Linguistics Lecture Notes and Textbook Notes Combined Week 4
University of Toronto St. George
Week 4 – Phonology
o Concerned with how the sounds are represented and stored in the brain
Abstract mental representations vs. physical sounds (phonetics)
The grammar of sounds, our implicit knowledge of sound structure
- Goals of phonology
To determine what phonological knowledge is like
How sounds are stored and represented in the brain.
How these mental representations result in systematic phonetic variation
in speech, at the level of segments or suprasegmentals; within a given
language and across languages.
o Our phonological knowledge deals with representations at various levels:
Word level, syllable level, segment level, and feature level.
Phonological contrasts, phonemes and allophones
- Contrastive segments
o Some segments in a language contrast with each other, while others don’t.
E.g. alveolar fricatives [s] and [z] in English are contrastive, because
substituting [z] for [s] and vice versa changes the word meaning:
[su] Sue [zu] zoo [si] sea [zi] Z
[sɪp] sip [zɪp] zip [lus] loose [luz] lose
o Words that have all the same letters except for one are minimal pairs