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1 Part Three Phonemic Analysis & Underlying Representations.

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1 1 Part Three Phonemic Analysis & Underlying Representations

2 2 Question: If there were a direct link between sound and meaning (e.g. sound a = meaning x, sound b = meaning y, and so on), would oral communication (as we know it) still be possible? Example of direct link between sign and meaning: Traffic lights: RED = ‘stop’ GREEN = ‘go’ LEVELS OF REPRESENTATION

3 3 Out of the 44 sounds of English, we can express an unlimited number of meanings (through words and sentences). That’s because language is organised along several levels of representation: At the phonetic and phonological levels, there are sounds and features, which have no meaning in themselves. At the lexical level, sounds are organised into words, which have meaning (e.g. dog, man, dogma, manner) At the syntactic level, words are organised into sentences, which have meaning depending on the syntactic structure (e.g. The man bit the dog vs. The dog bit the man)

4 4 At the surface (phonetic) level, are the [t]’s the same in the following words? tip, steep, trip, too, stool, hits, eighth The Phonetic and Phonological levels Question: Why is there a need to distinguish them? (asp, unasp, affric, rnd+asp, rounded, unrel, dental) And yet, we all thought they were the ‘same’ sound!

5 5 Are the underlined sounds the same phonetically? a) heed, hard b) good-day, good-bye c) lip, nil d) intake, input e) sympathy, symphony f) goose, geese g) melody, melodic They are not the same, but we always thought they were

6 6 Compare the above phenomenon with this: Are all the following texts the same? 1.The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain 2.The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain 3.The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain Why do we say they are the ‘same’ even though they clearly look different?

7 7 phoneme: the mental ‘image’ of a speech sound which contrasts with other sounds allophone: an actual sound produced by a speaker, in a given phonological ‘environment’. A phoneme is realised as different allophones in different environments. phonological environment: the position where a sound occurs, in relation to other sounds

8 8 Different phonetic realisations (i.e. allophones) of the sound /l/ in different environments:

9 9 Different allophones of the phoneme /k/:

10 10 complementary distribution: two sounds are said to be in ‘complementary distribution’ if they occur in mutually exclusive environments – i.e. in an environment where one sound occurs, the other cannot occur, and vice versa. Generally speaking, if two phonetically similar sounds are in complementary distribution, they are probably allophones of the same phoneme.

11 11 contrastive distribution: two (or more) sounds are said to be in ‘contrastive distribution’ if they can occur in similar environments e.g. [p] and [b] in:  minimal pair: two words which have an identical sequence of sounds except for one single sound. That sound alone is therefore responsible for the contrast between the two words.

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14 14 Question: Find a minimal pair for each of the following in English (can you find them in Cantonese?): Question: which of these are true minimal pairs? (1) meet, heat (2) trade, raid (3) pray, play (4) though, sew (5) test, text

15 15 underlying representation: the ‘basic’ or ‘original’ form of a sound, from which ‘surface’ or phonetic representations (i.e. actual pronunciations) are derived.

16 16 Question: Do [ten], [tem] and [te N] in the above data have the same underlying representation, and if so, how do we account for them? I.e., how do we derive the three different surface phonetic representations from the same underlying representation?

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