Peter Baofu, PhD
Series: Languages and Linguistics
Are the rules and principles in phonology so general that, as Jacques Derrida once said, “as soon as there is language, generality has entered the scene?” (REL 2013)
This general view on language (or phonology in the current context) can be contrasted with an opposing view by Alfred North Whitehead that “we think in generalities, but we live in detail.” (BRAIN 2013)
Contrary to these opposing views (and other ones as will be discussed in the book), phonology (in relation to generality and specificity) are neither possible (or impossible) nor desirable (or undesirable) to the extent that the respective ideologues (on different sides) would like us to believe.
Surely, this reexamination of different opposing views on phonology does not mean that the study of generality and specificity is futile, or that those fields (related to phonology) – like descriptive linguistics, theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, phonetics, speech synthesis, speech perception, morphophonology, articulatory phonology, laboratory phonology, phonotactics, and so on – are unimportant. (WK 2013) In fact, neither of these extreme views is reasonable.
Rather, this book offers an alternative (better) way to understand the future of phonology in regard to the dialectic relationship between generality and specificity – while learning from different approaches in the literature but without favoring any one of them (nor integrating them, since they are not necessarily compatible with each other). More specifically, this book offers a new theory (that is, <i>the inclusionist theory of phonology</i>) to go beyond the existing approaches in a novel way and is organized in four chapters.
This seminal project will fundamentally change the way that we think about generality and specificity in phonology (together with other debates as will be discussed in the rest of the book), from the combined perspectives of the mind, nature, society, and culture, with enormous implications for the human future and what I originally called its “post-human” fate. (Imprint: Nova)