Aspects of Phonological Theory
Paul Postal, 1968

Part 1. Autonomous Phonology: Pro and Con

Section I. A Fallacious Argument for Autonomous Phonology

1. A purported justification for Autonomous Phonemics

The basic argument

The fallacy

2. Further commentary on Contrast and Autonomous Phonemics

A varient of the argument

Some implications of the fallacy

On the basis of the fallacy

Section II. Real Arguments Against Autonomous Phonology

3. Failure of the Stratificational defense of Autonomous Phonemics


An older type of argument

Initial failure

Appendix: Brief comments on Lamb's 'Prolegomena to a Theory of Phonology'

4. Phonetic-Phonological relations and the deeper failure of Stratificational Phonemics

The Naturalness Condition

Stratificational Phonemics as a violation of the Naturalness Condition


5. Incoherence in Stratificational Phonemics

6. Non-Phonetic properties in phonology


Categorial properties

Feature properties

Exception properties

7. Rule ordering and Stratificational Phonology


The meaning of Rule Order

A set of ordered rules in Mohawk


8. Marked and Unmarked in phonological structure

Some comments on dictionary entries

The early theory of Systematic Phonemic dictionary representation

Fundamentals of the Marked-Unmarked Asymmetrical Theory of phonological representation

Appendix: The incompatibility of Stratificational Grammar and a lexicon

9. New types of argument against Autonomous Phonology

The argument from Phonotactics

The argument from the nontransitivity of contrast

Part 2. On the Mentalistic Character of So Called 'Sound Change'

Section II. Background and the NeoGrammarian Position

10. The problem


An issue in the theory of sound change

Section II. Empirical Disconfirmation of the NeoGrammarian Position

11. Some Iroquoian sound changes




12. Further commentary on nonphonetic sound changes

Section III. The Nature of Sound Change

13. What is sound change?

The mentalistic character of sound change

The methodological argument

Some remarks on the 'Causes of Sound Change'

14. Hockett's present position

15. Conclusion

Concluding remarks on sound change

General conclusion

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