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Tsutomu Akamatsu
Reino Unido
Vol. 27 (2021), Artículos
Recibido: 13-10-2021 Aceptado: 14-02-2022 Publicado: 16-11-2022
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The purpose of this paper is to attempt a short critical survey of the theory of neutralization and the archiphoneme which N. S. Trubetzkoy progressively developed from roughly the late 1920’s to 1938. His magnum opus, Grundzüge der Phonologie, saw the light of day the year after his decease in 1938. I have spread the net wider than just Grundzüge by studying a number of available pre-Grundzüge writings on the theory. Many aspects of the theory seem to have been unproblematically accepted by subsequent phonologists without critically discussing certain of the key points in the theory. It seems to me that the all-important notion of ‘neutralization’ suffers from certain aspects of the notion of ‘archiphoneme’ that Trubetzkoy presents which in turn suffers from his introduction of the notion of ‘archiphoneme representative’ whose nature remains obscure. The involvement of the concepts of ‘mark’, ‘marked’ and ‘unmarked’ creates further complications. Within the confines of the present paper, I have deliberately concentrated on Trubetzkoy’s writings only and left untouched what other interested linguists have had to say about Trubetzkoy’s theory of neutralization and the archiphoneme. The present work consists of first, my critical discussions of certain points in Trubetzkoy’s theory of neutralization and the archiphoneme and second, my own version of the theory by citing actual examples of my analyses of a few case of neutralization some languages.