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Lecture

Phonology I

12 pages60 viewsFall 2009

Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LIN100Y1
Professor
K.Kyumin

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10/19/09
1
Lecture 5 Phonology I
Todays goal
- Goals of phonology
- Analyzing how segments are stored
in the brain
Phonetics Phonology
Concrete Abstract
mouth brain
Phonology = grammar of sounds
I.e.,
- Sounds stored (represented) in the brain
- These sounds connecting to systematic phonetic
variation
Phonological knowledge
Goals of phonology in linguistics
To find out what phonological knowledge is like
I.e.,
- How sounds are stored/represented in the brain
- How mental representation results in systematic
phonetic variation
We want to study these
- in individual languages
- across languages
To ultimately know:
What the phonetic knowledge of human beings
in general is like
E.g.,
English has a stop in its sound inventory.
Italian has a stop in its sound inventory.
Japanese has a stop in its sound inventory.
Many many languages have a stop in their
inventories.
Hypothesis: Every language has a stop.
10/19/09
2
Hypothesis: Every language has a stop.
There havent been any counterexamples to this
statement.
Humans have a stop represented in the brain that
underlies a group of stop sounds.
How sounds are stored in the brain
Individual sounds
Suprasegmentals
Not all sounds pronounced in a language need
to be stored in the brain of the speakers of the
language.
How sounds are stored in the brain
Nasalized and oral vowels in English
Nasalized Oral
[kænt] [kænt]
cant cant
[l] [lŋ]
long long
Nasalization does not result in changing the
meaning of words
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Furthermore, nasalized vowels occur in
predictable contexts
i.e.,
adjacent to a nasal consonant
Nasalization is not information stored with a
vowel in the English speakers lexicon.
A result of undergoing process:
Vowels are nasalized adjacent to a nasal
Lexicon in brain: /kæn/ /kæt/
Vowels are nasalized adjacent to a nasal
Mouth: [kæn] [kæt]
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How sounds are stored in the brain
Nasalized and oral vowels in French
Nasalized Oral
[lõ] [lo]
long prize
[l%] [l]
‘flax ugly
Nasalization does result in changing the meaning
of words. The oral and nasalized vowels are
contrastive.
Nasalization in vowels does not occur in
predictable contexts in French. (Where it occurs
is random/unpredictable.)
Information about nasalization needs to be stored
in the lexicon with vowels in French.
Lexicon in brain: /lo/ /lõ/
Mouth: [lo] [lõ]
Epenthetic consonants in English
prince, warmth, tenth
[p'nts] [wormp] [tnt]
How do you know whether these consonants are
represented in the speakers mind or not?
Our model
Predictable elements and unpredictable elements
are stored in the brain differently.
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Predictability
Only unpredictable information is stored in the
mental lexicon.
Predictable information is not stored in the
mental lexicon.
Predictable materials are produced by
undergoing processes
prince, warmth, tenth
[p'nts] [wormp] [tnt]
Do these consonants occur in a predictable way?
I.e., can we generalize what is inserted when?
prince, warmth, tenth
[p'nts] [wormp] [tnt]
Yes
A voiceless stop homorganic to the preceding
nasal is inserted between a nasal and fricative.
Lexicon: /prns/
A voiceless stop homorganic to the preceding
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nasal is inserted between a nasal and a fricative.
Mouth: [prnts]
How sounds are stored in the brain
[r]: [rnts] rinse
[']: [p'nts] prince
Are [r] and ['] separately stored in the English
speakers mind?)
(i.e., /prns/ and /p'ns/ or either one 
representation))
Our model
Predictability
Predictable materials
NOT stored in the mental storage
Unpredictable materials
Stored in the mental storage
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IF
[r] and [']
does not occur in the same contexts
THEN
Occurrence of [r] and ['] is predictable; we can
predict when [r] occurs and when ['] occurs.
[r] and ['] are stored as one entity in the
mental storage.
IF
[r] and [']
can occur in the same contexts
(changing the meaning of words)
THEN
Occurrence of [r] and ['] is not predictable; we
cannot predict when [r] occurs and when [']
occurs.
Both [r] and ['] need to be stored in the
mental storage.
In English, do [r] and ['] occur in the same
environments, changing the meaning of words?
Different words?
NO
[prnts] [p'nts] both prince
['nts] [rnts] both rinse
Moreover,
in English [r] and ['] do not occur in the same
environments.
Environments?
In terms of generalized phonological contexts
Generalized categories - sounds
Generalize the sounds using the properties you
have learned in phonetics
E.g., place or articulation (including labial,
coronal, dorsal), manner of articulation, voicing,
vowel height, vowel backness, tense/lax for
vowels, strident, continuant, etc.
Two more:
Obstruents: oral stops, fricatives, affricates
Sonorants: non-obstruents
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