Lecture Four Notes

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17 Dec 2010
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Linguistics Lecture 4Thursday, October 7th, 2010
·The vowels in words like boat and bait are dipthongs and are realized as [ow] and
[ej]
·The rationale behind [o] and [e] transcription for boat and bait is that the glide
portion is a predictable detail
·When o comes before [r], there is no glide and you can transcribe it simply as [o]
PHONOLOGY (the study of sounds)
·Study of the structures and patterning of speech sounds
oPhonetics is the study of physical properties of speech sounds: how they
are produced, acoustic properties and how the human auditory system
processes them, etc
oPhonology is the study of the mental reality of speech sounds: the
subconscious knowledge possessed by native speakers about
generalizations and patterns in speech sounds
Segments in Contrast
·Segments are said to be in contrast (distinctive or opposition) in a particular
language when their presence alone may distinguish forms with different
meanings from each other
o[s] vs. [z] as in sip vs. zip
o[i] vs. [ej] as in heat vs. hate
·Segments that contrast with each other in a particular language are said to be
phonemes of the language
oPhonemes are written in forward slashes - /p/
**Minimal Pair Test
· contrasts of the language
·You can examine if two segments belong to different phonemes or not by
conducting a minimal pair test
·A minimal pair test consist of two forms with distinct meanings that differ by
only one segment ...
Near Minimal Pairs
·Sometimes you cant find a perfect minimal pair because the language doesnt
have words matching a particular shape
· In such cases you can use near minimal pairs to establish a phonemic contrast
·Near minimal pairs are pairs of words that have segments in nearly phonetic
environments
oAuthor vs either
Language-specific contrasts
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