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English speech sounds Plan Four aspects of speech sounds. The functional aspects of speech sounds. The phoneme theory. Main phonological schools. Three aspects and three functions of the phoneme. Types of allophones and main features of the phoneme. Method of minimal pairs. Minimal sets. Methods of the phonemic analysis.
Four aspect of speech sounds articulatory acoustic auditory functional (linguistic, social).
Four aspect of speech sounds The movements and positions necessary for the production of a speech sound constitute its articulation. The acoustic aspect: every speech sound is a complex of acoustic effects and has its physical properties which consist of: frequency, spectrum, intensity and duration. The auditory aspect involves the mechanism of hearing. The functional aspect is called so because of the role the sounds of language play in its functioning as means of human communication.
The functional aspect of speech sounds The complete set of phonemes is called the phonemic system of a language. The number of phonemes in different languages varies, but in average it is about 5O segments: Sounds can function as units of language only if they differ from one another. The sounds in their contrastive sense are called phonemes. Sounds which cannot contrast with each other, they usually occur in different positions in the word, are variants of a phoneme or allophones.
Linguists have not yet arrived at a definition of the phoneme acceptible to all. V. A. Vassilyev : The segmental phoneme is the smallest language unit (sound type) that exists in the speech of all the members of a given language community as such speech sounds which are capable of distinguishing one word from another word of the same language or one grammatical form of a word from another grammatical form of the same word. M. A. Sokolova: The phoneme is a minimal abstract linguistic unit realized in speech in the form of speech sounds opposable to other phonemes of the same language to distinguish the meaning of morphemes and words.
Differences between PHONEME ALLOPHONE Replacing a sound by another phoneme does change the meaning of a word Phonemes are opposed to each other as sense-differentiating units in the language As a rule allophones cannot distinguish words Variants of one phoneme are not opposed each other as sense differentiating units in the language
The phoneme theory The first definition of the phoneme: The psychological equivalent of the speech sound. Phoneme is just an idea of the sound/image of the sound. Articulatory movements+ acoustic impressions + muscular sensations = PHONEME Jan Niecisław Ignacy Baudouin de Courtenay (13 March 1845 – 3 November 1929) was a Polish linguist and Slavist, best known for his theory of the phoneme and phonetic alternations.
Further investigations of the concept Lev Shcherba (commonly Scherba) (March 3 [O.S. February 20] 1880 – December 26, 1944) was a Russian linguist and lexicographer specializing in phonetics and phonology.
Further investigations of the concept Lev Shcherba was the first who defined that the phoneme is the real independent distinctive unit which manifests itself in the form of allophones. Sounds should be capable to distinguish one word from another. Final definition: Phoneme is a real, independent, distinctive unit which manifested itself in the form of its actual realizations - allophones. The principal points of Scherba’s theory are: 1. The theory of phonemic variants representing phonemes in speech; 2. The theory of phoneme independence.
Further investigations of the concept Ignored the sense-differentiating F. de Saussure function of the phoneme. Defined the phoneme as the sum of acoustic impressions and articulatory movements. F. De Saussure 1857 – 1913 Switzerland
Further investigations of the concept A phoneme is a family of a sound; Each family have a main phoneme + others. Example: /k/ - main variant It can be aspirated , non-labialized (car); Aspirated labialized (cool); Aspirated palatalized (key); Non-aspirated labialized (school); Non-aspirated, non-labialized (cry). Daniel Jones 1881 – 1967 England
Further investigations of the concept Phoneme is a minimal sound unit by which the meaning may be differentiated. Phoneme is a bunch of distinctive features. Declared phonology to be a linguistic science; Phonological oppositions Phonemes form oppositions by means of distinctive features. Nikolai Trubetzkoi 1890 – 1938 Russia, Vienna
The phoneme from the point of view of its aspects. (Vassilyev) Prof. V. A. Vassyliev developed Lev Scherba's theory and presented the phoneme as a dialectical unity of three aspects : a) material, real, and objective; b) abstractional and generalized; c) functional. Firstly, the phoneme is material, real and objective. That means it is realized in speech in the form of speech sounds, its allophones. The phonemes constitute the material form of morphemes, so this function may be called constitutive function. Secondly, the phoneme is abstracted or generalized (performs the recognitive function). It is an abstraction because we make it abstract from concrete realizations for classificatory purposes.
The phoneme from the point of view of its aspects. (Vassilyev) Thirdly the phoneme is a functional unit. The opposition of phonemes in the same phonetic environment differentiates the meaning of morphemes and words: e.g. bath-path, light-like. Sometimes the opposition of phonemes serves to distinguish the meaning of the whole phrases: He was heard badly - He was hurt badly. Thus we may say that the phoneme can fulfill the distinctive function. It’s subdivided into the: 1) the morpheme-distinctive function (dreamer-dreamy); 2) the word-distinctive (pen-ten, ben-men); 3) the sentence distinctive (It was cold. It was gold. It was told.)
FUNCTIONS OF THE PHONEME constitutive – phoneme constitutes the body of the articulatory system of a certain language recognitive – phoneme’s allophones help to recognize words, phrases and sentences distinctive – phoneme makes one word distinct from another only by one or two elements (e.g. in the opposition of phonemes)
TRANSCRIPTION The abstractional and material aspects of the phoneme have given rise to the appearance of transcription. Transcription (or notation) represents sounding speech and means a set of symbols or a system of signs, in which sounds are symbolized. The aim of transcription is to indicate the phoneme and its allophones. It is based on the “agreed values”, given by the International Phonetic Association (IPA) – 1904 year. in the 16 th century was the 1-st attempt to write sounds in transcription. The types of transcription: 1) phonemic transcription (or phonological) 2) Phonetic (narrow or allophonic) transcription. A phonemic transcription is bases on the principle: one symbol per one phoneme. A phonetic transcription is based on the principle one symbol per one allophone and it provides a special signs for each variant of each phoneme.
A separate letter for each distinctive sound; For universal sounds – universal signs; Ordinary letters of the Roman alphabet are preferred ; The new letters should be suggestive of the sounds they represent. Principles of IPA
Allophone is a phonetic variant of a certain phoneme that serves as a material representation of the phoneme in speech. Allophone PRINCIPAL ARBITRARY SUBSIDIARY Combinatory Positional
Types of Allophones The principal allophones of a phoneme are free from the influence of the neighbouring sounds. The allophones which do not undergo any distinguishable changes in speech are called principal. Allophones that occur under influence of the neighboring sounds in different phonetic situations are called subsidiary. Combinatory allophones are those which appear as a result of the influence of the neighbouring speech sounds (assimilation, adaptation, accommodation). Positional allophones occur in certain positions only. They appear traditionally, according to the orthoepic norms of the language rather than because of the influence of the neighboring sounds. Arbitrary allophones appear as a result of dialect.
According to L.V. Shcherba, there are two types of the pronunciation errors: Phonological error – when the replacement of an allophone of one phoneme by an allophone of another phoneme leads to the meaning change (e.g. beat – bit); /i:/ - /i/ Phonetic error – when an allophone of the phoneme is replaced by another allophone of the same phoneme.
PRINCIPAL METHODS OF INVESTIGATION IN PHONETICS 1. The direct observation method 2. The linguistic method (the method of phonological analysis) 3. The experimental method (instrumental) laryngoscope intonograph magnetic tape recorder spectrograph oscillograph X-ray photography, speech synthesizers kymograph