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Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 11

SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES, CHAPTER 3




Minimal Pair Practice

1. / bot / 14. / rot / /b/ and /r/
place, manner of articulation
2. / pIct / 15. / pIat / /c/ and /a/
frontness, height, tenseness
4. / Ircd / 9. / Irid / /c/ and /i/
height
6. / rn / 13. / rin / // and /i/
tenseness
1. / bot / 7. / bon / /t/ and /n/
manner of articulation, voicing
3. / rid / 9. / Irid / /I/ and //
manner and place of articulation, voicing
8. / brz / 12. / brd / /z/ and /d/
manner of articulation
12. / brd / 16. / wrd / /b/ and /w/
manner of articulation
3. / rid / 13. / rin / /d/ and /n/
manner of articulation
10. / pIad / 15. / pIat / /d/ and /t/
voicing
5. / drap / 11. / krap / /d/ and /k/
place of articulation, voicing




Contrastive and Non-Contrastive Sounds

The solutions provided below are just some examples of the many possibilities. Answers will vary
tremendously from person to person.
/p/ /t/ /pap/ pop /tap/ top /d/ /s/ /dp/ dip /sp/ sip
/p/ /b/ /pap/ pop /bap/ bop /m/ /n/ /mit/ meet /nit/ neat
/k/ // /kI/ kill /I/ gill /w/ /y/ /wt/ wet /yt/ yet
/s/ /s / /sp/ sip /s p/ ship /I/ /s/ /IIap/ flop /sIap/ slop
/c / /s / /c p/ chip /s p/ ship // /I/ /n/ thin /In/ fin
/i/ // /c ip/ cheap /c p/ chip /c/ /o/ /ct/ gate /ot/ goat
/u/ /a/ /sut/ shoot /sat/ shot // // /kd/ could /kd/ kid

Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 12
Practice with Natural Classes

Note that only COMPLETE classes are indicated here.

1. /m, n, / : this is the natural class of nasal consonants
2. /p, t, k, v/ : this is not a complete natural class
3. /v, , z, z/ : this is the natural class of voiced fricatives
4. /k, , / : this is the natural class of velar consonants
5. /s, z, c, j, r, y/ : this is the natural class of palatal consonants
6. /p, b, m, w/ : this is the natural class of bilabial consonants
7. /p, t, k, I, , s, s, h, c/ : this is the natural class of voiceless consonants
8. /u, , o, / : this is the natural class of rounded vowels
9. /i, c, u, o, / : this is the natural class of tense vowels
10. /, a/ : this is the natural class of low vowels
11. /, u, / : this is not a complete natural class
12. /i, , c, , / : this is the natural class of front vowels

Determining Distribution
[saIapycj election [s kyIj fraud [j zncj chad
[rIbnj to hang [kazkuj to vote [kazkij to count
[j z ncj to cheat [yIj to whine [saIabycj butterfly
[s yIj ballot [kzkij to confuse [rIpnj handicap
[j Ioj lawsuit [szscj court [ss noj judge
[p] and [b]
a) overlapping
b) [saIapyc] and [saIabyc]
c) N/A
[r] and [l]
a) complementary
b) N/A
c) position in word ([r] is word initial only)
[u] and [i]
a) overlapping
b) [kazcku] and [kazcki]
c) N/A
[o] and []
a) complementary
b) N/A
c) position in word ([o] is word final only)
[y] and [j ]
a) complementary
b) N/A
c) position in word ([j j is word initial only)
[z] and [z ]
a) complementary
b) N/A
c) following sound (frontness of vowel)
[k] and []
a) overlapping
b) [s yI] and [s kyIj
c) N/A
[s ] and []
a) overlapping
b) [s yIj and [yIj
c) N/A
[e] and []
a) complementary
b)N/A
c) position in word ([c] is word final only)
[] and [a]
a) overlapping
b) [kzki] and [kazki]
c) N/A
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 13
English Phonology Practice

paddock
/pdk/ [pDkj
catty
/kti/ [kDij
simply
/smpIi/ [s mpIij
fatality
/IctIti / [IctIDij
attuned
/tund/ [tu ndj
speaker
/spik/ [spikj
tatter
/tt/ [tDj
tutor
/tut/ [tuDj
accomplish
/kampIs/ [kampIsj
plumber
/pIm/ [pImj
splitter
/spIt/ [spIDj
tactics
/tktks/ [tktksj
skateboard
/skctbrd/ [skctbrdj
outrageous
/awtrcjs/ [awtrcjsj
kitty
/kti/ [kDij
spittoon
/sptun/ [sptu nj
skittish
/skts / [skDs j
retainer
/ritcn/ [ritc nj
fantastic
/Intstk/ [I ntstkj
metallic
/mtIk/ [mtIkj
* Note that for some of these words, the order in which the rules are applied affects the surface level
transcription; to be consistent, in these solutions vowel rules are always applied before consonant rules,
but this does not mean that every speaker of English does this when speaking. In fact, for many
speakers, just the opposite might be true.
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 14
English Phonology Problems
[Adapted from Department of Linguistics (1994), p. 115]

Diphthongs
1. [ byt ] bite 9. [ Iyt ] fight
2. [ taym ] time 10. [ tay ] tie
3. [ bay ] buy 11. [ typ ] type
4. [ rayd ] ride 12. [ rys ] rice
5. [ nayn ] ninth 13. [ rayz ] rise
6. [ IayI ] file 14. [ Iay ] fire
7. [ ryt ] write 15. [ IyI ] life
8. [ byk ] bike 16. [ bayd ] bide

Are there any minimal pairs with respect to [ay] and [y]?

Although 1 and 8 constitute a minimal pair, there are no minimal pairs with respect to the two
sounds in question.

Describe the environment in which each sound appears.

according to the data. both sounds appear word internally, so word position wont help us, but if
we look at the surrounding sounds, we see that [y] only appears before voiceless consonants.
[ay] appears before all other sounds (including ).

Are the sounds in complementary or overlapping distribution?

our description of the distributions above indicates that the sounds are in complementary
distribution.

Are the sounds allophones of the same phoneme, or are they of different phonemes?

sounds that are in complementary distribution are allophones of the same phoneme.

If they are allophones of the same phoneme, what determines which allophone is used, and which
allophone is the basic form (the one we should name the phoneme after)?

the sound that immediately follows the phoneme determines which allophone is used. If there is a
voiceless consonant immediately following, then [yj is used. In every other case, [ay] is used.
Because [ay] appears in more environments (both preceding voiced consonants and preceding ),
we will call [ay] the basic form and name the phoneme /ay/.

Based on your analysis of the data, which of the following words is/are phonologically possible in this
dialect of English?

[kraym] yes [myI] no [wayI] yes [brayb] yes [kwayt] no [sbIaym] yes
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 15
[m] [n] [m ] and [n ]

1. [ tim ] team 10. [ m Iiyt ] amphitheater
2. [ tn ] tenth 11. [ ntnm ] antonym
3. [ sn tk ] synthetic 12. [ m Ibiyn ] amphibian
4. [ n m ] anthem 13. [ tn ] ten
5. [ nayn ] ninth 14. [ mpI ] ample
6. [ tin ] teen 15. [ m Itk ] emphatic
7. [ mnd ] mend 16. [ Im I ] lymph
8. [ nayn ] nine 17. [ maym ] mime
9. [ tns ] tense 18. [ tndm ] tandem

1. There is only minimal pair with respect to these sounds in this data. That pair is 1 and 6 (minimal
pairs such as 6 and 13 are irrelevant in this analysis).

2-3.

[m] and [n]: because we saw a minimal pair with respect to these two sounds (1 and 6), they have
overlapping environments and we can conclude that they are allophones of two different phonemes

[n] and [n]: we see [n] in all three word position, while [n] only appears word internally. Because
there is some overlap in this regard, we need to look at surrounding sounds. An examination of the
following sound indicates that [n ] only appears before [], while [n] never does. We have
complementary distribution and two allophones of the same phoneme. This is a rule of assimilation in
which /n/ becomes dentalized before the interdental [].

[m] and [m ] : we see [m] in all three word position, while [m ] only appears word internally.
Because there is some overlap in this regard, we need to look at surrounding sounds. An examination
of the following sound indicates that [m ] only appears before [I], while [m] never does. We have
complementary distribution and two allophones of the same phoneme. This is a rule of assimilation in
which /n/ becomes dentalized before the labiodental [I].

[IIm] no [nu] no [pnt] yes [mns] yes [nrks] no
[tmpt] yes [svn] yes [kmItbI] no
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 16
[t] and [D] (alveolar flap) and [] (glottal stop) in American English

[sptj spit [r nj written [m nzj mittens [stkj stick
[I DIj little [p nsj pittance [b DIj battle [Itj lit
[anj gotten [ktj curt [IDj fatter [I nj fatten
[p stIj pistol [atj got [k nj curtain [btj bat

1. Are there any minimal pairs in this data? If so, what are they, and what do they tell you?

there are no minimal pairs in this data

2. Based on this data, describe the relationship between each pair of sounds. For each pair, decide a) if
the sounds are contrastive or non-contrastive, b) if the sounds are in complementary or overlapping
distribution, and c) if the sounds are allophones of the same phoneme, or different phonemes.

[t] and [D]

a) non-contrastive
b) complementary distribution
c) allophones of the same phoneme

[t] and [j

a) non-contrastive
b) complementary distribution
c) allophones of the same phoneme

[j and [D]

a) non-contrastive
b) complementary distribution
c) allophones of the same phoneme

3. Write as many rules as necessary to describe whatever allophonic variation there is.

/t/ becomes [j intervocalically when the following vowel is unstressed and that following vowels
syllable ends in [n]

/t/ becomes [D] intervocalically when the following vowel is unstressed in all other cases


4. Based on this data , which of the following transcriptions is/are possible in English?

[ranj yes [sm Dnj no [stnj no [Ic Ij no [pI sDj no [Ii Dj yes

Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 17
Spanish Phonology Problems

[izIa] island [rasko] I scratch
[riczo] risk [rcsto] remainder
[cskij ski [Iucrsaj Iorcc
[sinko] five [vamos] we go
[dczdc] since [mizmo] same
[cspaIda] back [IiskaI] fiscal
[habIasj you speak [sabcsj you know

Are there any minimal pairs with respect to [s] and [z]?

no, there are not

Describe the environment in which each sound appears.

[s] appears both word initially and finally, while [z] never does (it is always word internally).
However, because [s] also appears word internally (overlap with [z]), we need to look at
surrounding sounds. [z] appears only before voiced consonants, while [s] appears before all other
sounds (including ), but never before voiced consonants.

Are the sounds in complementary or overlapping distribution?

Because of the distribution described above, we can conclude that these sounds are in
complementary distribution.

Are the sounds allophones of the same phoneme, or are they of different phonemes?

Complementary distribution means allophones of the same phoneme.

If they are allophones of the same phoneme, what determines which allophone is used, and which
allophone is the basic form (the one we should name the phoneme after)?

The sound immediately following the phoneme determines the form that the phoneme takes.
Because [z] only appears in one environment - before voiced consonants - while [s] appears in
more than one environment - before voiceless consonants, vowels and - we will call [s] the basic
form and name the phoneme /s/.

[azuI] no [pczkado] no [scrvcsa] yes [raznar] yes [nariz] no [rason] yes
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 18
Spanish (continued)

[Adapted from Cowan & Rakusan (1998), pp. 3233]

1. [ scu n ] according to 6. [ rico ] Greek
2. [ mao] mango 7. [ aIan ] gallant
3. [ ncar] to refuse 8. [ ustar ] to please
4. [ ao ] I make/do 9. [ mia ] crumb
5. [ arcsivo ] aggresive 10. [ ario ] bitter

Are there any minimal pairs with respect to [] and []?
no, there are not

Describe the environment in which each sound appears.
[j always appears word internally between two vowels in the data. [g] appears both word initially
and word internally, sometimes after vowels (#5), and sometimes after consonants (#2), sometimes
before vowels (#7), sometimes before consonants (#6).

Are the sounds in complementary or overlapping distribution?
Based on the above description, they are in complementary distribution, because while [j always
appears between two vowelsintervocalically [g] never does. In many dialects of Spanish, this
phenomenon can be observed with respect to all voiced stops - they are softened between two
vowels (a kind of assimilation).

Are the sounds allophones of the same phoneme, or are they of different phonemes?
If we cant find a minimal pair with respect to them, they cant be different phonemes. Also, the fact
that theyre in complementary distribution leads us to conclude that theyre allophones of the same
phoneme.

If they are allophones of the same phoneme, what determines which allophone is used, and which
allophone is the basic form (the one we should name the phoneme after)?
The surrounding sounds determine it; in this case, its a combination of both the preceding and
following sounds that conditions the allophonic variation. Because [] is only used in one specific
environment intervocalically the basic form is [].

Based on your analysis of the data, which of the following words is/are phonologically possible in this
dialect of Spanish?

[ncasionj no [rcaIarj no [maoj yes [wapoj no [atoj yes [soaj no
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 19
Additional Phonology Problems

Italian

[Adapted from Department of Linguistics (1994), p. 111 and Cowan & Rakusan (1998), p. 66]
1. [ tinta ] dye 7. [ tio ] I dye
2. [ mandatc] you (pl) send 8. [ tco ] I keep
3. [ dansa] dance 9. [ Iuo ] mushroom
4. [ ncro ] black 10. [ byaka ] white
5. [ j ntc ] people 11. [ akc ] also
6. [ parIano ] they speak 12. [ Iao ] mud

1. Yes , but the only minimal pairs are 7 and 8 and 9 and 12, and the difference is in the first vowel
sound. All we can conclude from these minimal pairs is that [i] and [c] , as well as [u] and [a], are
contrastive and represent distinct phonemes in Italian. This, however, does not help us answer the
question about [n] and [].

2. The only environment in which we see [] is before [] and [k]. [] and [k] represent the natural
class of velar stops. This makes sense because [] is also produced in the velar area. [n] is used before
vowels as well as before [t], [d] and [s], all of which are alveolar consonants. Again, this consonant
environment makes sense because [n] is also produced in the alveolar region.

3. Because [] only appears before velar stops and [n] never does, but appears before vowels and
alveolar consonants, we can determine that the two sounds are in complementary distribution.

4. We know that they are in complementary distribution. [n] and [], therefore, are allophones of one
phoneme.

5. /n/ becomes [] before velar stops (this is a rule of assimilation )

The relationship between these sounds is different in English. They are both phonemes in English and
are thus contrastive (compare the minimal pairs fan [In] and fang [I]). An Italian speaker
trying to learn would have to learn an entirely new concept (a new phoneme), which would be very
difficult. An English speaker trying to learn Italian might have an accent as a result of this difference,
but he or she would not have comprehension problems as a result of it. Its always harder to learn a
new distinction than it is to ignore a familiar one.

[tndaj yes [saponcj yes [portovaoj no [trovanoj yes [buooj no

Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 20
Korean

[Adapted from the Department of Linguistics (1994), p. 114 and Kaplan (1995), p. 63]

1. [ s i ] poem 11. [ saI ] flesh
2. [ mis in ] superstition 12. [ casaI ] suicide
3. [ s inmum ] newspaper 13. [ kasu ] singer
4. [ taksas ikyc ] table check 14. [ sanmun ] prose
5. [ s iIsu ] mistake 15. [ kasI ] hypothesis
6. [ os ip j fifty 16. [ c sonyn ] adolescents
7. [ c as in ] self 17. [ miso ] smile
8. [ pas ik ] method 18. [ susck ] search
9. [ kans ik ] snack 19. [ tapsa ] exploration
10. [ s ik ] clock 20. [ soj a ] director

1. A quick look at the phonetic data reveals that there are no minimal pairs. Chances are, then, that
we will find complementary distribution, and that the sounds are allophones of the same
phoneme. Now we need to determine the environment that determines which variant
(allophone) of the phoneme is used.
2. Both [s] and [s j are used word initially and word internally, so position in the word wont help
us. Both sounds are used after [a] so looking at the preceding sound wont help us. Following
[s j, however, in every instance is the high, front, tense vowel [i]. This is about as specific a
natural class as youll find - the natural class of high, front, tense vowels. [s], on the other
hand, is used before all other vowels in the data.
3. This, then, is complementary distribution
4. .and we can say that [s] and [s j are allophones of the same phoneme. Because [s] appears in
more environments, we can conclude that it is the basic form of the phoneme.
5. The rule, therefore, is:

/s/ becomes [s j before [i] (this rule is difficult to categorize in terms of its type)

6. In English, these sounds are separate phonemes (compare [sp] and [s p]), so a native speaker
of Korean attempting to learn English would have to learn a new reality. Because such a speaker
cannot hear the difference between these two sounds, learning to use them as separate sounds
would be very difficult. An English speaker learning to speak Korean, however, would not
have to learn a new reality.
[kasij yes [soj yes [sipsanj no [skj yes [s inhoj yes [masij no
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 21
Egaugnal

1. [ s iIta j sign 6. [ koviki j joke
2. [ davIa j message 7. [ Iuvdami j insane
3. [ pavi j ugly 8. [ vaIaIpo j travesty
4. [ poIki j embarrass 9. [ wakinuv j controversy
5. [ miIsi j laugh 10. [ piIc ov j inform

1. There are no minimal pairs in this data.


3-5. [v] is used in all word positions, initially, internally and finally, while [I] appears only word
internally. Because there is some overlap in this regard, we cant conclude too much based on
position in the word right now. Our attention then turns to the surrounding sounds. Both [I] and
[v] are preceded by a variety of vowels, and there is a great deal of overlap. For example, both [I]
and [v] are preceded by [a] (see 2, 3 and 7). Also, both [I] and [v] are preceded by [o] (see 4 and
5). This overlap tells us that the preceding sound does not determine which allophone is used. We
must next look at the immediately following sound. [I] is followed [t] (1), [k] (4), [s] (5), [c j (10)
and [p] (7). When [v] is followed by some sound (remember, it appears word finally in 8), it is
followed by [i] (3,5), [I] (2) and [d] (6). [i], [I] and [d] certainly do not form a natural class
because there is nothing that they all have in common. [t], [k], [s], [c j and [p], on the other hand,
all share one characteristic - they are all voiceless consonants. This makes sense because [I] is also
voiceless (in fact, the only difference between [I] and [v] is voicing). We can conclude, then, that
this is a rule of assimilation and that [v] become devoiced when it is followed by voiceless
consonant. The rule is:

/v/ becomes [I] before voiceless consonants (a rule of assimilation )

6. The relationship between these sounds is different in English. They are both phonemes in English
and are thus contrastive (compare the minimal pair fan [fn] and van [vn]). An Egaugnal
speaker trying to learn would have to learn an entirely new concept (a new phoneme), which would
be very difficult. An English speaker trying to learn Egaugnal might have an accent as a result of
this difference, but he or she would not have comprehension problems as a result of it. Its always
harder to learn a new distinction than it is to ignore a familiar one.

[vivdaj yes [IoIoj no [dItoj yes [mivij yes [wIsaj yes [Iovoj yes

Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 22
Sindhi (a language spoken in southern Asia)

[pnuj leaf [truj bottom [druj door
[vjuj opportunity [ktoj sour [j j uj judge
[sckij suspicious [bjuj run [pnuj snake hood

Compare the sounds [p] and [p] in Sindhi.

Are they in overlapping or complementary distribution?
Both appear in the exact same environment in the minimal pair [pnuj and [pnuj. This means that
they are in overlapping distribution.

Are they contrastive or non-contrastive?
The minimal pair noted above means they must be contrastive.

Are the allophones of the same phoneme or are they different phonemes?
Because theyre contrastive, they must be different phonemes.

How does this differ from their relationship in English?
In English, these sounds are non-contrastive (they are allophones of the same phoneme).

Would this difference create more problems for an English speaker trying to learn Sindhi, or a Sindhi
speaker trying to learn English? Explain your answer.
The English speaker would have more trouble learning Sindhi because he or she would have to
learn an entirely new phoneme (/p/). Anytime a person tries to learn a second language that has
concepts that dont exist in his or her first language, problems will arise.

Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 23
Practice with Phonotactics
[Adapted from Hudson (2000), p. 237]

Note that there is room for discussion here. Also, obviously, even if everyone agrees on the
possibilities, they are likely to use different examples to prove the same possibilities.

any
vowel
p b I v t d s k h s c j I r m n y w
p
1 2 3 57
b
4 5 6 7
I
8 9 10 11
v
12 13

14 15 16

17
t
18 19 20
d
21 22 23
s
24 25 26 58 27 28 29 30 31
z
32
s
33 34 35 36 37 38
z

c
39
j
40
k
41 42 43 44 45

46 47 48
h
49 50
I
51
r
52
m
53 54
n
55


y
56
w
57

1. pick / pk / 2. please / pIiz / 3. pray / prc /

4. boat / bot / 5. bloat / bIot / 6. brick / brk /

7. beauty / byuti / 8. feet / Iit / 9. fleet / IIit /

10. free / Iri / 11. few / Iyu / 12. vie / vay /

13. view / vyu / 14. thick / k / 15. through / ru /
Relevant Linguistics Practice Solutions 24
16. thwack / wk / 17. though / o / 18. tee / ti /

19. tree / tri / 20. twine / twayn / 21. do / du /

22. drew / dru / 23. dwindle / dwndI / 23. say / sc /

25. spay / spc / 26. svelte / svIt / 27. scoot / skut /

28. sleep / sIip / 29. smock / smak / 30. snake / snck /

31. sway / swc / 32. zoo / zu / 33. shoe /s u /

34. schtick ? /s tk / 35. schlock ? / s Iak / 36. shrill /s rI /

37. scmuck ? / smk / 38. schnapps /snaps / 39. chew / cu /

40. jet / j t / 41. coat / kot / 42. clue / kIu /

43. cret / krct / 44. cute / kyut / 45. quick / kwk /

46. go / o / 47. glue / Iu / 48. grew / ru /

49. hoc /ho/ 50. hue / hyu / 51. loose / Ius /

52. rock / rak / 53. moon / mun / 54. muse / myuz /

55. you / yu / 56. we / wi / 57. putrid / pyutrd /

58. stew / stu / 59. more? 60. more?

The grid has 480 combinations of onsets. Of these 480 combinations, how many does English allow?
58 What is the percentage of allowable onsets? 12%

Trends

What kinds of sounds are most often the first consonant of an onset cluster in English?
voiceless consonants, fricatives, stops

kinds of sounds are most often the second consonant of an onset cluster in English?
liquids, glides

Contrastive Analysis

Analyze the onset of the first syllable of each of the following foreign language words and decide if its
structure is allowable in English. The words have been written phonetically.

Language Word Meaning OK? Language Word Meaning OK?
French
[z j
I (pronoun) no Russian
[nytj
no no
Swahili
[ombcj
cow no Lango
[Iytj
hot no
Russian
[zdaniyj
building no German
[kno Ij
knuckle no