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Anthropology Chapter 3 Week 1 Notes.docx

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Western University
Anthropology 1027A/B
Claire Gurski

Anthropology Chapter 3 October 5, 2011 Chapter 3: Phonology  Phonology o A branch of linguistics that studies the sound systems of languages (example: the patterns that regulate how sounds are organized to form words o Its aim: to demonstrate the patterns of distinctive sounds found in a language and to make as general statements as possible about the nature of sound systems in the languages of the world  Vs. Phonetics o Phonetics studies the physical aspects of speech (example: physiological and acoustic - concrete - basses of speech), while phonology is concerned with the linguistic patterning of sounds in human languages (example: it is a more abstract – cognitive – concept) o What comes out of your mouth is an allophone [], // = phoneme o In sum: every language has an inventory of distinctive sounds (phoneme, example: /p/ in English, phonological realization), but ehch of these sounds can have a number of different realizations (allophones, example: [p ] and [p] above, phonetic realization)  Definitions o Phoneme: sounds used contrastively (they serve to differentiate words). How do I know whether /p/ is contrastive in English?  Minimal Pairs o Through minimal pairs: words that differ by only one segment found in the same position in each form. Example: /paet/ /baet/ /maet/ /saet/, /taep/ /taeb/ /taen/ /taeg/  Conclusion: /p/, /b/, /m/, /s/, /n/, and /g/ are phonemes in English  Contrastive sounds in English o /paet/ /pIt/ /pit/ /pEt/  Conclusion: /ae/, /I/, /i/, and /E/ are phonemes in English  Allophones o Allophones: the different realizations of a phoneme o /p/ has at least three different realizations (allophones) in English:  Spit, pit, tip o Note:  Unlike phonemes, allophones are NOT contrastive: h  [p aet] [paet] = pat  It is difficult for English speakers to hear the difference between these sounds  [p ] and [p] are allophones in English. In Hindi (and in some other languages), these two sounds are contrastive (they are phonemes)  /pal/ ‘take care of  /p al/ ‘edge of knife’  Complementary Distribution o Two sounds are said to be in complementary distribution if they occur in mutually exclusive contexts  Example: [p], [p ], and [p] are in complementary distribution h o [p ] occurs word-initially – pat o [p] occurs word-internally – spit, maple o [p] occurs word finally – lap, map o This is a simplified generalization. We will see more of this problem later.  Free Variation o When different sounds occur in the same environment but they do not signal a change in meaning (different pronunciations of the same word)  Either – eether and aither  Question o Arabic [h] and [h with a cross]: Arabic has two “h” – like sounds. [h] is the familiar glottal fricative; [h with a cross] is a pharyngeal fricative pronounced with pharyngeal (throat) constr
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