differ? Why is the nature of the interface betweenthem so controversial within the Sound System of language? These fundamental questions can be approached in a number of different ways, depending on the phenomena of interest, theoretical orientation and methodological approach. However, a common thread isthat each Sound System has just one phonology. This is despite the clear need for multiple approaches to phonetics (articulatory, acoustic, cognitive, and neuro-perceptual), as well as the need to recognise the more general overarching requirements to recogniseboth the individual and social dimensions of Sound Systems. This talk argues that as well needing to accept the complexity of multidimensional phonetic space, we also need to consider phonology as a plurality. We need phonologies. Three perspectives providethe structure for this relaxation and complication of the theoretical space; to this change in viewpoint which clarifies what our partial studies of the multidimensional Sound System contribute to the more complex whole. These are the perspectives of the Self,of Others, and of Language.

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