LINA01 MID-TERM STUDY NOTES
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language and language use.
o What humans must know in order to use language
o How languages are structured
o How humans acquire language
Rules governed creativity
U-shaped development of English past tense formation in childrens English
1. Stage I: walked, played, came, went
a. Children learn individual words
2. Stage II: walked, played, comed, goed,
a. Children discovers the regular
English past-tense formation rule,
i.e., Add ed. and applies it
3. Stage III: walked, played, camed, wented
a. Children realize that there is
something different about the
irregular verbs (went, came) but
still (over) apply the Add ed. rule.
4. Stage IV: walked, played, came, went, held
a. Children finally figure out how irregulars work.
The knowledge that speakers have that enables them to produce and understand their language is
called their linguistic competence.
Linguists take a descriptive approach to language; that is, they are interested in how speakers actually
talk and what that reveals about the underlying (subconscious) knowledge speakers have about their
Prescriptive approach dictates how people should speak. The goal of such approach is not to describe
the rules people know (subconsciously), but to tell them what rules they should follow.
Areas of linguistics
Phonetics: the articulation and perception of speech sounds Phonology: the patterning of speech sounds
Morphology: word formation
Syntax: sentence formation
Semantics: the interpretation of words and sentences
Consonants are sounds produce with either a complete closure or a narrowing of the vocal tract so that
there is some obstruction in the flow of air out of the mouth.
Vowels are sounds produced with no major obstruction in the vocal tract so that air can flow relatively
freely through the mouth.
Classification of Consonants
Voicing: the state of the vocal folds
Nasality: whether the air is passing through your nose or not
Place of articulation: location of constriction in the vocal tract
Manner of articulation: degree and kind of constriction in the vocal tract
Consonant classification: Voicing
Voiceless sounds, when the vocal folds are pulled apart (abducted), air passes through the glottis and
the vocal folds do not vibrate. (s and f)Air passes without much interference. No vibration.
Voiced sounds, when the vocal folds are brought close together (adducted), but no tightly closed, air
passing between them causes them to vibrate. (v and z)Air passing between them causes them to
vibrate. You can sense the vibration of the vocal folds with the larynx.
Place of articulation
Upper lip: Labial, closure or near-closure of the lips (pin, my)
Sounds involving both lips are termed bilabial
Lower lip and upper teeth are called labiodentals
Upper teeth: Interdental, the tongue is placed between the teeth (five, thin)
With the tongue placed against or near the teeth are called dentals
Alveolar ridge: Alveolar, a small ridge protrudes from just behind the upper front teeth, the tongue may
touch or be brought near this ridge (tap, sap, nap) Back of alveolar ridge: Alveopalatal, behind the alveolar ridge, the roof of the mouth rises sharply (she,
Palate, hard palate: Palatal, the highest part of the roof of the mouth (yes)
Velum, soft palate: Velar, soft area towards the rear of the rood of the mouth is called the velum.
Sounds made with the tongue touching or near this position are called velars (kick, go)
Labiovelar: the tongue is raised near the velum and the lips are rounded at the same time, the glide
heard word-initially in wet
Uvula: the small fleshy flap of tissue known as the uvula (no example in English)
Pharynx wall: Pharyngeal, the area of the throat between the uvula and the larynx is known as the
pharynx (no example in English)
Glottis: Glottal, sounds produced using the vocal folds as primary articulators (_-oh-_oh, heave, hog)
Consonant classification: Voicing
Nasal, produced with lowered velum (velic opening) and the air passes through the nasal cavity (my,
Oral, produced with velic closure and no air passes through the nasal cavity
Try switching from n to d, m to b, or ng to g
Consonant classification: Manner of Articulation
Stops (Oral and Nasal): formed with complete closure and no air passing out of the mouth
Non-nasal stops: velic closure, no air passing out of the nose
Labial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Voiceless [p] pea [t] tea [k] key _uh-_uh
Voiced [b] bee [d] deed [g] geese
Nasal stops: complete closure in the mouth, velic opening, air passing out of the nose
Labial Alveolar Velar
Nasal [m] me [n] need  king
Fricatives: formed with a constriction in the mouth or at the glottis, narrow enough to cause frication.
Consonants produced with a continuous air flow through the mouth.
Glottal state Place of articulation Transcription Labiodental
Voiceless Fan [f]
Voiced Van [v]
Voiceless Thin [+
Voiced Then 
Voiceless Sun [s]
Voiced Zip [z]
Voiceless Ship 
Voiced Azure 
Voiceless Hat [h]
Affricates: complete closure followed by a fricative release at the same place of articulation
Liquids: a cover term for laterals and rhotics
Laterals: sounds produced with air moving around the sides of the tongue
Rhotics: r-like sounds
Retroflex: curling the tongue tip back into the mouth or by bunching the tongue upward
and back in the mouth
Flap: tongue tip strikes the alveolar ridge as it passes across it
Glides: rapidly articulated, vowel-like sounds, followed by a voiceless stop.
Palatal Labio-velar (Labial-velar)