PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY
Whereas syntax is about sentence formation, and semantics about sentenceinterpretation, phonetics and phonology cover the field of sentence utterance.Phonetics is concerned with how sounds are produced, transmitted and perceived (wewill only look at the production of sounds). Phonology is concerned with how soundsfunction in relation to each other in a language. In other words, phonetics is about sounds of language, phonology about sound systems of language. Phonetics is a descriptive toolnecessary to the study of the phonological aspects of a language.Phonetics and phonology are worth studying for several reasons. One is that as allstudy of language, the study of phonology gives us insight into how the human mind works.Two more reasons are that the study of the phonetics of a foreign language gives us a muchbetter ability both to hear and to correct mistakes that we make, and also to teachpronunciation of the foreign language (in this case English) to others.As phonetics and phonology both deal with sounds, and as English spelling andEnglish pronunciation are two very different things, it is important that you keep in mind thatwe are not interested in letters here, but in sounds. For instance, English has not 5 or 6 but 20different vowels, even if these vowels are all written by different combinations of 6 differentletters, "a, e, i, o, u, y". The orthographic spelling of a word will be given in italics, e.g.
, and the phonetic transcription between square brackets [pli:z]. Thus the word
consists of three consonants, [p,l,z], and one vowel, [i:]. And sounds considered from thephonological point of view are put between slashes. We will use the symbols in figure (1).
Relevant exercises are 1, 2, 3, 4.