ID: 3221 - View Book Page - Edit In OJS
Approximants are an especially interesting group of consonants. They consist of four separate types, traditionally termed lateral approximants, rhotic (or central) approximants, semi-vowels, and frictionless continuants. This book brings together an international team of scholars to examine the phonetics and phonology of this diverse group of sounds, and also looks at the question of whether they should, in fact, be grouped together.
The volume is divided into four parts. Part 1 contains 7 chapters dealing with general characteristics of approximants: their articulatory features, acoustics, and perception, together with phonological and sociolinguistic aspects, concluding with surveys of approximant systems in the languages of the world, and means of transcribing them phonetically. Part 2 has five chapters examining the acquisition of approximants (in Maltese, Spanish, Portuguese, and English) and the effects of speech disorders of different types on the production of these sounds. Part 3 describes approximant systems in a variety of the languages of the world, including several Indo-European languages but also examples of Dravidian, Semitic, Uralic, and Sinitic languages, and languages from Africa, South America and Australia. The final part contains a single chapter that examines the approximant category phonetically and phonologically, asking whether the approximant consonant group is justified.
This collection will appeal to a readership at the level of advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and to researchers in the field who may know of the concept of approximants but be unaware of its application to the range of languages (many of them under-reported languages) in this book.
Published: Mar 1, 2025