Joseph Salmons: Sound change and phonological theory: Consonants in Germanic – Københavns Universitet

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Joseph Salmons: Sound change and phonological theory: Consonants in Germanic

Joe Salmons er professor i Germansk sprogvidenskab og direktør for Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures. Joe Salmons’ produktive forskning omfatter historisk sprogvidenskab, fonologi og tysk, ikke mindst tysk som ’arvesprog’, dvs. tyske dialekter som de har udviklet sig i immigrantsamfund i Nordamerika. Joe Salmons har adskillige redaktørposter, blandt andet som medredaktør of Oxford Handbook of Historical Phonology, hovedredaktør af Diachronica: International journal for historical linguistics og medredaktør af Historical Sociolinguistics: Studies on Language and Society in the Past. Hans hovedbeskæftigelse er for tiden at færdiggøre andenudgaven af A History of German: What the past reveals about today's language (Oxford University Press) og monografien Modularity in Phonology (Cambridge University Press).

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Sound change and phonological theory: Consonants in Germanic

Recent work in basic phonological theory can advance understanding of classic problems in historical sound change. I introduce current developments in two areas — Laryngeal Realism (Iverson & Salmons 2011, Salmons forthcoming) and the Contrastive Hierarchy (Dresher 2009, Hall 2011, Oxford 2015) — and apply them to obstruent contrasts. I focus on historical patterns of fortition and lenition in North and West Germanic with attention to the distinct roles played by phonetics and phonology, and the role of ‘phonological activity’. Simple theoretical notions allow us to capture rich complexity in these historical changes.


Dresher, Elan. 2009. The Contrastive Hierarchy in Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hall, Daniel Currie. 2011. Phonological contrast and its phonetic enhancement. Phonology 28.1-54.

Iverson, Gregory & Joseph Salmons. 2011. Final Devoicing and Final Laryngeal Neutralization. Companion to Phonology, ed. by Marc van Oostendorp, Colin Ewen, Beth Hume & Keren Rice. Volume III, pp. 1622-1643. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Oxford, Will. 2015. Patterns of contrast in phonological change: Evidence from Algonquian vowel systems. Language 91.308-358.

Salmons, Joseph. Forthcoming. Laryngeal Phonetics, Phonology, Assimilation and Final Neutralization. Cambridge Handbook of Germanic Linguistics, ed. by B. Richard Page & Michael T. Putnam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.