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Sound System of a Language

Miss Caroline Val Madin Language Dept., IPG Tawau

We all have instinctual knowledge of the phonemes of our own language It allows us to produce sounds that form meaningful utterances (even if they are new) It allows us to recognize and understand a foreign accent

The study of the structure and systematic patterns of sounds in human language .

.   It allows us to make up new words that “sound right” It allows us to add appropriate sounds to make plurals. etc. It allows us to know what is and what is not a sound in our own language. past tense.

       Phonemes Allophones Minimal pairs Distinctive features Syllable structure Phonotactics Morphophonemics .

 Distinctive or contrastive sound (phonological segment) in the sound system of a language. PHONE ◦ A Phonetic Segment Occurring in Language  PHONEME ◦ A Segment that differentiates meaning .

/b/ VS /m/ Bob VS mob Voicing Ex.   Place of articulation Ex. /s/ VS /z/ Sue VS zoo . /p/ VS /t/ pop VS top Manner of articulation Ex.

    An Allophone is: A predictable phonetic variant of a phoneme It is rule-governed An Allophone is Predictable. Nondistinctive and Redundant .

An alternative pronunciation or a variant of a phoneme. Ex. /p/ /t/ .[th] top [t] stop [?] bitten [D] butter .[ph] pen [p] sp y .

allophonic rule Occurs with certain consonants at the beginning of a word (if the syllable is stressed) Presence/Absence of Aspirated Consonant does not change the meaning of the word .   Aspiration in English is another example of a predictable.

Ex. sip VS zip tip VS dip .A pair of words that differ by just one phoneme in the same position and have different meanings.

Phonetic properties or features that distinguish phonemes from one another .

       Syllabic Consonantal Sonorant Obstruent Voiced Continuant Nasal       Lateral Distributed Affricate Labial Round Coronal .


      High Back Low Round Tense Lax .

 Phonotactic Constraints: the rules that characterize permissible syllable structures in a language. .Study of the sound and phoneme combinations allowed in a given language.

.A phonological unit that is composed of one or more phonemes.

or /p/ ◦ 2) If a word begins with /l/ or /r/  The next letter will be a vowel  another stop is not permitted ◦ 3) If word begins with /c&/ or /j&/  Every speaker knows the next letter will be a vowel ◦ 4) No more than three consonants Allowed  Even this restricted to the following sequence:  /s/ + /p. /g/. l. y/ .◦ 1) After Consonants like /b/. w. /k/. k/ + /r. t.

snow tin. out ant. split scripts. spread. oust to. tenth spin.         VC VCC CV CCV CVC CVCC CCVC CCCVC CCCVCCC : : : : : : : : : on. shoe spy. pride splash. at. cloud. sprints . chap part.






which can be seen in the words "electric" and "electric-ity". It describes changes in pronunciation modified by neighboring sounds. the change of the phoneme /k/ to /s/ before front vowels. is morphophonemic A study of a phonemic difference among allomorphs of the same morpheme.  Morphophonemic Rule: the rule that assigns the phonetic form. determined by both morphology and phonology . For example.pertaining to the alternation or change of one phoneme to another in a particular environment.

books. courses . churches. garages. boys [+strident] + [әz] Ex. forks voiced phonemes + [z] Ex. toes. judges. pumpkins tense vowels. zoos. jobs.    voiceless phonemes + [s] Ex. rats. or diphthongs + [z] Ex. dogs.

 [In] + vowels or alveolar  [Im] + labials  [Iŋ] Ex. intolerant Ex. immature + velars Ex. incomplete . incomparable. impossible. inexpensive.