Linguistics 110 Class 7 (10/9/02) Phonology (1) Phonetics vs.

phonology • •


Phonetics studies the events of speech close to the level of observability: what is happening? (articulation, acoustics, aerodynamics, perception) Phonology studies the rule systems by which languages employ sound. The phonology of a language is the grammar of its sounds.

(2) Phonological knowledge is rule-governed • The Null Hypothesis: No phonological component of the grammar is necessary. Syntactic and morphological rules, which specifies the order of the morphemes in the sentence, and the lexicon, which specifies the pronunciation of each morpheme, jointly produce the pronunciation of each sentence. English plural morpheme: dog[z] cat[s] day[z] book[s] bird[z] cap[s] dam[z] lip[s] nun[z] task[s] lung[z] bat[s]

match[Iz] bus[Iz] orang[Iz] languag[Iz] ax[Iz] nos[Iz]

→ Morpheme memorization? → Word memorization? What’s the plural form for [wug], [fip], [nIs]? • Chukchee (Paleo-Siberian, spoken on Kamchatka Peninsula in Eastern Siberia) Stem Locative Gloss (Locative ≈ ‘the location of’) quli quli-gjit ‘voice’ milute milute-gjit ‘rabbit’ jara jara-gjet ‘tent’ wopqa wopqa-gjet ‘moose’ Incorporation: n´-mej´N-qin galgajN-´n maj´N-galgajN-´n n´-teN-qin aacek taN-aacek jejvel jajval-aacek

‘big bird’ ‘big bird’ ‘noble youth’ ‘noble youth’ ‘orphan’ ‘orphaned youth’ 1

Idiosyncratic properties vs. systematic regularities: in cat [kÓœt], the velarity of the first sound vs. the aspiration of the first sound. Motivation for the differences between the two: a. Second language learning: What often happens to English learners of French: pas → [pÓa], *[ta], *[ka]. b. Slips of the tongue—psychological reality of systematic regularities: tail spin [tÓeIl spIn] → [pÓeIl stIn]

(3) Two kinds of phonological knowledge we’ll be focusing on: • • Allophonic variation of a phoneme. E.g., [pÓ] vs. [p] in English. Morpheme alternation. E.g., [z], [s], [Iz] for plural in English.

(4) Phonemic distinction, Contrast • • • Two sounds contrast if they can be used to distinguish words. They belong to two different phonemes in the language. In a sense, phonemes are the basic sounds of a language.

(5) Minimal pairs • • • A minimal pair is a set of two distinct words differing in only a single sound. Minimal pairs establish a contrast. Analogy of scientific experiments: keep everything constant, except what you’re investigating. Sibyl s I I b ´ ´ l

civil •




Can you think of other pairs of words like these?

(6) Minimal 17-tuplet for English consonants [p] pail [b] bail [f] fail [T] — [v] veil [D] — [m] male [t] [d] [s] [z] [n] [l] [®] tail dale sale — nail — rail [tÉS] — [dÉZ] jail [S] shale [Z] — [k] kale [g] gale [h] hail [N] —

[w] wail

[j] Yale 2

In general, the missing words in the chart (shown with —) are potential, if nonexistent, English words. (How would you spell them?) Are there any missing forms that are not potential English words? (7) Phonemes vary • • • Variants of phonemes are called allophones. The variation is predictable, and can be analyzed by means of phonological rules. [t] and [tÓ] in English: stop [stAp] took stool [stu:] tool step [stEp] tame steep [stip] tone [tÓUk] [tÓu:] [tÓem] [tÓon] ‘you fell’ ‘he slashes’ ‘he sees’ ‘you came’

Zoque (American Indian, Mexico) pata ‘mat’ ngjunu tatah ‘father’ liNba kunu ‘he fell’ kenba kaN ‘jaguar’ mjaNdamu kama ‘cornfield’

What positions can the voiced stops [b, d, g] occur in? Can voiceless stops [p, t, k] occur in these positions? Why? (8) Complementary distribution • • • Phones X and Y are in complementary distribution if no X’s occur in any of the environments in which Y’s occur. Complementary distribution implies there could be no minimal pair to differentiate these phones. Thus, if there’s complementary distribution, there cannot be contrast.

(9) Languages have different phonemic systems • • • ➥ (10) • • They may have different sets of phonemes. They may have different allophones for phonemes. Two sounds can be allophones in one language, distinct phonemes in another. Methods are needed to figure out the phonemic system of a particular language. [t,tÉS,d,dÉZ] in Papago (or Tohono O’odham, Uto-Aztecan, Arizona) What is the status of these four sounds in Papago? Hint: make a vowel chart first.


a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k.

[»bidÉZim] [»ta˘pan] [»hidoÍ] [»tÉSˆkid] [»gatwid] [»tÉSuku] [»dagßp] [»toha] [»dÉZu˘ki] [ wˆ˘mt] [ dZˆ˘k]

‘turn around’ ‘split’ ‘cook’ ‘vaccinate’ ‘shoot’ ‘become black’ ‘press with hand’ ‘become white’ ‘rain (noun)’ ‘help, marry’ ‘taste’

l. [»hˆwgid] m.[»tÉSihaN] n. [»to¯i] o. [»wiÍut] p. [»ta˘taÍ] q. [»ki˘tÉSud] r. [»do˘dom] s. [»ta˘tam] t. [»dÉZˆwˆd] u. [ t ˆ˘gig] v. [ t i˘wia]

‘smell’ ‘hire’ ‘become hot’ ‘swing’ ‘feet’ ‘build a house for’ ‘copulate’ ‘touch’ ‘soil, earth’ ‘name, reputation’ ‘settle, establish residence’