Flashcards in Week 4 - The Phoneme Deck (25)
Describing a sound in phonetic terms
Phonetic description of a language:
identifies all the phones that occur
in speaking the words of the language
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
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.
Phonetic differences in a language I
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
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
These phonetic diffs not CONTRASTIVE in English
(contrastive is a technical term, not just another way of saying that they are different sounds.)
- 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.
In English, the phones [ɪ̘] [ɪ̙] etc are ALLOPHONES of the same phoneme.
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
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
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
Phonetic differences in a language II
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
Not allophones of the SAME phoneme.
/b/ phoneme & /p/ phoneme
This is how phoneme concept expresses the phenomenon of contrast.
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.
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]
Pair of distinct words w distinct meanings that are minimally-different in phonetic terms
[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]
Identifying phonemes expresses the distinction between:
Phonetic differences which ARE used to distinguish different words in a language,
Phonetic differences which ARE NOT used to distinguish different words in that language.
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
- 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!
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
These allophones are in free variation.
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.
eg [ n̪ ] occurs only before [θ] or [ð] in words in English.
When allophones of a phoneme don't occur in same phonetic environments in words
- distribution of one doesn't overlap w distribution of another
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
Establishing complementary distribution
in african lang:
Phoneme /t/ has two allophones
- [s] occurs between vowels
- [t] occurs elsewhere
- State distributions that are non-overlapping
- 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
2 Competing principles of phonetic motivation in Human Language
PRINCIPLE OF ECONOMY (Least effort)
- Minimise movement of articulatory muscles.
- Assimilation reduces articulatory movement
PRINCIPLE OF DIFFERENTIATION
- Keep phonemes perceptually distinct, so that words will be perceptually distinct.
(not conscious, but influence lang over time)
Some patterns of assimilation = common cross-linguistically, but
EG. homorganic nasal+stop clusters homorganic = same place of articulation
anthem - [æn̪θǝm]
unfair - [ɐɱfeː]
suncream [sɐŋkɹiːm] ~ [sɐnkɹiːm]