ON THE PARADOXICAL BASES OF MODERN SPEECH METHODOLOGY
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The aim of the article is to comment on the foundations of modern speech methodology. Modern speech theory rests on the concession that speech utterances are chains of discrete phonological units (individual 'sounds', 'phonemes', 'phones' etc.). Trying to unveil the postulated 'segments' in the continuous speech signal, three main versions of the speech segmentalism were proposed, based on the concepts of the 'microscopic', 'hidden' and 'mental' segmentation respectively. Vain pursuits for more than a hundred years have, however, discovered no trace of the sought 'segments' in speech flow. The crucial question of our speech investigations now remains: to proceed, or not to proceed any further, with this fruitless quest for 'speech segmentation'? The application of the so-called 'existential test' (an abstract analytic method used to appreciate the adequacy of empiric hypotheses) to the speech segmentation concept reveals the supposed 'phonological segments' being nothing more than self-contradictory methodological fiction. These 'segments' can never be found in speech wave.
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