LING 240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Italian Language, Complementary Distribution, Phoneme
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In-class Phonology Exercises:
Sindhi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 18.5 million people in
Pakistan, and 2.8 million in India. Question 26 is only asking you to look at the phones
[p], [ph] and [b].
Step 1: Look for minimal pairs/sets (i.e., two words contrasting in only one sound).
[phənu] ‘hood of a snake’
The fact that we find a set of three words, contrasting in only one sound (the sounds we
are interested in [p], [ph] and [b]), suggests that these three are phones of separate
/p/ /b/ /ph/
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[p] [b] [ph]
Note: There is another minimal set [bənu] [bəʤu] [bəʧu], but this set does not
distinguish the phones we are interested in. English behaves differently with [p] and
[ph] being allophones of /p/ and [b] being a phone of /b/
If you were to do a distribution statement, it would be overlapping: [p] [ph] and [b] can
all occur between [ə] and [n]. No rule can be written, since each can occur in the same
27. Standard Italian
In the Italian question, you are first asked if there are any minimal pairs. [tiŋgo]/[tɛŋgo]
prove that [i] and [ɛ] are phones of separate phonemes and [fuŋgo] / [faŋgo] prove that
[u] and [a] are phones of separate phonemes. (Nothing can be said about the relationship
between [u] / [i] or [a] / [ɛ] though) Next, we are interested in the phones [n] and [ŋ]. The
first step is to find minimal pairs. Notice that there are no minimal pairs in the data
provided. If there are no minimal pairs, we must do more work to determine whether
these phones belong to the same or different phonemes by determining whether they are
in overlapping or complementary distribution. The best way to proceed now is to
make a table with all the environments from the data. You need only look one phone to
the left and right of the phone you are interested in.
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