Elizabeth C. Zsiga

Elizabeth Zsiga is Professor and Chair in the Linguistics Department at Georgetown University and the author of The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology.

  • The Phonology/Phonetics Interface

    The Phonology/Phonetics Interface

    Elizabeth C. Zsiga

    A textbook for advanced students that goes beyond basic phonetics and phonology to investigate their interaction.

    Is speech in the mouth or in the brain? Do we hear with our ears or our minds? The answer is: both. The sounds of language are both physical objects and cognitive constructs. The physical aspects of speech are the province of phonetics: sound waves that are produced by the movement of articulators and received by the ear. Phonology, by contrast, studies cognitive aspects: systematic patterns in the ways that languages combine sounds to create meaning. Many books look at phonology and phonetics as separate disciplines. This book looks at the interaction between the two.

    The Phonology/Phonetics Interface examines classic and current linguistic theories —including structuralist, derivational, and post-derivational approaches—to explore how physical and cognitive factors interact in the mind of the speaker and in the language system as a whole. The patterns of phonology are often clearly dependent on the principles of phonetics, yet they can also diverge from them in sometimes complex ways. The book examines the roles of both articulation and perception in creating and maintaining phonological patterns. Chapters are organized thematically around central issues, such as categorization or abstraction, presented roughly in the order in which these issues rose to the forefront of linguistic theorizing, providing historical perspective without adhering to a completely chronological presentation. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and references for further reading. The book is suitable for students in advanced courses and as an overview for professionals and scholars.

    • Paperback $35.00