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1

Phone definition

Describing a sound in phonetic terms

2

Phonetic description of a language:

identifies all the phones that occur
in speaking the words of the language

3

Lexicon definition

lexicon here is a technical conception of dictionary, vocabulary ...


Words of the lexicon can communicate diff. meanings in speech by virtue of their distinct phonetic forms:
eg [tʃɔklət] [vənɪlə] [stɹoːbɹiː]
eg [kənfjʉːʒən] confusion vs [kənfjʉːʃən] Confucian

4

Phonetic differences

Understand SOUND SYSTEM of a lang:
major focus = how different phones are used to distinguish different words in the lexicon of that language.

i.e. WHICH phonetic differences are sufficient to distinguish different words.
eg in [kənfjʉːʒən] confusion vs [kənfjʉːʃən] Confucian
- it is the phonetic difference between [ʃ] and [ʒ] which distinguishes
these two words of the lexicon, and their meanings.
The difference between [ʃ] and [ʒ] = significant in English.

- Not all the diffs between phones in a language are used to distinguish words of that language.

5

Phonetic differences in a language I
(allophones)

In English, the vowel in words like ‘hit’ may vary in its exact articulation
- place, duration ...
- even by a single speaker

Diff vowel phones occur in diff tokens (instances) of the word.
- use IPA to transcribe them differently (to some extent)
[hɪ̘t], [hɪ̙t], [hɪt]

PHONETIC DIFFS DONT MAKE A DIFF FOR ALLOPHONES

6

Do these phonetic differences distinguish words in the language?
[hɪ̘t], [hɪ̙t], [hɪt]

The diff between [ɪ̘], [ɪ̙], [ɪ] does not differentiate words in English:

English doesn't have distinct words [hɪ̘t] vs [hɪ̙t] with different
meanings.

These phonetic diffs not CONTRASTIVE in English

(contrastive is a technical term, not just another way of saying that they are different sounds.)

7

Phoneme definition

- a set/group of phones in a particular language, in which the differences between them are not used to distinguish words in that language

- In English, the phones [ɪ̘] [ɪ̙] etc are members of the same phoneme.

8

Allophone

In English, the phones [ɪ̘] [ɪ̙] etc are ALLOPHONES of the same phoneme.
(non-contrastive)

A useful comparison: phone vs allophone is parallel to female vs daughter

- female and daughter may refer to the same entity, but daughter additionally expresses its relationship to other entities

9

Phoneme Symbols

The phoneme can be assigned an IPA symbol which suggests GENERAL RANGE of PHONETIC PROPERTIES of its allophone
- [ɪ̘], [ɪ̙] etc. are allophones of the /ɪ/ phoneme

BRACKETS:
SQUARE brackets indicate PHONES: [ɪ̘]
SLASH brackets indicate PHONEMES: /ɪ/

phoneme corresponds reasonably well with native speakers’ sense that there is the ‘same sound’ BUT FUNDAMENTALLY NOT A MATTER OF SPEAKERS IMPRESSIONS

10

Phonetic differences in a language II
(contrastive phones)

Other phonetic differences in a language do distinguish different words.
- MINIMAL PAIRS

It’s just the difference between [b] and [p] that encodes the differences between two different words and their meanings (pat + bat)

Since the two phones signal a difference in word-meaning in the language – ie they distinguish diff words - the phones CONTRAST in this language, or they are CONTRASTIVE

hence, [p], [b] NOT ALLOPHONES OF THE SAME PHONEME IN ENG

11

distinct phonemes

Not allophones of the SAME phoneme.

In english:
/b/ phoneme & /p/ phoneme

This is how phoneme concept expresses the phenomenon of contrast.

12

Individual phones in a language are always allophones of a phoneme

[b] and [p] are allophones of different phonemes in English.

We can say that there is in English,
- a /b/ phoneme with the allophone [b] and others
- a /p/ phoneme with the allophone [p] and others.

13

Minimal pair

clearest evidence that the difference between two phones signals a
difference in word-meaning in a language is:

A pair/triple/set of words that:
1. differ in one phone only
2. differ in word-meaning

eg [bæt] and [pæt]

SIMPLEST CASE:
Pair of distinct words w distinct meanings that are minimally-different in phonetic terms

14

LANGUAGES DIFFER:

[b] and [p] in Arrente

p] and [b] in Arrernte
BUT diff between them not used to encode differences in meaning
- roughly-speaking interchangeable

eg ‘firestick’ [ɐləpɐ] ~ [ɐləbɐ]

There is no pair of words where the only difference is [p] vs [b].

Arrente has phoneme /p/ - range of allophones, mostly minor variants of voiceless [p] and [b]

15

Identifying phonemes expresses the distinction between:

Phonetic differences which ARE used to distinguish different words in a language,

and

Phonetic differences which ARE NOT used to distinguish different words in that language.

16

Phonemic analysis

each phone in the words of a language is recognised as
an allophone of some phoneme of that language

the phonemes of a language, and their specific allophones, is a property of EACH DISTINCT language

Phonemes analysed from the pattern of phones across words

- Native speakersʼ judgements of same vs different sounds correspond to SOME DEGREE

17

Speaker Judgements

- English speakers typically think of the [n] & [ n̪ ] allophones of /n/ as the sameʼ sound
eg in ten and tenth.

- English speakers typically think of /s/ & /z/ as ‘differentʼ sounds
eg in sip and zip.

BUT Phonemic analysis not same as speaker judgements - DONT ALWAYS AGREE

Aus eng EG:
Is the vowel in ‘roll’ the same as or closer to the vowel in ‘rod’ or
the vowel in ‘road’?
- MOST phonemic analyses of Australian English = vowel in eg ‘coal’ and the vowel in eg ‘code’ are allophones of the same phoneme.
BUT vowel in eg ‘cod’ = allophone of a distinct phoneme!

18

Free variation

If two phones are always freely interchangeable in the same words,
= free variation.
EG English ‘hit’ [hɪ̘t], [hɪ̙t], [hɪt] ...

ɪ ], [ ɪ̈ ], [ ɪ̟ ] & [ ɪ̝ ] are allophones of the same phoneme in
English: /ɪ/.
These allophones are in free variation.

19

Distribution of Phones

the overall set of phonetic environments/contexts a phone occurs in.

POSITION IN WORDS
eg [ŋ] occurs in the middle and at the end of words in English.
NEIGHBOURING PHONES
eg [ n̪ ] occurs only before [θ] or [ð] in words in English.

20

Complementary distribution

When allophones of a phoneme don't occur in same phonetic environments in words
- distribution of one doesn't overlap w distribution of another
(MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE)

EG The allophones [n] & [ n̪ ] of the English /n/ phoneme are in complementary distribution:
- [ n̪ ] occurs immediately before dental consonants [θ] and [ð]
- [n] occurs in other environments

21

Establishing complementary distribution

in african lang:

Phoneme /t/ has two allophones
- [s] occurs between vowels
- [t] occurs elsewhere

WE MUST:
- State distributions that are non-overlapping
- accurate

22

Assimilation definition

- DENTAL [ n̪ ] allophone of the Eng /n/ phoneme occurs immediately b4 DENTAL consonants [θ] and [ð].

- ALVEOLAR [n] allophone of the Eng /n/ phoneme occurs in non-dental environments.

THIS (+many) case of complementary distribution = Assimilation.
ALLOPHONE come to be phonetically more similar in some way to its ENVIRONMENT

23

2 Competing principles of phonetic motivation in Human Language

PRINCIPLE OF ECONOMY (Least effort)
- Minimise movement of articulatory muscles.
- Assimilation reduces articulatory movement
[...nθ...] →ALVEOLAR→DENTAL→
[...n̪θ...] →DENTAL→DENTAL→

PRINCIPLE OF DIFFERENTIATION
- Keep phonemes perceptually distinct, so that words will be perceptually distinct.

(not conscious, but influence lang over time)

24

Assimilation patterns

Some patterns of assimilation = common cross-linguistically, but
not universal.

EG. homorganic nasal+stop clusters homorganic = same place of articulation

anthem - [æn̪θǝm]
unfair - [ɐɱfeː]
inch -[ɪn̠tʃ]
suncream [sɐŋkɹiːm] ~ [sɐnkɹiːm]

25

Similarity of Allophones

some cases = allophone of a phoneme 'nearly identical' (/ɪ/) in AUDITORY terms

NOT ALWAYS, often relatively similar in ARTICULATORY terms

eg. Japanese /s/ similar allophones:
- [s] voiceless alveolar fricative
- [ɕ] voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative

AUDITORY SIMILARITY IN EAR OF LISTENER
(diff to eng speakers)
(v similar to Jap speakers)