Linguistics 110 Class 8 (10/16/02) Phonemic Analysis


(1) Review of last class: phonological knowledge is rule-governed. • • • • • English plural morpheme realization. Chukchee incorporation. Idiosyncratic properties vs. systematic regularities. Idiosyncratic properties and systematic regularities correspond to two kinds of sound differences—phonemic (or contrastive) vs. allophonic. Two sounds are in phonemic distinction (or two sounds contrast) if they can be used to distinguish words. Contrasts can be established through minimal pairs.

(2) 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

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? (3) Phonemes vary—systematic regularities • • • 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’ 1

What positions can the voiced stops [b, d, g] occur in? Can voiceless stops [p, t, k] occur in these positions? Why? (4) 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.

(5) Languages have different phonemic systems • • • ➥ 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.

(6) [t,tÉS,d,dÉZ] in Papago (or Tohono O’odham, Uto-Aztecan, Arizona) • • a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. What is the status of these four sounds in Papago? Hint: make a vowel chart first. [»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’


(7) The vowel system of Papago front high mid low i, i˘ central unrounded ˆ, ˆ˘ a, a˘ back rounded u, u˘ o, o˘

(8) The consonants voiceless stops voiced stops voiceless affricates voiced affricates voiceless fricatives nasals liquids glides labial p b alveolar t d palato-alveolar retroflex Í tÉS dÉZ m w s n R ß ¯ j N h palatal velar k g glottal

(9) The data sorted by immediate context b,p,s h,n o e p,s j t [word ___a˘ [word ___ o u ___ ]word a ___ w a˘ ___ a m ___ ]word m d f q u,v tÉ S [word ___ i [word ___ ˆ [word ___ u i˘ ___ u [word ___ ˆ˘ c d,e,l o g r r t d i ___ o i ___ ]word u ___ ]word [word ___ a [word ___ o˘ o˘ ___ o ˆ ___ ]word a i k t dÉZ i ___ i [word ___ u˘ [word ___ ˆ˘ [word ___ ˆ

(10) • •

Some points that emerge Parallel behavior of phonetically similar sounds. Appearance of allophones that occur as separate phonemes in other languages (for example, English). Formalizing to achieve generality Assume underlying /t,d/: these are what you get if no rule perturbs the basic pattern. In general: the elsewhere allophone is set up as underlying form. State the rule as simply as possible, leaving out whatever is not needed (always do a post-check on this point).

(11) • •


It’s good to give rules names, for easy reference. Improvise a name if you are not sure of standard terminology. Alveolar Palatalization      stop  / ___ vowel  → affricate  high  palato-alveolar alveolar


Notation a. C = consonant V = vowel c. / / ___ X / X ___ = “in the environment” = “in the environment before X” = “in the environment after X” X   b. Y = “segment having the phonetic features X, Y and Z” Z 

(13) •

Phonemic representations These show the underlying representation of the phoneme, which is what you have before rules apply. They are traditionally written in slant brackets: / / [»bidÉZim] = /»bidim/ [»ta˘pan] = /»ta˘pan/


Illustrative derivations Underlying forms: Alveolar Palatalization: Surface forms: ‘split’ /»ta˘pan/ — [»ta˘pan] ‘vaccinate’ /»tˆkid/ »tSˆkid [»tSˆkid] ‘press’ /»dagßp/ — [»dagßp] ‘turn around’ /»bidim/ »bidZim [»bidZim]

(15) • •

The “why” of alveolar palatalization It is common for alveolars to affricate before high vowels. Examples: Japanese, Quebec French, Cockney English. High vowels have a narrow air channel, and when a /t/ is released into a high vowel, the burst is noisy (say [ti], [ta] to yourself to check). Affrication is possibly an exaggeration of this natural effect, for the purpose of rendering the /t/ more audibly distinct from “quieter” stops like /p,k/. Sometimes affrication can change the point of articulation.