Talk:Distinctive feature

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I have rewritten the entire article because I felt the former article contained little to no information about distinctive features. The phonetics topics it did discuss are better placed in their respective articles. In the future I would like to expand the article now in place by including information on such topics as redundancy, nonspecification, natural classes as motivators for distinctive features. Please, feel free to start! (I'll catch up.) Jobber 21:21, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Should manner of articulation and place of articulation be "under" this article? Ie, is this the "all about articulation" article? Discussion in Talk:Vowel#Integration of articulation articles. 06:41, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't think so. Distinctive features aren't only about place and manner of articulation. User:Angr 07:33, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Features in application[edit]

What would be nice in this article would be to follow the feature descriptions with some feature charts and possible some descriptions of individual segments.

It would also be nice to have some examples for some langage, e.g., English AlainD 08:33, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Vowel length[edit]

Hi, this article doesn't explain how vowel length can be a distinctive feature. --Kjoonlee 04:29, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

It's not an exhaustive list of distinctive features. Next time, try looking under vowel length. Indeterminate (talk) 04:46, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


The discription of [distributed] has zero content: "The tongue is extended for some distance in the mouth." The tongue is *always* extended for some distance in the mouth. We need a better description. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gpkh (talkcontribs) 21:02, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Single-valued features?[edit]

I'm not an expert in the field, so forgive me if my question is stupid, but what does "can only describe the classes of segments that are said to possess those features, and not the classes that are without them" mean? Isn't it obvious that if classes of segments do not possess the feature then they lack the feature? Isn't that still binary? Is this a question of how the features and their presence and/or absence are described, or is this actually another type of feature? I think some clarification is in order. (talk) 14:03, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

These are the so-called "privative" features. They're technically part of a binary opposition, but with conventional "equipollent" features, both [-A] and [+A] have equal status in phonological representations, while in a privative contrast between presence of A and absence of A that's not the case. AnonMoos (talk) 06:55, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
If you want to delve into some of the technical details, a Google search on privative equipollent turns up a number of results: [1] -- AnonMoos (talk) 06:59, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I think this distinction is too technical for Wikipedia, and anyway there are no examples given, there's no citation, and it shouldn't be in the summary paragraph, but in a "criticism" type section.

This is the best distinction I could find (n/a to phonology but gets the point across): "The labels singular and plural are equipollent, whereas, for example, the substitution of plural and nonplural, or conversely singular and nonsingular, would be privative." [1]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the post-SPE developments in phonology aren't really motivated by this distinction. If anything, it should be in a separate section further down the page. zuky79 (talk) 07:30, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

History of feature theory[edit]

Shouldn't there be some section about the history of feature theory, particularly bringing up the contrast between Jakobsonian acoustic features and SPE articulatory features, as well as the progression that has happened since SPE. There should also be mention of the fact that feature theory is not universally accepted (government phonology for example). I will do this myself at some point if there are no objections, but I'm only an undergrad, so really I feel that there should be someone more knowledgeable to go over this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Descriptions (talkcontribs) 19:27, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
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