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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 Notes

Course Code
Chandan Narayan

of 3
Linguistics Lecture 5October 14th, 2010
Phonemes & Allophones
·Phonemes can be discovered through a minimal pair test
·Allophones are predictable variants of a phoneme
·Mad vs. man are NEAR minimal pairs
·The distribution of allophones is rule-governed (changes in context)
·Allophones usually do not occur in the same phonetic environment (complementary
distribution) when not in complimentary distribution; in different phonemes
Doing a phonology problem?
·Phonemes or allophones?
oMinimal pair?
· If there is no (near) minimal pair, examine the contexts
·The relevant context that determines which variant you will see may be:
oWhat comes before/after the sound
oPosition of stress
oSyllable structure , etc
·Typically, one variant is found in a more well-defined, specifi c context while the
other variant is found elsewhere
·We can use the common variant for the phonemic representation
When allophones belong to separate phonemes, they are:
2. In unpredictable distribution
3.Easily perceived as different
4.Not necessarily phonetically similar
When allophones belong to the same phoneme, they are:
1.Non-contrastive/rule governed
2. In predictable distribution
3.Not easily perceived as different
4.Always phonetically similar
Rules and Derivations
·Phonemic representations are also called underlying representations while
phonetic representations are also called surface representations
·Underlying representations becomes phonetic representations as a result of being
acted upon by phonological process
·Thus, we can say that phonetic or surface representations are derived from
phonemic or underlying representations by means of phonological rules
Formalizing the rule
·A->B/ X_Y
oA changes to B in the context following X and preceding Y.
·Any of these elements may be zero
oIf X is zero, the preceding context does not matter
oIf Y is zero, the following context does not matter
oIf B
oIf A
·Co-articulation results in assimilation
oWhich characteristics?
Place of articulation? Manner? Voicing? Nasality?
oWhich direction?
Progressive? Regressive?
·Between vowels, the closure for the stop consonants becomes ‘weaker and the stops
turn into a fricative
·There is a phonetic characteristic that vowels and fricatives share that stop
consonants do not have
oCertain sounds have a continuous flow of air through the mouth during their
production. These sounds are referred to as continuants : vowels, glides,
liquids and fricatives are continuant sounds
oOther sounds have a disruption in the mouth and are non continuants’: oral,
nasal stops, etc.
Distinctive features
·Phonologists use formal notations called distinctive features to represent the shared
characteristics of speech sounds that are relevant for phonological processes in
Major places of articulation:
· [labial]
oBilabials and labiodentals pattern together
oProduced with lips
· [coronal]
oDentals, alveolars, and alveopalatals pattern together
oProduced with he forward part of the tongue (tip, tongue blade)
· [dorsal]
oPalatal, velar and uvular
oProduced with tongue body
· Internal structure
oNucleus- centre, obligatory, usually a vowel
A glide that is part of a dipthong belongs to the nucleus
oOnset- consonants that come b4 nucleus
oCoda- consonants after the nucleus
oRhyme- constituent consisting of nucleus and coda
Why syllable?
·Phonotactics: set of constraints on possible sequences of sounds in a particular