London school: Prosodic Phonology
英國語言學家。弗斯是現代語言學倫敦學派的創始人。曾在利茲大學 (University of Leeds) 攻讀歷史。
弗斯在語言學上有兩項獨特見解：一是根據言語背景和上下文來尋求意義，二是用一套新方法來描寫語言“節律”。他堅持談語言不能不談人生和文化，分析語言不能撇開意義。他的創見主要發表在一些論文中，後來編成 “1934~1951年論文集” (1957)和 “1952~1959年論文集”(1968)。
17~19世紀，大英帝國版圖日益擴張，語種日益複雜，既需要確立通行全境的標準英語，又需要通曉各非英語民族的語。因此，英國的語言研究有其明確的實用目的，與德國歷史比較語言學者偏重古史考證不同。在正音法、詞典編纂法、速記術、拼寫改革各方面，英國人在16世紀以後下了許多功夫。在弗斯之前，Henry Sweet (http://www.gla.ac.uk/Acad/FacSoc/henrysweet/ ) 和Danial Jones對語音學貢獻尤大。
Firth identifies features which characterize particular aspects of a property with a function is called a prosody. A given property may be treated as prosody because its manifestation extends over a number of positions within the structure. Even if a property is only realized at a single position in a structure, however, it is treated as prosody if its occurrence is specifically characteristic of that position. For instance, in a language which has both aspirated and plain consonants in syllable initial position, but only plain consonants elsewhere, it may be appropriate to establish a prosody of aspiration which is realized as aspiration specifically of the syllable-initial consonant (and whose absence implies non-aspiration), rather than positing both aspirated and plain consonants in the syllable-initial system.
The nature of a prosodic analysis is an apportioning of the phonic data of utterances among the elements of structure, prosodies associated with particular units of structure (phrase, word, syllable, or parts of syllables), which may form systems connected with those units. Although the nature of a prosodic analysis is a sort of deduction based on the phonetic material alone; but it should be stressed that Firth and his students did not at all maintain a separation of phonological from grammatical analysis. In fact, actual prosodic descriptions show extensive grammatical conditioning.
The important difference between prosodic and phonemic analyses was alluded to above: the status of nondistinctive properties. Most schools of phonemic analysis (and at least early generative phonology as well) took the position that any property, which does not serve to distinguish forms from one another should be excluded from the phonological description. At best, it is included in the definitions of the allophonic realizations of phonological units, but it certainly does not play a part in the definition of the primes of phonological structure. Prosodic analysis, in contrast, is concerned just as much with the nondistinctive as with the distinctive properties. Prosodies are defined in terms of all of the systematic syntagmatic regularities that are associated with one another in a given structure. In Sprigg’s (1955) analysis of tone in Tibetan, for example, the exponents of either of the two tonal prosodies include (a) features of vowel pitch; (b) features of duration of the vowel; (c) features of aspiration, etc. in the initial consonant; and (d) features of voice quality in the vowel. Only one of these properties would need to be taken as distinctive, but all are included in the definition of the prosodies.
Autosegments in representations are closely similar to prosodies, and metrical and skeletal representations are quite close to Firthian ‘structures’ within which systems of phonematic units and prosodies operate. The notion of as autosegment’s being linked lexically to a particular segment, for example, correspond closely to the Firthian notion that a prosody may have a ‘focus’. There are some interesting differences as well, however. For example, a prosody may extend over several structural positions, just as an autosegment can, but there is no case in which more than one prosody from the same system can be associated with the same structural position, as in the autosegmental analysis of contour tones (which involve two or more independent tonal autosegments attached to the same vowel).
Prosodic theory also allows a richer array of possibilities in some respects than autosegmental theory. A prosody, for example, may involve any arbitrary combination of phonetic properties, so long as they are systematically related to one another in syntagmatic way: thus aspiration, tone, length, and voice quality (realized in different positions within the syllable) are all part of the same tonal prosodies in Sprigg’s analysis of Tibetan. An autosegment, on the other hand, is simply a particular feature whose relation to structural positions in the skeletal structure is not one-to-one. It must thus be an individual, phonetically coherent feature. Another difference is that prosodies represent general syntagmatic dependencies, whatever their nature, while autosegments represent a particular property with scope greater (or less) than a single segment.
J. R.Firth (related workes)
Firthian Declarative Phonology
●Anderson, Stephen R. 1985. Phonology in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
●Firth, J. R. 1946. The English School of Phonetics. Transactions of the Philological ,
●Firth, J. R. 1948. Sounds and Prosodies. Transactions of the Philological , Society, 127-52.
●Terence , D. L., 1968. The London School of Linguistics: A Study of the Linguistic Theories of B. Malinowski and J.R. Firth. Mass: Cambridge.