Linear phonology is a method of studying the structure of the phonological components of language. Phonology is the branch of linguistics that explores how speech sounds are spoken and systematically organized within languages. Phonologists inventory the phonemes (i.e., the speech sounds) of a language and examine the features of these sounds and propose rules to describe how sounds are linked and patterned to form words. This entry discusses the differences between linear and nonlinear phonology; uses of linear phonology, for example, with children who have phonological delays; and the contributions of researchers, such as Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle.

Phonology entails several branches of study. Classical phonemics explores phonemes and phoneme combinations. Generative phonology is the study of the features of phonemes. Analysis within generative phonology ...

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