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Lecture 2

LINB04H3 Lecture 2: LINB04H3S- Lec 02

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Yoonjung Kang

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LINB04H3S: Phonology Lec 2: Natural classes; Distinctive features Ch. 3 (pp. 2936); Ch. 5 (pp. 6165) 1. Natural classes and distinctive features: Phonological patterns tend to refer to particular groups of segments. The aspiration of voiceless stops: three voiceless plosives of English, i.e., p t k. Natural (segment) classes: classes of sounds that pattern together in sound systems No language has a rule of aspiration that targets p m j. p m j do not form a natural class. Distinctive features: refer to phonetic attributes. Ex: sounds that are voiceless all share a feature [ voice] and high vowels all share the feature [+high]. > Three requirements on a distinctive feature system: 1) They should be able to characterize natural classes of segments that recur in the phonological processes of languages. 2) They should be capable of describing all segmental contrasts in the worlds languages. 3) They should be definable in phonetic terms. 2. Defining features Major Class Features: 1) [consonantal]: [+cons] segments have a major constriction in the vocal tract. 2) [syllabic]: [+syllabic] segments can form a syllable peak(true vowels). The difference between vowels and glides lies in phonological structure (i.e., whether the segment is in the margin or the nucleus of syllable) 3) [sonorant]: [+son] segments are produced with a constriction in the vocal tract which allows the air pressure behind it and in front of it to be relatively equal. 4) [approximant]: [+approx] segments have no major constriction or a constriction in the vocal tract which allows a free (frictionless) escape of air. (All sonorants except for nasals.) Laryngeal features 1) [voice]: [+voice] are segments for which the vocal cords are close enough together to allow vibration. 2) [spread glottis]: [+spread] segments have a vocal cord configuration that produces audible frication in the glottis. (cf. aspiration)
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