Future of Post-Human Phonology: Towards a New Theory of Generality & Specificity

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 (nor impossible) nor desirable (or undesirable) to the extent that the respective ideologues (on different sides) would like us to believe. Surely, this re-examination 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 favouring 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, the inclusionist theory of phonology) to go beyond the existing approaches in a novel way and is organised in four chapters.