Linguistic Reading #2 Summary
-scientific study of speech sounds
-used three approaches
1) auditory phonetics: study of the perception and processing of speech sounds
Eg.tests people’s ability to hear or to distinguish between particular speech sounds with a specialized
2)Acoustic phonetics: deals with the physical properties of sound waves moving through the air
Eg.instrument sounds recorded in a recorder
3) Articulatory phonetics: study of gestures,made in the voal tract, that result in the production of
-> interests anthropologists because it enables them to inventory the sounds of a previously unwritten
language, in preparation for making a phonemic study of the language, and also to facilitate the
recording of linguistic data.
-speech sounds are produced by moving air through the vocal tract,which extends from the larynx to the
lips and includes the nasal cavity.
->Divided into two classes: vowels and consonants
-vowel :produced by passing air through the tract without obstruction.quality depends on the
positioning and tension of the tongue muscle,and by presence or absence of lip rounding.
-constonants: produced by obstructing the air in some way as it passes out of the throat. It is the state
of the larynx(voiced or voiceless); the place of articulation(bilabical,labiodental);and the manner of
-The term phonetic is sometimes used by English speaks however the proper term is phonemic or
phonological spelling.Phonetics has gained its widest currency in contemporary anthropology as the
source for the term etics.
-also called phonemics, the study of the organization of speech sounds into a linguistic system of
contrasting elements called phonomemes.
-must account for native-speaker judgement as a to what is contrastive and what is not.
-two broad approaches: 1)Phonology as a level of structural organization of a language
2)Phonology as a component within the generative grammar of a language
-the word phoneme is from the Russian fonema via French phoneme as used by Ferdinand de Saussure.
- phonological analysis organizes sounds that do not contrast into phonemes
- sounds may be allopohnes of a single phoneme, but not be predictable by a phonological rule; the
allophones are then said to be in free variation.
-in addition to vowels and consonants,sometimes referred to as segments, suprasegmental features
such as length,stress,nasalization,tone or pitch, and intonation may also be contrastive.
-phonology(together with phonetics) has given anthropologists an analytic procedure for reducing
languages to writing, it has provided a model for scientific analysis of human cultural patterns.
-refer to characterizing languages of the world by similarities and differences in their structural forms
and in their functional uses. Also refers to characterizing them according to language families where
there is evidence that the languages have common structural relationships that are consistent with
some “parent” language( eg. genetic classification)
-do not usually involve on focusing on social context or cultural variations of language use and language
change that are typically studied by sociolinguists and anthropological linguists.
-Language typology involves differentiating spoken languages, a considerable focus on characterizing
writing and signed languages. With William Stokoe’s effort, during mid-20 century American Sign
Language was recognized as a true language in the category of sign language.
Indentifying Types of Language
-there is a wide range of characteristics in the world’s languages that make the task of subclassifying
them into types within the categories are difficult, because between 3000 and 10000 spoken languages,
the development of language varieties and the change that can oocur in languages over time add to the
dilemma of approximating typologies
-there is a basic focus on how languages differ in their structures and in their formal use.
-two major approaches: differentiation and the search for language universals regarding spoken
language typology and distinguished 1)differentiation: applied not only to characterize language structures but also to indicate how
languages are the expressions of societies and cultures, can locate patterns of linguistic and societal
development and can formulate theories about societies living in specific geographical areas.
Structures for Typology of Language
-consists of three divisions:grammer,semantics and phonology
->Grammar includes words(morphology and word classes),phrases,and sentences
- six categories of typology: phonological,morphological,syntactic,lexcio-semantic,holistic,and
-> derived from theories proposed to provide an adequate classification of the world’s languages.
-sociolinguistic category deal primarily with the implications of language universals
Kinds of Grammer Typology
-grammer: a framework for describing the ways in which the components of