Phonetics in the Field


  • Ian Maddieson



it seems generally the case that little detail on specifically phonetic matters is provided in a typical grammar, nor is there much use of phonetic techniques to provide insights on other matters, such as adding precision to observations of phonological alternations or testing whether supposed syntactic ambiguities are actually disambiguated at the phonetic level. While syntactic patterns are documented with example sentences, often from natural discourse or texts, the phonetic facts are rarely if ever documented by the presentation of hard evidence. In order to see if this impression was justified a survey of twenty grammars published or submitted as doctoral dissertations in the period of a dozen years from 1989 to 2000 was conducted.