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Chapter 6

Notes for Chapter 6 - Understanding Phonology

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Duncan, Liisa

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rdUnderstanding Phonology3 editionChapter 6Distinctive Features61Introduction distinctive features enable us to describe the segments of languages these features allow us to refer to natural segment classes groups of segments that are treated as groups by languagesunivalent features features that are either present or absent ie dorsal labialbinary features features that may appear with a plus or minus value ievoiceall binary features do not need to be present in the representation of all segments62Motivating Distinctive Features all segments must be characterizable in terms of some unique combination of featuressegments in natural segment class are phonetically similar which has led to the requirement of the naturalness condition where distinctive features must have a phonetic definition3 requirements imposed on a distinctive feature system o Capable of characterizing a natural class o Capable of describing all segmental contrasts in the worlds languages o Definable in phonetic terms63Feature ValuesBoth the group of segments with the plus value and the group with the minus value form their own natural classesIn the case of univalent features reference can only be made to the class of segments that has the feature not to the segments that do not possess it ie the labial feature refers to labial segments but makes no reference to nonlabials64A Set of Distinctive FeaturesMajorclass features classify groups like vowels consonantsLaryngeal features specify glottal properties of the segmentManner features specify the type of constriction Place features specify place of articulation641MajorClass Features consonantalo conshave a constriction along the centre of the vocal tract narrow like that of a fricativePlosives affricates fricatives nasals laterals r o conslack the described constrictionVowels glides w jhsonorant o sonproduced with constriction in vocal tract that allows a relatively equal air pressure in front of and behind the constrictionVowels glides w jliquids nasals o soneither have an oral constriction or no constriction in the vocal tractPlosives fricatives affricates laryngeal segmentsapproximanto approxhave a constriction that allows a frictionless escape of air Vowels nonnasal sonorants l o approxdo not have such a constriction
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