Phonological analysis of speech sounds. Lecture 5
1. PHONOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF SPEECH SOUNDSLecture 5
Aspects and Functions.
II. Some Aspects of the Phoneme
III. Sound Interchange.
IV. Types of Transcription.
3. I. The Phoneme, its Definition, Aspects and Functions. .Phonetics studies sounds as articulatory and acoustic units.
Phonology investigates them as units which serve people for
their communicative purpose.
“Allophone” is used for sounds which are variants of a phoneme;
they usually occur in different positions in the words (i.e. in
different environments) and they cannot contrast with each
other, nor be used to make meaningful distinctions.
phonetic environment: by neighbouring sounds, by the position it
occupies in a word or in an utterance, by the stress, speech
melody, tempo of speech.
[p] port – initial position (strong aspiration)
sport– after [s] (the loss of aspiration)
top – final position
6. DEFINITIONS OF THE PHONEMEL. Shcherba:
“A phoneme is a functional, material and abstract unit… It’s a
dialectal unity of these three aspects because they determine one
another and are thus interdependent.”
7. DEFINITIONS OF THE PHONEMEV. Vassilyev:
“The segmental phoneme is the smallest (i.e. further
indivisible into smaller consecutive elements) language
unit (sound type) that exists in the speech of all the
members of a given language community as such speech
sounds which are capable of distinguishing one word
from another word of the same language or one
grammatical form from another grammatical form of the
linguistic unit realized in speech in the
form of speech sounds opposable to
other phonemes of the same language
to distinguish the meaning of
morphemes and words.
phoneme are speech sounds which are
realizations of one and the same
phoneme and which, consequently,
cannot distinguish the meaning of
morphemes and words.
10. THE PHONEME [t] and its allophonesStongly aspiratied before stressed vowels, e.g. talk
Non-aspirated after [s], e.g. stalk
Pronounced without any plosion before another plosive
consonant, e.g. sit down
Palatalized before the sonorant [j], e.g. get you
Becomes dental if it is followed by the interdental sounds [ɵ,
ð], e.g. get the hell
Becomes post-alveolar if it is followed by the post-alveolar
sound [r], e.g. try
11. FUNCTIONS OF THE PHONEME1.
The distinctive function.
(a) morpheme-distinctive function:
(b) word/form-distinctive function:
/mæn - men /
(c) sentence-distinctive function:
[ʃɪ ꞌtəʊl mɪ tə ꞌkʌm ↘ daʊn - ʃɪ ꞌtəʊl mɪ tə ꞌkɑ:m ↘ daʊn]
12. FUNCTIONS OF THE PHONEME2. The constitutive function.
(a) morpheme-constitutive function
(b) word/form-constitutive function
(c) sentence-constitutive function
13. FUNCTIONS OF THE PHONEME3. The recognitive function.
It consists in making words with their grammatical forms
and, therefore, whole sentences easily recognizable or
identifiable and, consequently, intelligible, as the result of
the use of the right allophones in the right places.
and recognitive functions of the phoneme are
inseparable from each other.
15. II. Some Aspects of the Phoneme Theory. Baudouin de CourteneyBaudouin de Courteney (1845-1929), the founder of the
Kasan linguistic school:
The phoneme is regarded as a psychic image of a sound
(“психический эквивалент звука”). It is an ideal
“mental image” or a target at which the speaker aims.
16. L.V. Shcherba (1880-1944)His early definition was mentalistic and psychological: “The
phoneme is a result (or product) of our mental activity”
Later he developed the other, materialistic view of the
phoneme. He defined it as a real independent distinctive unit
which manifests itself in the form of its allophones.
17. N.S. Trubetzkoy (1890-1938)Head of the Prague Linguistic School
Mentalistic view: “sound image”, “mental activity”
Later approach: materialistic view. “The phoneme shouldn’t
be defined from the psychological point of view as it is a
linguistic unit but not a psychological notion”.
18. Ferdinand de Saussure (1857 – 1913)The first exponent of the phoneme theory in Western Europe
He viewed the phoneme as the sum of acoustic impressions
and articulatory movements and regarded it as a
“disembodied unit of the language”.
19. D. Jones (1881–1967)“The phoneme may be described roughly as a family of
sounds consisting of an important sound of the language (i.e.
the most frequently used member of that family) together
with other related sounds ‘taking its place’ in particular
sound-sequences or under particular conditions of length and
20. III. Sound InterchangeSounds variations in the words, their derivatives and
grammatical forms are known in linguistics as sound
interchange, or the alternation of sounds.
It takes place between sounds belonging to the same general
type, i.e. consonants may alternate only with consonants
and vowels may alternate only with vowels.
correspondence between different sounds in
the same positions in different derivatives from
the same root, or in different grammatical
forms of the same word, or in different
allomorphs of the same morpheme.
which distinguish singular and plural forms
[ju:z]- [ju:s] - the alternates are [z]- [s]
which distinguish parts of speech in
etymologically correlated words.
1. synchronic causes → phonetic alternations
e.g. /əˈkædəmi/ - /ˌækəˈdemɪk/
The alternation between vowels is due to the loss of stress.
e.g. tooth – teeth [tu:ɵ]-[ti:ɵ]
This interchange is traceable to a kind of partial regressive
vowel assimilation, or vowel harmony, the so-called imutation, which was one of the phonetic phenomena of Old
functions, they accompany some grammatical phenomena. In
the English language, for example, they help to pronounce
correctly singular and plural forms of nouns, the past tense
forms and past participle forms of regular verbs.
[z] is pronounced after voiced consonants and vowels (bags,
[ɪz] is pronounced after sibilants (washes)
[t] is pronounced after voiceless consonants (looked);
[ɪd] after [t], [d] (wanted).
vowels in the definite article.
E.g. [ði:] full form (You should go to the Maldives. It's THE place to
[ði] before vowels (the Army)
[ðə] before consonants (the pen)
grammatical functions. In the English language, for example,
historical alternations are connected with the conjugation of
irregular verbs and help to distinguish singular and plural forms
of some nouns:
Ex. sing – sang – sung; send – sent - sent
man [mæn] – men [men], foot [fu:t] – feet [fi:t].
e.g. [aι-ι] in [t∫aιld]-[‘t∫ιldrən]
[ɵ-ð] in [mauɵ]-[mauðz]
An alternation of sounds combined with suffixation may
also be accompanied or produced by the shift of stress,
e.g. [eι-ə], [ə-ɒ]: major - majority [‘meιdʒə]-[mə’dʒɒrətι]
because of the widely spread voiced/voiceless assimilation and
vowel reduction in the language:
мороз [м р’ос ] – морозы [м р’озы]
город [г’орът]– города [гър д’а]
коса [к с’а ] – косы [к’осы]
32. IV. Types of Transcription 1. Broad (phonemic) transcription. 2. Narrow (allophonic) transcription.
33. Broad (phonemic) transcriptionBroad (phonemic) transcription provides special symbols for all
the phonemes of a language. It is mainly used for practical
35. Narrow (allophonic) transcriptionNarrow (allophonic) transcription incorporates as much
phonetic information as the phonetician desires, or as he can
36. Narrow (allophonic) transcriptionIt provides special symbols to denote not only the phoneme as a
language unit but also its allophonic modifications. The
symbol [h] for instance indicates aspirated articulation, cf.
[kheɪt] - [skeɪt].
This type of transcription is mainly used in research
work allowing linguists to make detailed analyses of
37. Narrow (allophonic) transcriptionSometimes, however, it may be helpful to include
symbols representing allophones in order to emphasize
a particular feature of an allophonic modification. For
[l] – soft (clear) variant (pronounced before vowels)
[ɫ] – hard (dark) variant (pronounced before consonants
and in the final position)