Linking the Dispersion-Focalization Theory (DFT) and the Maximum Utilization of the Available Distinctive Features (MUAF) principle in a Perception-for-Action-Control Theory (PACT)

Abstract : The ''substance-based'' approach to phonology was born some 35 years ago with two seminal contributions, one by Liljencrants and Lindblom (1972)--the first of Lindblom's many variations on dispersion and perceptual contrast (Dispersion Theories: Lindblom 1986, 1990b)--the other, Stevens's Quantal Theory (1972, 1989). These contributions constituted the starting point for a rich tradition of descriptive and theoretical phonetics, in which the aim is not to ref ute the existence of a formal phonological level with its intrinsic formal principles and rules, but, instead, to determine and, possibly, model how the emergence of such formal systems could be shaped by the perceptuo-motor substance of speech communication. The link between substance and form, however, is still not completely clear. In 1979, John Ohala questioned the role of maximization of perceptual dispersion, suggesting that with this principle ''we should undoubtedly reach the patently false prediction that a seven-consonant system should include something like the following set:
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Jean-Luc Schwartz, Louis-Jean Boë, Christian Abry. Linking the Dispersion-Focalization Theory (DFT) and the Maximum Utilization of the Available Distinctive Features (MUAF) principle in a Perception-for-Action-Control Theory (PACT). M.J. Solé, P.S. Beddor, M. Ohala. Experimental Approaches to Phonology, Oxfort University Press, pp.104-124, 2007. ⟨hal-00195315⟩

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