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Phonological theory deals with the mental representation and computation of speech sounds.  The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology (CHP) contains introductory chapters on research in this field, focusing on current theories and recent developments.


Since the previous major handbook of phonology (Goldsmith's 1995 Handbook of Phonological Theory [link]), phonological theory has undergone enormous changes.  Among these are the rise of Optimality Theory and increasing appeal to functionalist explanations.  Certain research areas have also become more visible, such as learnability, free variation, and language acquisition.  CHP provides in-depth summaries of recent research in all of these areas.

Using this website

This website provides a supplementary material for the book, and a means to discuss the book's topics.

The search functions allow searching of the text of the book (i.e. an online index).

The references can be searched too, or downloaded in a variety of formats.
Supplementary material is provided for each chapter.



The chapters are written for readers with a basic background in phonological theory.  Each chapter is a concise topic overview that introduces core ideas and significant advances, and identifies topics for further research.  They can be read on their own, or as part of a graduate or advanced undergraduate course in phonological theory.

Chapters and Authors

Click here for a chapter list

or download the table of contents: [PDF]


Click here for a list of authors

or download the contributors list: [PDF]


How to cite


For the book:

de Lacy, Paul (ed.). (2007) The Handbook of Phonology.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


For chapters within the book: (example)

Prince, Alan (2007). The pursuit of theory.  In Paul de Lacy (ed.) The Handbook of Phonology.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press, pp. 33-60.

Citations for each chapter are given on the webpage.


For materials on this website:

Author (2007). Title.  Breadcrumb. URL. [Date accessed].


Hall, T.A. (2007). Reading list for chapter 13.  Chapters > 13. http://handbookofphonology.rutgers.edu [7 January 2007].




The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology project started in 2003.  It was published in February 2007.  For a brief history of the making of the book, click here.


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Rutgers Linguistics Department
Rutgers University

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