Phonology (definition)

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Phonology explores the distribution of sounds within a language. Phonologists are often concerned with the phoneme inventory of a particular language and the alternations between sounds in different contexts. Despite paying similar attention to speech sounds, phonology differs from phonetics in the concern it pays to the mental representation of those sounds. Phonologists can describe a sound relative to the other sounds with which it appears and by the changes it undergoes when the environment varies.

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  • Crystal, D. (2008) Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.