The idea of the phenomenon (the phoneme) was not formulated until the mid 30s of the 20th cent.
The 1st gr of scholars (the Prague school – N. Trubetskoy). One of the most detailed definitions (Vjacheslav Vasilyev): the phoneme is the main linguistic unit realizes in speech in the form of speech sounds and apposable to other phonemes of the same language to distinguish the meaning of words.
Phoneme – 3 aspects:
The function of every component of the phonetic system is discriminative – the distinction of one word from another.
The opposition of ph. in the same phonetic environment differentiates morphemes and words (ex. Sleeper-sleepy – morphemes; light-like - words).
The ph. is realized in speech in the form of allophones.
/d/ - occlusive, plosive, forelingual, apical, alveolar, lenise, voiced.
Principle allophones – don’t undergo any distinguishable changes in the chain of speech.
Subsidiary allophones – modify in phonetic circumstances (ex. Before another occlusive consonant [d] is produced w/out any plosion – bad times; before [r] it becomes post-alveolar – dry, dream).
In actual speech the ph are modified by the following factors: phono-stylistic, dialectial, individual.
Most of the info about the ph – not from phonemic (abstract) distinctions but from phonetic (material) ones. Phonetic evidence is esp important for lexical& gram meaning awa for stylistic aspects of any communication.
You can’t change even 1 feature w/out changing the meaning
Ex. /d/ voiced - /t/ voiceless
/d/ forelingual (day) -/g/ backlingual (gay)
The articulatory features which form the invariant of the phoneme – relevant.
(irrelevant – ex. Aspiration in the system of eng sounds)
Ph-s can be discovered by the method of minimal pairs (finding pairs of words which differ in 2 ph only). All the ph of any lang form a system of oppositions in which 1 ph is usually opposed to any other ph in at least one position. If the substitution of 1 sound for another results in the change of meaning the communicative sounds are different phonemes. The method helps to prove whether the phonemic difference relevant or not, whether the opposition is sg, double or multiple.
Sg op-n: /t/ - /d/ only one distinctive feature: voiceless – voiced (time - dime)
Double: /p/ - /d/: voiceless ,fortis – voiced, lenis;
bilabial – forelingual ( pay – day)
Multiple: /b/ - /h/: voiced lenis – voiceless fortis;
bilabial – pharyngal
acclusive – constrictive (be - he)
The main problems of phonological analysis
The final aim: the identification of the phonemes and finding out the patterns of relationship into which they fall as the sound system of the lang.
Methods of finding out phonemes and allophones:
3 types of distribution
Cases when 2 sounds are in compl distrib-n but are not alloph-s of the same ph: /h/ never occurs word-finally - /?/ word initially
Is based on a phonemic rule that ph-mes can distinguish morphemes and words when opposed to one another.
The method consists of systematic substitution of the sound for another one in order to find out in which cases such substitution leads to a change of meaning (phonetic context remains the same)
Commutation test – finding min pairs of words and their gram forms: pin – bin -/p/ ?/b/ - meaning’s changed
[p] aspirated ?[p] – the meaning’s not changed, only the wrong type of pronunciation.
1.3. The main types of phonetic modifications
Ph mod-ns take place w/in the words which are connected and at their boundaries. All the sounds are prone to change.
Assimilation is the adaptive modification of a consonant by a neighbouring consonant in the speech chain.
lenis – fortis - fortis
palate-alveolar – alveolar – palate-alveolar
occlusive-constrictive – constr – const
bicentral – unicentral – bicentral
[m]?[n] [b], because [b] is bilabial
Good night – both alveolar, but [d] disappears, because of [n] ? g’ night
won’t she? [w?Ụt?i]
alveolar, occlusive, plosive [t] and palate-alveolar, constrictive [?] ?[t?] – palate-alveolar, a new sound – affricate (occlusive-constr), partial ass-n
Practically in all cases – the change of the place of articulation
Then the manner of articulation:
-loss of plosion (glad to see u);
-nasal (not now)
-lateral (table, at last)
Accommodation is the adaptive modification of V+C or C+V type.
Affects lip position ?labialization of consonants: appears under the influence of the neighbouring back vowels: pool, woman
It’s also possible to speak ab the spread lip position of consonants followed or preceded by front vowels [i] – meet and [i:] – team, meat
Such sounds as [r], [t?], [d?] are pronounced by most speakers w/ rounded lips ever after [i:].
In the casual discourse: in the intervocalic position voiceless cons-ts change their voicing value and become voiced: [t] ? [d] (letter)
Elision (zero reduction) is the loss of sounds. Min – in slow, careful speech; max – in rapid, careless speech
here he is ['iәr i iz]
next day [‘neks ‘dei], just one [‘d?^s ‘w^n]
there also exist the so-called historical elision
whole syllables – library [‘laibri:]
“of” + cons-t: a cup of tea [k^pә’ti:], going to [gon^], want to [won^]
Liaison – the process of introducing sounds b/w syllables or words to help pronounce them in a more smooth way:
All these phenomena manifest the economy of pronouncing effort on the part of the speaker.
Vowels ?modifications in unstressed positions either quantative or qualitative, or both
Man [mжn] – sportsman [spﺭ:tsmәn] -
knee [i:] – need (not so long) – neat
slight degree of nasalization may mark vowels preceded/followed by the nasal cons-t: Ex. Knee
in rapid, informal speech reduction may result in vowel elision ?the unstressed vowels are omitted: Ex. History [‘histri], correct [‘krekt]
1.4. Relevant/irrelevant articulatory features of consonants and vowels
The majority of phoneticians name 3 articul. features of consonants which are relevant:
Voiced (lenis) – voiceless (fortis)
B, d, g, z p, t, k, s
Labial – lingual – glottal
P, b, w, f – k, d, t, s, g – h
Occlusive (stops) – constrictive
/there are ph-s called affricates (occlusive-constr). These sounds are complex. There’re 2 elements that are distinctly heard there. 2 types of obstruction at the same time – occlusive-constr [t?], [d?]/
Dif-nt opinions concerning what type of opposition should be considered important
The phonological relevance of this feature can be proved by the method of min pairs:
t-s ?tea-sea; p-f ?pull-full
each of the 2 classes is subdivided into:
Acc to the prevailing factor: noise-tone (the degree of noise), noise cons-ts are divided into (manner of articul-n):
Constrictive sonorants’re divided into (place of articul-n):
The phonological relevance of the feature is proved by the method of min pairs: bake-make
Both classifications are effective + used
The position of the soft palate is also taken into consideration. Acc to it consonants:
The feature is considered phonol-ly irrelevant, cause there’re no 2 sounds in English which differ only acc to this feature. But it’s the 4th principle of clas-n of cons-ts.
There’re 6 criteria for description + class-n of vowels:
There exists a 3rd variety – “intermediate case” – when the change in the tongue pos-n is weak and the difference b/w the starting point and the end is not sg distinc-n as in the case of diphthongs ? diphthongoids: /ī/ , /ū/
Eng diphthongs – 2 groups:
2.1.ending in /i/: ei, ai, כּi
2.2.ending in Ụ: әỤ, aỤ
2.1. + 2.2. ? /ә/
a.1. front (ī, e, ei, ж, ?ә)
a.2. front-retracted (I, iә)
a.3. central (٨, з:, ә, әỤ)
a.4. back (ю, כּ:, u:)
a.5. back-advanced (Ụ, Ụә, a:)
This is the approach of Rus phoneticians (a.2. and a.5. aren’t distinguished by Eng phoneticians)
b.1. high (close)
b.2. mid (half-open)
b.3. low (open)
need more details