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Encyclopedia > Phonology
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Theoretical linguistics
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Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). Whereas phonetics is about the physical production and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... Theoretical linguistics is that branch of linguistics that is most concerned with developing models of linguistic knowledge. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of sounds and the human voice. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... Semantics (Greek semantikos, giving signs, significant, symptomatic, from sema, sign) refers to the aspects of meaning that are expressed in a language, code, or other form of representation. ... Lexical semantics is a field in computer science and linguistics which deals mainly with word meaning. ... Statistical Semantics is the study of how the statistical patterns of human word usage can be used to figure out what people mean, at least to a level sufficient for information access (Furnas, 2006). ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Prototype Theory is a model of graded categorization in Cognitive Science, where some members of a category are more central than others. ... Stylistics is the study of style used in literary, and verbal language and the effect the writer/speaker wishes to communicate to the reader/hearer. ... In linguistics, prescription is the laying down or prescribing of normative rules for the use of a language, or the making of recommendations for effective language usage. ... In linguistics and semiotics, pragmatics is concerned with bridging the explanatory gap between sentence meaning and speakers meaning. ... Applied linguistics is the branch of linguistics concerned with using linguistic theory to address real-world problems. ... Language acquisition is the process by which the language capability develops in a human. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ... Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used. ... Anthropological linguistics is the study of language through human genetics and human development. ... Generative linguistics is a school of thought within linguistics that makes use of the concept of a generative grammar. ... In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the currently dominant school of linguistics that views the important essence of language as innately based in evolutionarily-developed and speciated faculties, and seeks explanations that advance or fit well into the current understandings of the human mind. ... Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and logical modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. ... Descriptive linguistics is the work of analyzing and describing how language is actually spoken now (or how it was actually spoken in the past), by any group of people. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time, by means of examining languages which are recognizably related through similarities such as vocabulary, word formation, and syntax, as well as the surviving records of ancient languages. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the study of insects. ... Efforts to describe and explain the human language faculty have been undertaken throughout recorded history. ... A linguist in the academic sense is a person who studies linguistics. ... Unsolved problems in : Note: Use the unsolved tag: {{unsolved|F|X}}, where F is any field in the sciences: and X is a concise explanation with or without links. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... This article is about compression waves. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of sounds and the human voice. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ...


An important part of phonology is studying which sounds are distinctive units within a language. In English, for example, /p/ and /b/ are distinctive units of sound, (i.e., they are phonemes / the difference is phonemic, or phonematic). This can be seen from minimal pairs such as "pin" and "bin", which mean different things, but differ only in one sound. On the other hand, /p/ is often pronounced differently depending on its position relative to other sounds, yet these different pronunciations are still considered by native speakers to be the same "sound". For example, the /p/ in "pin" is aspirated while the same phoneme in "spin" is not. In some other languages, for example Thai and Quechua, this same difference of aspiration or non-aspiration does differentiate phonemes. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. ... Look up pronunciation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... First language (native language, mother tongue) is the language a person learns first. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents. ... Quechua (Runa Simi; Kichwa in Ecuador) is a Native American language of South America. ...


In addition to the minimal meaningful sounds (the phonemes), phonology studies how sounds alternate, such as the /p/ in English described above, and topics such as syllable structure, stress, accent, and intonation. A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ... In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis given to certain syllables in a word. ... In linguistics, an accent is a pronunciation characteristic of a particular group of people relative to another group. ... Intonation, in linguistics, is the variation of pitch when speaking. ...


The principles of phonological theory have also been applied to the analysis of sign languages, in which it is argued that the same or a similar phonological system underlies both signed and spoken languages. (Signs are distinguished from gestures in that the latter are non-linguistic or supply extra meaning alongside the linguistic message.) A sign language (also signed language) is a language which uses manual communication instead of sound to convey meaning - simultaneously combining handshapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to express fluidly a speakers thoughts. ... See mouse gesture for gestures in computing Military signalmen use hand and body gestures to direct flight operations aboard aircraft carriers. ...

Contents

Representing phonemes

The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonological point of view. Note the intersection of the two circles—the distinction between short a, i and u is made by both speakers, but Arabic lacks the mid articulation of short vowels, while Hebrew lacks the distinction of vowel length.
The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonological point of view. Note the intersection of the two circles—the distinction between short a, i and u is made by both speakers, but Arabic lacks the mid articulation of short vowels, while Hebrew lacks the distinction of vowel length.

The writing systems of some languages are based on the phonemic principle of having one letter (or combination of letters) per phoneme and vice-versa. Ideally, speakers can correctly write whatever they can say, and can correctly read anything that is written. (In practice, this ideal is never realized.) However in English, different spellings can be used for the same phoneme (e.g., rude and food have the same vowel sounds), and the same letter (or combination of letters) can represent different phonemes (e.g., the "th" consonant sounds of thin and this are different). In order to avoid this confusion based on orthography, phonologists represent phonemes by writing them between two slashes: " / / " (but without the quotes). On the other hand, the actual sounds are enclosed by square brackets: " [ ] " (again, without quotes). While the letters between slashes may be based on spelling conventions, the letters between square brackets are usually the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) or some other phonetic transcription system. Image File history File links Phonological_Diagram_of_modern_Arabic_and_Hebrew_vowels. ... Image File history File links Phonological_Diagram_of_modern_Arabic_and_Hebrew_vowels. ... A writing system, also called a script, is used to visually record a language with symbols. ... Vintage German letter balance for home use Look up letter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ... The orthography of a language is the set of symbols (glyphs and diacritics) used to write a language, as well as the set of rules describing how to write these glyphs, including spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... Phonetic transcription (or phonetic notation) is the visual system of symbolization of the sounds occurring in spoken human language. ...


Phoneme inventories

Doing a phoneme inventory

The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonetic point of view. Note that the two circles are totally separate—none of the vowel-sounds made by speakers of one language are made by speakers of the other.
The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonetic point of view. Note that the two circles are totally separate—none of the vowel-sounds made by speakers of one language are made by speakers of the other.

Part of the phonological study of a language involves looking at data (phonetic transcriptions of the speech of native speakers) and trying to deduce what the underlying phonemes are and what the sound inventory of the language is. Even though a language may make distinctions between a small number of phonemes, speakers actually produce many more phonetic sounds. Thus, a phoneme in a particular language can be pronounced in many ways. Image File history File links Phonetic_Diagram_of_modern_Arabic_and_Hebrew_vowels. ... Image File history File links Phonetic_Diagram_of_modern_Arabic_and_Hebrew_vowels. ... Transcription is the conversion into written, typewritten or printed form, of a spoken language source, such as the proceedings of a court hearing. ... First language (native language, mother tongue) is the language a person learns first. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Looking for minimal pairs forms part of the research in studying the phoneme inventory of a language. A minimal pair is a pair of words from the same language, that differ by only a single sound, and that are recognized by speakers as being two different words. When there is a minimal pair, the two sounds represent separate phonemes. (It is often not possible to detect all phonemes with this method, so other approaches are used as well.) In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. ...


Phonemic distinctions or allophones

If two similar sounds do not belong to separate phonemes, they are called allophones of the same underlying phoneme. For instance, voiceless stops (/p/, /t/, /k/) can be aspirated. In English, voiceless stops at the beginning of a word are aspirated, whereas after /s/ they are not aspirated. (This can be seen by putting the fingers right in front of the lips and noticing the difference in breathiness in saying 'pin' versus 'spin'.) There is no English word 'pin' that starts with an unaspirated p, therefore in English, aspirated [pʰ] (the [ʰ] means aspirated) and unaspirated [p] are allophones of an underlying phoneme /p/. In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents. ...


The /t/ sounds in the words 'tub', 'stub', 'but', and 'butter' are all pronounced differently (in American English at least), yet are all perceived as "the same sound", therefore they constitute another example of allophones in English.


Another example: in English and many other languages, the liquids /l/ and /r/ are two separate phonemes (minimal pair 'life', 'rife'); however, in Korean these two liquids are allophones of the same phoneme, and the general rule is that [ɾ] comes before a vowel, and [l] does not (e.g. Seoul, Korea). A native speaker will tell you that the [l] in Seoul and the [ɾ] in Korean are in fact the same sound. What happens is that a native Korean speaker's brain recognises the underlying phoneme /l/, and, depending on the phonetic context (whether before a vowel or not), expresses it as either [ɾ] or [l]. Another Korean speaker will hear both sounds as the underlying phoneme and think of them as the same sound. This is one reason why most people have a marked accent when they attempt to speak a language that they did not grow up hearing; their brains sort the sounds they hear in terms of the phonemes of their own native language.


Change of a phoneme inventory over time

The particular sounds which are phonemic in a language can change over time. At one time, [f] and [v] were allophones in English, but these later changed into separate phonemes. This is one of the main factors of historical change of languages as described in historical linguistics. Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ...


Other topics in phonology

Phonology also includes topics such as assimilation, elision, epenthesis, vowel harmony, tone, non-phonemic prosody and phonotactics. Prosody includes topics such as stress and intonation. Assimilation is a regular and frequent sound change process by which a phoneme changes to match an adjacent phoneme in a word. ... In music, see elision (music). ... In poetry and phonetics, epenthesis (Greek epi, on × en, in + thesis, putting) is the insertion of a phoneme or syllable into a word, usually to facilitate pronunciation. ... Vowel harmony (also metaphony) is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels. ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ... In linguistics, prosody refers to intonation, rhythm, and vocal stress in speech. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis given to certain syllables in a word. ... Intonation is a term used to cover particular uses of tones in linguistics and music. ...


Development of the field

In ancient India, the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini (c. 520460 BC), who is considered the founder of linguistics, in his text of Sanskrit phonology, the Shiva Sutras, discovers the concepts of the phoneme, the morpheme and the root. The Shiva Sutras describe a phonemic notational system in the fourteen initial lines of the Aṣṭādhyāyī. The notational system introduces different clusters of phonemes that serve special roles in the morphology of Sanskrit, and are referred to throughout the text. Panini's grammar of Sanskrit had a significant influence on Ferdinand de Saussure, the father of modern structuralism, who was a professor of Sanskrit. This article tries to compile and classify all the Kingdoms of Ancient India mentioned in the Sanskrit/Vedic literature. ... Sanskrit ( , ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... This article is about grammar from a linguistic perspective. ... Indian postage stamp depicting (2004), with the implication that he used (पाणिनि; IPA ) was an ancient Indian grammarian from Gandhara (traditionally 520–460 BC, but estimates range from the 7th to 4th centuries BC). ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC Events 529 BC - Cambyses II succeeds his father Cyrus as ruler of Persia. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC - 450s BC - 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC Years: 465 BC 464 BC 463 BC 462 BC 461 BC - 460 BC - 459 BC 458 BC... Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... The Shiva Sutras (also Maheshvara Sutras) are the 14 sutras that form the basis of the AṣṭādhyāyÄ«, the Sanskrit grammar by Pāṇini. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest lingual unit that carries a semantic interpretation. ... The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. ... The Ashtadhyayi (AṣṭādhyāyÄ«, meaning eight chapters) is the earliest known grammar of Sanskrit, and one of the first works on descriptive linguistics, generative linguistics, or linguistics altogether. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ... Structuralism is best known as a theory in the humanities. ...


The Polish scholar Jan Baudouin de Courtenay coined the word phoneme in 1876, and his work, though often unacknowledged, is considered to be the starting point of modern phonology. He worked not only on the theory of the phoneme but also on phonetic alternations (i.e., what is now called allophony and morphophonology). His influence on Ferdinand de Saussure was also significant. Jan Niecislaw Baudouin de Courtenay (March 13, 1845 - November 3, 1929) was a Polish linguist, best known for his theory of the phoneme and phonetic alternations. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... In Quebec, an allophone (French or English. ... Morphophonology or Morphonology is a branch of linguistics which studies: The phonological structure of morphemes. ... Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (pronounced ) (November 26, 1857 – February 22, 1913) was a Geneva-born Swiss linguist whose ideas laid the foundation for many of the significant developments in linguistics in the 20th century. ...


Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy's posthumously published work, the Principles of Phonology (1939), is considered the foundation of the Prague School of phonology. Directly influenced by Baudouin de Courtenay, Trubetskoy is considered the founder of morphophonology, though morphophonology was first recognized by Baudouin de Courtenay. Trubetzkoy split phonology into phonemics and archiphonemics; the former has had more influence than the latter. Another important figure in the Prague School was Roman Jakobson, who was one of the most prominent linguists of the twentieth century. Prince Nikolai Sergeyevich Trubetzkoy (Cyrillic ; Moscow, April 15, 1890 - Vienna, June 25, 1938) was a Russian linguist whose teachings formed a nucleus of the Prague School of structural linguistics. ... The Prague Linguistic Circle (Pražský lingvistický kroužek), or Prague School, developed methods of structuralist literary analysis during the years 1928-1939. ... Morphophonology or Morphonology is a branch of linguistics which studies: The phonological structure of morphemes. ... Phonemics is the branch of linguistics which deals with the study of the phonemes of a language. ... In oral language, a phoneme is the theoretical basic unit of sound that can be used to distinguish words or morphemes; in sign language, it is a similarly basic unit of hand shape, motion, position, or facial expression. ... Roman Osipovich Jakobson (October 11, 1896 - July 18, 1982) was a Russian thinker who became one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century by pioneering the development of structural analysis of language, poetry, and art. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s The 20th century lasted from 1901 to 2000 in the Gregorian calendar (often from (1900 to 1999 in common usage). ...


In 1968, Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle published The Sound Pattern of English (SPE), the basis for Generative Phonology. In this view, phonological representations (surface forms) are structures whose phonetic part is a sequence of phonemes which are made up of distinctive features. These features were an expansion of earlier work by Roman Jakobson, Gunnar Fant, and Halle. The features describe aspects of articulation and perception, are from a universally fixed set, and have the binary values + or -. Ordered phonological rules govern how this phonological representation (also called underlying representation) is transformed into the actual pronunciation (also called surface form.) An important consequence of the influence SPE had on phonological theory was the downplaying of the syllable and the emphasis on segments. Furthermore, the Generativists folded morphology into phonology, which both solved and created problems. Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph. ... Morris Halle, né Pinkowitz, is an American linguist. ... The Sound Pattern of English (frequently referred to as SPE) is a work on phonology (a branch of linguistics) by Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle. ... In linguistics, distinctive features are the elements which distinguish one phoneme or allophone from one another. ... C. Gunnar M. Fant (born October 8, 1919), professor emeritus at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. ... In phonology, the underlying representation or underlying form of a morpheme is the abstract form the morpheme is postulated to have before any phonological rules have applied to it. ...


In the late 1960s, David Stampe introduced Natural Phonology. In this view, phonology is based on a set of universal phonological processes which interact with one another; which ones are active and which are suppressed are language-specific. Rather than acting on segments, phonological processes act on distinctive features within prosodic groups. Prosodic groups can be as small as a part of a syllable or as large as an entire utterance. Phonological processes are unordered with respect to each other and apply simultaneously (though the output of one process may be the input to another). The second-most prominent Natural Phonologist is Stampe's wife, Patricia Donegan; there are many Natural Phonologists in Europe, though also a few others in the U.S., such as Geoffrey Pullum. The principles of Natural Phonology were extended to morphology by Wolfgang U. Dressler, who founded Natural Morphology. In linguistics, distinctive features are the elements which distinguish one phoneme or allophone from one another. ... Professor Geoffrey K. Pullum (born in 1945 in Irvine, Scotland) is a linguist specialising in the study of English. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... Wolfgang U. Dressler (b. ...


In 1976 John Goldsmith introduced autosegmental phonology. Phonological phenomena are no longer seen as one linear sequence of segments, called phonemes or feature combinations, but rather as some parallel sequences of features which reside on multiple tiers. 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... John Goldsmith introduced autosegmental phonology in 1976. ... Autosegmental phonology is a modification of generative phonology introduced by John Goldsmith in his PhD thesis in 1976. ...


Government Phonology, which originated in the early 1980s as an attempt to unify theoretical notions of syntactic and phonological structures, is based on the notion that all languages necessarily follow a small set of principles and vary according to their selection of certain binary parameters. That is, all languages' phonological structures are essentially the same, but there is restricted variation that accounts for differences in surface realizations. Principles are held to be inviolable, though parameters may sometimes come into conflict. Prominent figures include Jonathan Kaye (Linguist), Jean Lowenstamm, Jean-Roger Vergnaud, Monik Charette, John Harris, and many others. The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... A principle (not principal) is something, usually a rule or norm, that is part of the basis for something else. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ...


In a course at the LSA summer institute in 1991, Alan Prince and Paul Smolensky developed Optimality Theory—an overall architecture for phonology according to which languages choose a pronunciation of a word that best satisfies a list of constraints which is ordered by importance: a lower-ranked constraint can be violated when the violation is necessary in order to obey a higher-ranked constraint. The approach was soon extended to morphology by John McCarthy and Alan Prince, and has become the dominant trend in phonology. Though this usually goes unacknowledged, Optimality Theory was strongly influenced by Natural Phonology; both view phonology in terms of constraints on speakers and their production, though these constraints are formalized in very different ways. Alan Prince is a professor of Linguistics at Rutgers University. ... Paul Smolensky, a professor of Cognitive Science at the Johns Hopkins University. ... Optimality theory or OT is a linguistic model proposed by the linguists Alan Prince and Paul Smolensky in 1993, and expanded by John J. McCarthy and Alan Prince in 1993. ... A constraint is a limitation of possibilities. ... John J. McCarthy John McCarthy (born 1953 in Medford, Massachusetts) is a linguist and professor of phonology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. ... Alan Prince is a professor of Linguistics at Rutgers University. ...


See also

In phonology, absolute neutralisation is a phenomenon in which a segment of the underlying representation of a morpheme is not realized in any of its phonetic representation. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Morphophonology or Morphonology is a branch of linguistics which studies: The phonological structure of morphemes. ... The phonological hierarchy (from smaller to larger units) is as follows: Feature Segment (phoneme) Mora (μ) (half-syllable) Syllable (σ) Foot (F) P-word (ω) (prosodic or phonological word) Clitic group Phonological phrase (P-phrase) Intonational phrase (I-phrase) Utterance From 3. ... In linguistics, prosody refers to intonation, rhythm, and vocal stress in speech. ... English phonology is the study of the phonology (ie the sound system) of the English language. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

External links

The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... // == Macromedia Flash == ==]] Using Macromedia Flash 8 (bundled in Studio 8) in Windows XP. Maintainer: Adobe Systems (formerly Macromedia) Latest release: 8 / September 30th, 2005 OS: Windows (no native Windows XP Professional x64 Edition support), Mac OS X, Linux (i386 only, via wine [1]) Use: Multimedia Content Creator License: Proprietary Website...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Phonology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2043 words)
Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages).
In this view, phonology is based on a set of universal phonological processes which interact with one another; which ones are active and which are suppressed are language-specific.
Government Phonology, which originated in the early 1980s as an attempt to unify theoretical notions of syntactic and phonological structures, is based on the notion that all languages necessarily follow a small set of principles and vary according to their selection of certain binary parameters.
SIL Bibliography: Phonology (4722 words)
Hollenbach, Barbara E. The phonology and morphology of tone and laryngeals in Copala Trique.
"The phonology of the velar glide in Axininca Campa."
Steven, Lee A. The phonology of Roma, an Austronesian language of eastern Indonesia.
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