Working paper Open Access

The Delta Programming Language: An Integrated Approach to Non-Linear Phonology, Phonetics, and Speech Synthesis

Hertz, Susan R.

The Delta programming language is designed to let linguists easily formalize and test phonological and phonetic theories. Its central data structure lets rule-writers represent utterances as multiple "streams" of synchronized units of their choice, giving them considerable flexibility in expressing the relationship between phonological and phonetic units.

This paper presents the Delta language, showing how it can be applied to two linguistic models, one for Bambara tone and fundamental frequency patterns and one for English formant patterns. While Delta is a powerful, special-purpose language that alone should serve the needs of most phonologists, phoneticians, and linguistics students who wish to test their rules, the Delta System also provides the flexibility of a general purpose language by letting users intermingle C programming language statements with Delta statements.

This paper is copyrighted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see
Files (17.3 MB)
Name Size
17.3 MB Download
All versions This version
Views 281281
Downloads 8383
Data volume 1.4 GB1.4 GB
Unique views 216216
Unique downloads 8080


Cite as