COMPARING AND CONTRASTING NATURAL PHONOLOGY, OPTIMALITY THEORY AND THE THEORY OF PHONOLOGY AS HUMAN BEHAVIOR
This paper compares and contrasts the theories of Natural Phonology, Optimality Theory and Phonology as Human Behavior from diverse theoretical and methodological aspects including: the interaction between the opposing forces of markedness (the human factor) and faithfulness (the communication factor); the sentence-oriented versus sign-oriented approaches; and the concepts of naturalistic versus generative research paradigms. Despite these basic differences, similarities are also found in their shared functional basis which is discussed in the context of the natural phonological processes of Natural Phonology. The author will further show how each theory views the notion of language universals. The concepts of combinatory phonology, phonotactics, and diachronic, developmental and clinical phonology will be discussed as measures of defining and determining the concept of language universals. The author maintains that biological, physiological, cognitive, psychological, sociological and other universals of human behavior are merely reflected in language rather than being specific 'language universals' per se.
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