You are on page 1of 13

Problems in phonemic analysis

Phonemic Analysis
There is no such thing as a single correct form of transcription of English, different styles are appropriate for different purposes. But it is essential to keep within one style of transcription on any one occasion. It is important to be consistent. The transcription of English vowels is complex because they have been symbolized differently by different authors. Some represent the way they are pronounced in different regions of the English speaking world namely in the United Kingdom and the USA.

Problems in Phonemic Analysis


Speech is composed of phonemes which represent the sounds produced. There are exceptions especially in theoretical terms from the point of learning about phonology of English, not so in learning pronunciation. Affricates The affricates t, d are composed of a plosive followed by a fricative.

Phonemic Analysis
Each can be treated as a single phoneme one-phoneme analysis of t, d or seen composed of two phonemes each t + , and d+ respectively and referred to as twophoneme analysis. Common examples: t - - - t - , d--- d- (5 phonemes) t-- t , d--d (3 phonemes) One-phoneme is generally chosen my phonologists.

Phonemic Analysis
The phonetic quality of the t and , (d and ) in t, d is different from realisations of t, , d, found elsewhere in similar contexts. The proposed phonemes t, d have distributions similar to other consonants in initial, medial and final positions. t, d are not able to combine freely with other consonants to form consonant cluster except in final position in the syllable in limited words like

watched (/wtt/, wedged /wedd/, squelch/skwelt/, bulge /bld/, belch /belt/, clutched /kltt/.
If native speakers of English who gave not been taught phonetics feel that t, d are each one sound, then we should be guided by their intuitions and prefer the one-phoneme analysis.

The English vowel system A different analysis that reduces the number of vowels phonemes, and that long vowels and diphthongs as composed of two phonemes. Long vowels using two short vowels twice. (i:) , (:) , (u) Diphthongs would be composed of a basic vowel followed by i, u,

Another way is to treat long vowels and diphthongs as composed of a vowel plus a consonant ej (e) w () j(a) w (a) j () Long vowels tj (i:) h (:) h (:) h () In this analysis, diphthong and long vowels now have the same phonological composition.

Syllabic consonants are phonologically different from their non-syllabic counterparts.


Syllabic Coddling kdl Hungary hgri Non-syllabic Codling kdl hungry hgri

Set up a phoneme that may be named syllabic, symbolised by the mark then the word codling consist of six phonemes and coddling has seven.

Some phonologists believe that a syllabic consonant is actually a vowel and a consonant that have become combined. Hence, Hungary is phonetically hgri, while hungry is hgri. // is not pronounced as a vowel. Cluster of s with plosives Words like spill, still, skill are usually represented with the phonemes p,t,k following the s. the contrasts between p and b, between t and d, and between k and g are neutralised in this context.

Schwa () occurs in weak syllables, and no minimal pairs found to show a clear contrast between and in unstressed syllables. Propose that to represent any occurrence and . Hence, phoneme have two allophones and , meaning in a weak syllable with stress, allophone is used and when there is no stress, the allophone would be pronounced.

have been suggested as an allophone of several other vowels, compare the middle two syllables in the words economy and economic - knmi and i:knmk respectively.

Reference
Roach, P. ( 2010 ) English Phonetics and Phonology: A practical course. Fourth Edition,CUP.