15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

The Dissociation of Consonants and Vowels from CV Frames in the Phylogeny of Language

Jarosław Weckwerth

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

This paper investigates the origins of the compositional principle in phonology. MacNeilage's (1998) "Frame/Content" theory is used as a point of departure. The paper presents a scenario in which stabilisation of production resulting from (1) auditory and tactile feedback gained during exploration of the articulatory space and (2) attempts at imitation of ambient sound structures played a crucial role in the process of digitisation of phonology. It is argued that, since acoustic correlates of individual articulatory gestures are always bundled in acoustic feedback, gesture bundles possibly corresponding to modern phonetic segments may have been used in the process of decomposition of CV structures into independent, re-combinable units.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Weckwerth, Jarosław (2003): "The dissociation of consonants and vowels from CV frames in the phylogeny of language", In ICPhS-15, 1169-1172.