2 PhonologyThe study of the mental organization of a language’s sound system.Units of organization:Biggest: syllables, metrical feet, wordsMiddle: segments (phonemes and allophones)Smallest: features
3 Segmental Phonology There are hundreds of possible speech sounds Each language only uses a few of these.What is of interest to phonologists is which sounds contrast.Sounds contrast when their presence alone distinguishes forms with different meanings
4 The Minimal Pair TestTwo sounds contrast (or are distinctive) if you can find a pair of words that differ in only that sound, that mean different things.[pæd] [bæd] minimal pairMean different things: /p/ and /b/ contrast[pæt] [pæth] not minimal pairMean the same thing: [t] and [th] do not contrast
5 Crucial concept 1: Phoneme When two sounds contrast they are part of different phonemes./p/ and /b/ are different phonemesPhonemes are abstract mental units that represent sounds.Be careful! Phonemes are not sounds themselves, they are mental units representing sounds!!!
6 Crucial Concept 2: Allophones Phonetic forms that don’t contrast (make a difference in meaning) are called allophones[t] and [th] are allophones of the phoneme /t/Allophones are the various pronunciations of a phoneme.
7 Phonemes & Allophones Phonemes are written between / / brackets Allophones are written between [ ] brackets/t/ phonemic (abstract/mental) category[t] [th] allophonic (phonetic) realizationsin your mindwhat you actually say
8 Language SpecificityIn English, [ph] and [p] are allophones of the same phoneme (/p/), meaning that a word doesn’t change its meaning if you substitute one sound for the other.For example: [phaj] vs. [paj] ‘pie’
9 Language SpecificityBut in Thai, [ph] and [p] are not allophones of a single phoneme; each is an allophone of a separate phoneme.For example: [pAA] ‘aunt’ vs. [phAA] ‘cloth’This is a minimal pair: two words that differ only in the pronunciation of a single sound.A minimal pair’s existence tells you that the sounds in question are separate phonemes in that language.
10 Language SpecificityThe status as a phoneme is a language specific matterEnglish Thai/p/ /p/ /ph/[p] [ph] [p] [ph]
11 File 4.4, Exercise 1.1 Sindhi[p´nu] leaf [b´dZu] run[b´nu] forest [b´tSu] be safe[ph´nu] snake hoodThere is a minimal pair (trio) between ‘leaf’, ‘forest’ and ‘snake hood’. Therefore /p/, /b/ and /ph/ are all different phonemes in Sindhi.There is a minimal pair between ‘run’ and ‘be safe’. Therefore /dZ/, /tS/ are different phonemes in Sindhi.
12 Sounds in contextThe pronunciation of a phoneme is often determined by the other sounds around it.The nearby sounds around a phoneme are called the environment of that phoneme.E.g. in the word [pæt], [p__t] is the environment for the [æ].
13 Crucial concept 3: Complementary Distribution When two phones are mutually exclusive, i.e., they appear in different environments[spæt] [phæt] *[sphæt] *[pæt][spul] [phul] *[sphul] *[pul][ph] and [p] are in complementary distribution (which means they are allophones of the same phoneme).When sounds are in complementary distribution, you can predict where you get each sound.
14 Complementary Distribution Another example:[blu] blue [pl6aw] plow[glim] gleam [kl6Qp] clap[slIp] sleep [pl6ej] play[flAg] flog
15 The mental concept of “supermanhood” (phoneme)In complementary distribution: never seen in the same place at the same time. Allophones!
16 NOT in complementary distribution: can both be present at the same time: allophones of different phonemes
17 Crucial Concept 4: Free Variation When two sounds appear in the same environment, but don’t make a difference in meaning:[lip] leap [lip|] leap[sowp] soap [sowp|] soapPerceived as the same sound: another kind of allophony. This is called free variation.
18 How can I tell if two sounds are phonemes or allophones? Method 1 Check for minimal pairs. If there is a pair then the sounds are separate phonemesCheck for complementary distribution. Are the sounds found in the same phonetic environment? If not, they are allophones of the same phoneme.
19 How can I tell if two sounds are phonemes or allophones? Method 1 If two sounds are in complementary distribution then (a) figure out which one is predictable and which one is the “elsewhere” variant. The elsewhere variant is the symbol that we use for the phoneme/X/ Phoneme (in your mind)[X] [Y] Allophones (what you say)elsewhere predictablesame symbol
20 How can I tell if two sounds are phonemes or allophones? Method 1 and (b) write a rule that spells out where the predictable variant is found./X/ [Y] / environment ____ environmentA fairly rare situation: If the two sounds are in the same phonetic environment (and there were no minimal pairs!) Then they are possibly in free variation.
21 Method 2 data No Yes Yes No The sounds are in List the environmentsof the soundssame environment?The sounds are incomplementary distributionand are allophones of thesame phonemeNosame meaning?YesThe sounds arein free variationand are allophonesof the same phonemeYesMinimal Pair:The sounds aredifferent phonemesNo
22 Sample problem: English long vowels Question: are long and short vowels in English allophones of single phonemes, or are they separate phonemes?(a vowel followed by the symbol [:] is a long vowel)[phæ:d] ‘pad’ [phæt] ‘pat’[hu:d] ‘who’d’ [hut] ‘hoot’[mi:d] ‘mead’ [mit] ‘meet’[row:m]‘roam’ [rowp] ‘rope’[ti:D] teethe [tiT] ‘teeth’[flu] ‘flew’Are there any minimal pairs? NO! (There are no examples that differ in ONLY one sound!)Do long and short vowels occur in the same phonological environment? NO!Therefore, these are in complementary distribution and each long/short vowel pair represent allophones of same phoneme.V:_ d_m_ DV_ t_ p_ T_ #Is there any overlap between the columns?
23 English long and short vowels, continued... What is the rule for vowel lengthening in English, based on the data we just saw?To answer this question, we must make a generalization about the environment in which we find long vowels.The generalization is…English vowels are long before a voiced consonant.
24 Phonological RulesWhen the distribution is predictable, we can write a rule that represents this distribution.These rules are part of your knowledge of language.
25 Phonological Rules The rules take the form: elsewhere predictable / environmentEnglish long vowels:/V/ [V ] / ___ CvoicedThis rule expresses a generalization about what the speaker of English knows about their language.
26 Sample Problem:Classical Arabic 1. kalb dog2. qari:b near3. kubba meatloaf4. kuds heat5. qalb heart6. quds sanctity7. kari:m noble8. qubba domeare [k] and [q] allophones of the same phoneme?Near minimal pairMinimal pairs
27 Sample Problem: Tojolabal 1. kisim my beard2. k'iSin warm3. sak white4. ?ak' readare [k] and [k'] allophones of the same phoneme?No, we have 2 near-minimal pairs here. (Same environment for sound)
28 File 4.4, exercise 0.0 Mokilese [pi6san] full of leaves [uduk] flesh[dupu8kda] bought [kaskas] to throw[pu8ko] basket [poki] to strike something[ki6sa] we two [pil] water[su8pwo] firewood [apid] outrigger support[kamwçki6ti] to move [ludZuk] to tacklesame distribution?NO!therefore complementary distribution and allophones of same phoneme[i6]p_ sk_sk_t[i]t__#p_lp_dk_#[u8]p_ks_p[u]#_dl_dZd_kd_pdZ_k/i/,/u/ [i6],[u8] / C8 _____ C8
29 [at´m] atom [dAlÚ] he gave [dva] two [pA:…k´] stick File 4.4, Exercise 1.4 Russian(Data corrected)more predictablea#_tv_#d_rm_zjmj_tAp_…d_…r_…[at´m] atom [dAlÚ] he gave[dva] two [pA:…k´] stick[dar] gift [ukrA…´] she stole[mazj] ointment [brA…] he took[mjat´] mintless predictable: elsewheresame environment?notherefore in complementary distribution and allophones of the same phoneme/a/[a][A]/a/[A]/___…
30 Summary Phonemes, abstract mental unit of sound Distinctive/contrastive: minimal pairsAllophones: variant forms of a phonemeComplementary distribution: different environmentsFree variation: same environment but no diff in meaningForms in complementary distribution are predictable by rules.