[Lingtyp] Literature on phonological distance between languages

JOO, Ian [Student] ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk
Tue Aug 2 02:13:00 UTC 2022

Dear typologists,

I would appreciate it if you could point to me any literature on phonological distance between the phonological systems of multiple languages.

I do not refer to:

  *   Distance between phonological segments (for example, the distance between English father and German Vater)
  *   Dialectometry (for example, the distance between British English and American English, based on how the two dialects pronounce the same words)

I only refer to:

  *   Distance between the phonology of two languages (for example, the distance between English phonology and Japanese phonology, in terms of its phonemic inventory, phonotactic rules, allophones, segmental frequency, etc.)

So far I have only found the following works:

  *   Afendras, E. A. (1970). “Quantitative distinctive feature typologies and a demonstration of areal convergence”. In: ITL-International Journal of Applied Linguistics 9.1, pp. 49–81. DOI: 10.1075/itl.9.05afe.
  *   Avram, Andrei (1964). “Sur la typologie phonologique quantitative”. In: Revue roumaine de Linguistique IX, pp. 131–134.
  *   Eden, S. Elizabeth (2018). “Measuring phonological distance between languages”. PhD thesis. University College London.
  *   Kučera, Henry and George K Monroe (1968). A comparative quantitative phonology of Russian, Czech, and German. 4. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company.
  *   Macklin-Cordes, Jayden L, Claire Bowern, and Erich R Round (2021). “Phylogenetic signal in phonotactics”. In: Diachronica 38.2, pp. 210–258.
  *   Nikolaev, Dmitry (2019). “Areal dependency of consonant inventories”. In: Language Dynamics and Change 9.1, pp. 104–126.
  *   Postovalova Постовалова, V. I. В. И. (1966). “O sočetajemosti differencial’nyx priznakov soglasnyx fenomen sovremennogo russkogo jazyka О сочетаемости дифференциальных признаков согласных фонем современного русского языка [On the compatibility of the differential features of consonantal phonemes of contemporary Russian]”. In: Problemy lingvističeskogo analiza: Fonologija, grammatika, leksikologija Проблемы лингвистического анализа: Фонология, грамматика, лексикология [Problems of linguistic analysis:Phonology, grammar, lexicology]. Ed. by E. A. Э. А. Makajev Макаев. Moscow Москва: Nauka Наука, pp. 34–46.

Please let me know if you are aware of any other works measuring this type of phonological distance.

From Hong Kong,


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