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Chapter 2

ANT253H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Lexeme, Paul Grice, Vocal Folds

Course Code
Marcel Danesi

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Each Language is equal among equals
- No matter how many sounds a language possesses or how large its vocabulary is it
shares it fundamental structures with other languages
To study the science of linguistic, errors were introduced in a sentence in various spots
- Allows us to detect what has gone wrong what rules were broken?
- E.g. pboy- the violated principle is not a selection of individual sounds (pen or ball) but
combinations of sounds falls under the domain of phonology
- E.g. an boy- not a phonological error because an in isolation is a legit word
o Morphology- not only how words are distributed among a larger scale but also
how units smaller than words called morphemes (affixes, s in the end for plural,
etc) convey meaning
o Languages can be classified depending on the number of morphemes they use
Chinese- one word = one morpheme
German- one word= several morphemes
English- one word= a lot of morphemes (equivalent to an English
- Syntax- in Latin- the order of the word doesn‟t matter(they use case endings); in English
it does
- Drinking pizza Semantic- meaning patterns- goes against the real world experience
- Johnny being a girl- pragmatic- variations according to the context in which the language
is used
Thus linguistic analysis involves examining language forms as structures that belong to specific
Difference between form and structure
- A triangle can have various forms acute, obtuse, etc but only one structure (three lines)
o Thus that structure can belong to different levels forms
- Similarly in language structures are patterns that can take on various forms
- The symbols commonly used to represent sounds = international phonetic alphabet (IPA)
- IPA was established for consistency because the world‟s spelling system vary so widely
and are often unreliable
o Fish , philosophy and enough have the same phonetic sound but spelled different
This sound is produced physically by:
1. The lower lip touching the upper teeth- labiodental
2. The airstream starting from the lungs is expelled in a constricted fashion
through the slit formed in lower lip touching upper teeth fricative
3. The vocal cords in the larynx are kept taut(t non-vibrating)- voiceless
Thus this phonetic symbol F stands for a voiceless labiodental fricative
2. The airstream expelled by the lungs can pass through the oral or nasal cavity

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o In general only sounds produced by nasal cavity are specifically distinguished
otherwise most are oral
3. In larynx there are two vocal cords- which can either be vibrating or taut
o If they are close together when air passes through them- they vibrate producing
voiced sounds e.g. zip (touch your larynx- you will feel the vibration)
o If they are apart and stationary- they are voiceless - e.g. sip
1. Consonant vs. vowel sounds
- Consonants- indicate the point of articulation and manner or articulation
o Sounds made by two moveable organs touch e.g. pill - bilabial
o Sounds made by one moveable and one stationary organ = fish (bottom lip and
upper teeth)- labiodental
o Both usually consonant sounds because they are produced in some obstructed
o No word for tongue in consonant description- e.g. in the word train, which is
produced with the tongue touching the alveolar arch (ridge just above the train) =
- Vowels-
o Various parts of tongue may be named because tongue height and position are
relevant in the description of the sounds
o Bah expelling the airstream through the oral cavity without any significant
blockage or friction
o Pill blocking the airstream and then expelling it completely
o Name directing it through the nasal cavity
o Live Expelling it on either side of the tongue as it makes contact with the teeth,
the alveolar arch or the palate
o Fact- expelling it through constriction in the front of the mound
o Can be described in terms of the position of the tongue
Vertical high, mid, low
Horizontal- front, central, back
o The quality of a vowel depends on whether the lips are rounded or unrounded,
whether lips are together or open, or the tip of the tongue is flat or curled
o In some languages, vowels can take on the quality of any nasal consonant that
surrounds the word
In French a with an accent in gant is nasalized
o English vowel system has 12 main sounds depending on the position of the
tongue (front, centre, back high, back mid, back low- tongue can also be front
high, mid and low as well but I think it‟s always low to high)- if more details are
required on the sounds- IPA is consulted
o New symbols used to represent various phonetic sounds

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- In general vowels are produced by allowing the airstream to pass through the mouth
without significant blockage; consonants are produced modifying blockage (complete or
Consonants can be described again in terms of points and manner of articulation
Points of articulation
- Bilabial- produced when upper and lower lips are touching e.g. pill or bin
- Labiodental- lower lip touching the upper teeth e.g. fish
- Dental- tongue touching the upper teeth or with the upper and lower teeth close to each
other but not quite touching e.g. toy
- Interdental- tongue between the teeth e.g. thing
- Alveolar- tongue touching the gum ridge - e.g. train
- Alveopalantal- tongue touching the palate e.g. jar
- Velar- back of the tongue touching the soft palate e.g. king
- Uvular produced at or near the uvula e.g. in German ich
- Glottal- produced at or near the throat e.g. house
Manner of articulation
- Plosive/ occlusive/ stop produced by means of complete stoppage of the airstream e.g.
- Fricative (some phoneticians favour the sibilant) constriction of the air stream e.g. sun,
- Affricate- combination of plosive and fricative articulations- e.g. cats of fads
- Flaps- flapping the action of the tongue- called vibrant e.g. arrivederci (Italian- rr)
- Lateral narrowing of the tongue as the airstream escapes from the sides of the tongue-
e.g. love
- Nasal- directing the airstream through the nasal package- e.g. mom, nine
- Flaps and lateral = classified together as liquids
Voiced vs. voiceless for both consonants and vowels-
- Nasal, flaps and lateral = voiced as are the vowels in those words
Certain phones can take on slightly different articulations in certain positions within words. For
example, when voiceless bilabial plosive such as P is aspirated pronounced with a slight puff
of air, it is represented as Ph . It usually occurs when followed by a vowel.
- E.g. spit vs. pit; spunk vs. punk (Here, s is put before p blocking the aspiration even if it‟s
followed by a vowel).
- /P/ - minimal unit of sound that can distinguish the meaning of words
- /p/ can replace other consonant such as /w/ or /b/ to make new words bin or win
- The pronunciation of /P/ as either unaspirated [P] or aspirated [Ph]
- Its due to the fact that the articulation of a sound is conditioned by its position within
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