Empirical Phonology and Cartesian Tables

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This work is about the establishment of empirically testable models in functionalist phonological description and the use of cartesian tables in phonological modelling. A clear distinction is drawn between theoretical (meta-) statements and descriptive statements (i.e. those which may be confronted with phonetic phenomena subjected to appropriate testing). A new type of cartesian table is introduced first in the description of combinations of distinctive features and then of combinations of phonemes. Further models of well-formed complexes of distinctive features and phonemes are established on the basis of the tables. Examples of the application of the method are drawn from a number of languages, particularly English, French, and Russian 5.

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