Phonology: The sound patterns of language LCD 101: Introduction to Language 2011 Fall Ryan 1
Objectives Phonemes, phone and allophones Minimal Pairs Phonotactics Syllables and clusters Phonological processes To observe how the same phones are organized differently among languages Solve Phonology problems/data sets 2
What do phonologists ask? What is the organization of sounds in a given language? Of all the sounds in a language, which are predictable and which are unpredictable in particular contexts or environments? Which sounds affect the identities of words? 3
Introduction Phonetics – investigation of the physical production of speech sounds. We looked at the articulatory mechanisms of the human vocal tract In physical terms, there are an infinite number of ways a word like “me” will be produced Individuals pronounce a particular word differently on every occasion 4
Introduction Differences in pronouncing a word? bad cold, tired, angry, regional/dialectal differences, size of person, etc. Phonology helps us consistently recognize the different versions of a word, e.g. “me” as the form [mi], and not [ni], [si], [ma], [mo] 5
What is Phonology? Phonetics and Phonology - both can be generally described as the study of speech sounds Phonetics – specifically the study of how speech sounds are produced, what their physical properties are, and how they’re produced Phonology – the description of the systems and patterns of speech sounds; based on a theory of what every speaker of a language unconsciously knows about the sound patterns of that language 6
What’s a phoneme? 7
The smallest unit by which one can distinguish one word from another (meaning-distinguishing units in a language), See Yule pages 30 and 34 for English phonemes.
The psychological (abstract) representations or units of actual physical realizations of phonetic segments.
A set of speech sounds that are identified by a native speaker as the same sound
e.g. tar star eightwriter the [t] sounds in these examples make up a class of speech sounds that English speakers know as /t/
Phonemes 8 Let’s examine the [t] sound in the following: tar star eightwriter
We might think of these as being the ‘same’, but actually they are pronounced quite differently.
However, in the phonology of English, they would be represented in the same way /t/
- These articulation differences are important, but the distinction between [t] and, for example [c], [b], and [f] are more important because they distinguish meanings of words such as tar, car, bar, far.
Phonemes 9 Note: Phonetics - brackets [ ] are conventionally used to indicate a phonetic/physical segment. Phonology – slashes / / are used to indicate an abstract segment
An essential property of phonemes: function contrastively.
e.g. In English /r/ and /m/ are phonemes because they are the only basis for contrast in words such as ‘rowing’ and ‘mowing’.
Contrastive property test: if substituting one sound for another will result in a change of meaning, then you have phonemes. Other examples?
Phones and Allophones 10 PHONES: general term for speech sounds ALLOPHONES: the different speech sounds of a phoneme are called allophones Let’s look at some examples of phonemes and allophones….
English Phoneme /t/ 11
Allophones of /t/
12 English Phoneme /p/ [ph] and [p] are the allophones of the same phoneme /p/ in English: /p/ phoneme [ph][p] allophones ‘paper’ ‘spill’ The ‘p’ in ‘paper’ is normally pronounced with aspiration. That is, there is a release of a puff of air. The ‘p’ in ‘spill’ is normally not aspirated.
Phonemes and Allophones 13 English Phoneme /p/ Compare in English: [sphɪn] “spin” [spɪn] “spin”
Aspiration doesn’t affect the meaning of the word.
Either [p] or [ph ] gives the same meaning. In English they are considered to be the ‘same’ sound though they may be phonetically different.
Thus, [p] or [ph ] are NOT contrastive in English. They don’t affect the meaning of words.
They are allophones of the same phoneme /p/.
English Phoneme /p/ 14 Does it work this way in all languages?? Let’s look at Hindi, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in northern and central India. Hindi: [phal] "knife edge“ [pal] "take care of" [kaphi] "ample“ [kapi] "copy”
In Hindi, [ph] and [p] ARE contrastive. They create a contrast in meaning.
Therefore, they are different phonemes.
In Chinese languages, Icelandic, Korean, Thai, and Ancient Greek, [p t k] and [pʰtʰkʰ] are different phonemes.
Phonemes and Allophones 15 Two of more languages might share the same sound or sounds but this does not mean that those languages organize these sounds in the same way. Hindi: /ph/ /p/ phonemes English: /p/ phoneme [ph] [p] allophones
Detour: Aspiration in English 17 PHONETIC FACT: There is a burst or puff of air after the /p/ in pill, till, and kill, that is absent in spill, still, and skill. ASPIRATION: The period between the release of the closure of a consonant and the start of the vocal cord activity for the vowel that comes after it. This period is usually felt as a puff of air. pill [phɪl] spill [spɪl] till [thɪl] still [stɪl] kill [khɪl] skill [skɪl]
Detour: Aspiration in English 18 Aspiration Rule in English: Aspiration occurs on all voiceless stops [p, t, k] occurring as the first sound in a stressed syllable. • Although aspirated stops and unaspirated stops are physically different , we consider both to be the same sound in English. • For English, aspiration is not employed to create a meaning difference (unlike in Hindi, for example).
The diacritic(=special mark) for aspiration in the IPA is a superscript [h]
Narrow vs. broad transcription
Non-language Examples 19 Allophones – different versions of the same underlying representation The human mind also ignores other physical/perceptible differences which are not relevant for particular purposes phoneme
Non-language Examples 20 Allophones – different versions of the same underlying representation The human mind also ignores other physical/perceptible differences which are not relevant for particular purposes phoneme
Phonemes: Looking for Minimal Pairs 21 Phonemes are the psychological (abstract) representations or units of actual physical realizations of phonetic segments. Review:
If two sounds are separate phonemes, then they are contrastive (in terms of meaning).
• If the two phones are allophones of the same phoneme, then they are non-contrastive. To determine whether a given pair of sounds is contrastive, look for minimal pairs
Minimal Pairs 22 A minimal pair is a pair of words that:
have different meanings
are pronounced the same except for one sound
[teɪk] vs. [teɪp] "take" vs. "tape“
[tim] vs. [dim] "team" vs. "deem“
[kapi] vs. [kaphi] "copy" vs. "ample" (Hindi)
Minimal Pairs 23 Do [l] and [r] belong to the same phoneme in English? Look for minimal pairs! [lif] "leaf“ [læk] "lack“ [rif] "reef“ [ræk] "rack“ Since we have minimal pairs that contain [l] and [r], we can say that [l] and [r] are contrastive. Thus they are separate phonemes and are are NOT allophones of the same phoneme. Phonemes /l/ /r/
Minimal Pairs 24 Are [r] and [l] contrastive in other languages? Let’s look at Korean, a language spoken in Korea (some linguists classify it as a language isolate, others consider it an Altaic language). Minimal pairs?? [param] "wind“ [pal] "foot“ [ irim] "name“ [mal] "horse“
Minimal Pairs:Korean [r] and [l] 25
In Korean, minimal pairs can never be found for [l] and [r]; these sounds do not occur in the same position in words.
The dataset reveals that [r] occurs between two vowels but [l] occurs at the end of words.
V___V _____# occurs between vowels occurs at the end of words
Thus, [l] and [r] are in complementary distribution in Korean. They are mutually exclusive. In the same context, you can never find both.
Complementary Distribution 26 Superman and Clark Kent are different "physical realizations" of the cartoon character. When Clark Kent is present, Superman is NOT. Remember: When sounds are in complementary distribution, they cannot be contrastive. The replacement of one sound for the other does not change the meaning of the word.
Minimal Pair Practice 27 Use the following group of words to build five minimal pairs. jeep, yes, tack, chips, they, mice, day, wading, bill, cheap, pill, tick, than, weight, waiting, do, tail, chess (a) ______________&_______________ (b) ______________&_______________ (c) ______________&_______________ (d) ______________&_______________ (e) ______________&_______________
Dataset: Standard Spanish 28 Standard Spanish is an Indo-European language of the Romance family. Examine the phones [d] and [ð]. 1) Are these allophones of one phoneme, or separate phonemes? 2) Identify the type of distribution. 3) If they are separate phonemes, give minimal pairs that prove this.
Dataset: Standard Spanish 29 Are these allophones of one phoneme, or separate phonemes? No minimal pairs found so the phones [d] and [ð] are NOT contrastive. They are found in different environments, and are thus said to be in complementary distribution. [d] occurs everywhere, while [ð] occurs intervocalically (V___V, in between vowels) They are allophones of one phoneme so no minimal pairs were found.
Dataset: Sindhi Sindhi is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Aryan family, spoken in Pakistan and India. 30 Examine the distribution of the phones [p], [ph], and [b]. 1) Determine if the three are allophones of separate phonemes, or allophones of the same phoneme. 2) What is your evidence? 3) Is the relationship between the sounds the same as in English? Why or why not? In Sandhi and English, /p/ and /b/ are separate phonemes. In English, [p ph] are allophones of the same phoneme, but in Sindi they’re phonemes.
Review: a comparison 31
Phonotactics the permitted arrangement of sounds 32 big, rig, fig, dig, wig, lig, vig How do we know that ‘lig’ and ‘vig’ could be viewed as possible words in English? Our phonological knowledge of the pattern of sounds in English words What about [tsɪg] or [tnɪg]? These words have been formed without obeying some PHONOTACTIC constraints on the sequence or position of English phonemes.
Phonotactic constraints: restrictions on possible combinations of sounds, these constraints operate on a unit larger than the single segment/phoneme Syllable structure: 33 Phonotactics syllable onset rhyme nucleus coda consonant(s) vowel consonant(s) Basicelements of the syllable:
onset – can be empty or have one or more consonants
rhyme – consists of the nucleus (a vowel or vowel-like sound) and coda (can be empty or have one or more consonants
Syllables and Clusters 34 What must a syllable contain? At the minimum, A VOWEL or VOWEL-like sound e.g. English – ‘a’, ‘I’, ‘a.bove’ Symbol for syllable
Syllables and Clusters 35 syllable CV.CVC onset rhyme‘Ja.nice’ nucleus coda consonant(s) vowel consonant(s) opendʒæ closed n ɪ s
Syllables and Clusters 36 syllable(open) onset rhyme nucleus coda consonant(s) vowel consonant(s) V ‘I’ aΙ V ‘a’ eΙ CV ‘be’ b i CV ‘though’ ð oʊ
Syllables and Clusters 37 syllable(closed) onset rhyme nucleus coda consonant(s) vowel consonant(s) ‘of’ Ʊ v ‘mug’ m Ʌ g
Syllables and Clusters 38 σ(closed) Onset Rhyme Nucleus Coda C C V C Consonant Cluster CCVC ‘step’ s t ɛ p
Syllables and Clusters 39 σ(closed) Onset Rhyme Nucleus Coda C V C C Consonant Cluster CVCC ‘tans’ tæ n s
Syllables and Clusters 40 σ(closed) Onset Rhyme Nucleus Coda C C V C C Consonant Cluster Consonant Cluster CCVCC ‘plots’ p l at s CCVCC ‘smooths’s m u ð z
41 Syllables Additional Detail to Yule syllable (open) CVV ‘I’,‘eye’ onset rhyme nucleus coda consonant(s) V V consonant(s) aI
42 Syllables Additional Detail to Yule syllable (open) CVV ‘go’ onset rhyme nucleus coda consonant(s) V V consonant(s) g o Ʊ
43 Syllables: when vowel length is contrastive A. Tagalog galing /ga: . liŋ/ from /ga . liŋ/ excellence pito /pi: . toh/ whistle /pi . toh/ seven Japanese ojisan /ozisan/ uncle ojiisan/oziisan/ grandfather tsuki /tuki/ moon tsūki/tuuki/ airflow The diacritic : means vowel lengthening = a aa
Syllables and Clusters 44 Determine the syllable structure of the words below. The first three are done for you. Remember that a single consonant or vowel can be spelled with more than one letter, some letters are not pronounced, etc., so focus on sound and not spelling. up (VC) 7. map _____ hat (CVC) 8. spring _____ judge (CVC) 9. slick _____ eggs _____ 10. stress _____ and ______ 11. can.dy _____ beat ______ 12. brea.thy _______
Syllables and Clusters 45 In English, there are a wide variety of syllable types, as shown in the table below (from Language Files): Languages generally prefer CV syllables, but some languages, like English, allow up to 3 consonants to start a word, as long as the first is /s/, the second /p/, /t/, or /k/, and the third /l/, /ɹ/, /j/, /w/
Syllables and Clusters 46 Other languages don’t have as many syllable structures as English, as shown in the table below (from LanguageFiles): Single vowel can be a syllable; No consonant clusters consonant clusters at beginning and end
Co-articulation Effects 47
Co-articulation effects: the process of making one sound almost at the same time as the next sound
Assimilation – becoming more like a neighboring sound
Elision – the deletion of a sound segment; not pronouncing it
Assimilation 48 Assimilation: the process of making one sound (or gesture) to become more like a neighboring sound (or gesture) with respect to some phonetic property [ɪ], [æ], [ʌ], etc. – in isolation, no nasal quality. But in a word in which it’s followed by a nasal, the vowel becomes nasalized (produced with a lowering of the velum so that air escapes both through nose as well as the mouth)
Phonological rule: Any vowel becomes nasalized in English whenever it is immediately followed by a nasal, /m n ŋ/
The diacritic for nasalization in the IPA is a tilde [ ̃].
This is another example of narrow transcription.
What was the other example we looked at?
Assimilation 50 ‘I can go’ [ajkængoʊ] [ajkəŋgoʊ] The influence of the velar sound /g/ causes the alveolar nasal /n/ to assimilate, become like, into a nasal. Thus, in rapid speech, you hear the velar nasal /ŋ/
Elision 51 Elision (deletion): the process of not pronouncing a sound segment (consonant, vowel, or whole syllable) that might be present in careful pronunciation ‘You and me’ [juændmi] [juənmi] ‘above his hat’ [əbʌvhɪzhæt] [əbʌvɪzhæt]