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English phonology

Notes for ED 684

Holly Smucker

on 8 February 2013

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Transcript of English phonology

ED 684 English phonology The importance of phonology... Activity Phonetics:
The study of sounds across languages

The study of sounds used by speakers of a particular language Definitions Phonemes:
Phonemes are the smallest phonetic unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning, as the m of mat and the b of bat in English

Allophones are different ways of pronouncing the same phoneme. For example, the aspirated t of top, the unaspirated t of stop are allophones
Each phoneme can be described by its place and manner of articulation and whether or not it is voiced Definitions Different languages use different sets of phonemes. English has about 40 phonemes, and Spanish has about 21 phonemes.

No alphabet has a one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters. One letter may represent different sounds, and one sound may be represented by different letters or sequences of letters

In phonemic transcription, each sound is represented by one and only one mark Definitions Speech accent archive: http://accent.gmu.edu/

Listen to the speech samples and relate the pronunciation problems you hear with the issues discussed by Helman (2004)

Non-native pronunciations of English:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-native_pronunciations_of_English Phonotactics:
Phonotactics is the linguistic term for possible phoneme combinations. Different languages have different combinations.

Pitch is also important in distinguishing meaning. The use of pitch to modify sentence meaning is called intonation (e.g., falling or rising). Tone languages use pitch to modify meaning at the word level.

Stress is the increase in vocal activity, and also modifies the meaning of words (e.g., rebel as verb or adjective) Definitions Sound in human language is produced by the regulation of airflow from the lungs through the throat, nose, and mouth. This airflow is altered in various ways by different aspects of this speech system. The physiology of speech The larynx contains folds of muscle called the vocal cords. The opening between the vocal cords is known as the glottis. These cords can be relaxed, letting air flow freely through the glottis, or tensed, so that the air vibrates as it passes through the glottis. The larynx
Sounds that are produced with relaxed vocal cords are known as voiceless sounds, and sounds that are produced with tensed vocal cords are known as voiced sounds. Voiced and voiceless sounds The area above the larynx consists of three main areas: the pharynx, the nasal cavity, and the oral cavity. Above the larynx The anatomy of the vocal tract:
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~krussll/138/sec1/anatomy.htm If the flow of air is not constricted, a vowel sound is produced. Different vowel sounds result from movements of the tongue and lips. For all vowels, the air flows freely.

English has a complex system of vowels consisting of short, long, and reduced vowels:
15 Vowel phonemes.
6 short/lax vowels
7 long/tense vowels (which are all made starting with a vowel and adding a glide)
2 reduced vowels: the schwa and barred i. Vowels Consonant sounds are formed when the air is constricted as it moves through the lips. The different consonant sounds depend on how and where the air is slowed or stopped.

English has 24 Consonant phonemes:
Stops – formed by completely blocking the air for an instant and then releasing it – 3 pairs
Fricatives – formed by constricting the airflow through the vocal tract – 9 fricatives.
Affricates – formed by briefly stopping the air and then releasing it with some friction (combination of a stop and a fricative) – 2 fricatives.
Nasals – only at the end of a syllable in English – voiced – 3 nasal consonants.
Liquids – smooth sound – 2 phonemes called liquids.
Glides – very little constriction of the air passage – sometimes called semi-vowels – 2 consonant phonemes Consonants Activity There may be some debate over whether oral language is innate or whether humans have a special cognitive capacity for language, but humans acquire their first language without instruction. (p.74)

To convert written marks into sounds, readers need to understand that words in oral language are made up of individual sounds. This knowledge is referred to as phonemic awareness. (p.75) Implications from phonology for teaching reading and a second language Children acquiring their first language and people acquiring a second language develop the ability to perceive differences in meaning that are signaled by variations in phonemes. (p.79)
Sounds that are phonemes in one language may be allophones of a phoneme in another language.
The allophones of a phoneme are all perceived as the same sound despite physical differences in their production.
Implications from phonology for teaching
reading and a second language Word Recognition View

Reading is a process of recognizing words

Emphasis on phonics.
Phonics is conscious knowledge
Phonics is used as the primary source of information for identifying words
Phonics is seen as a pre-requisite for reading Views of reading Sociopsycholinguistic View
Reading is a process of constructing meaning
Emphasis on graphophonics (i.e., the combination of visual and sound information to make and confirm predictions while reading)
Graphophonics is subconscious knowledge
Graphophonics develops as students are read to and as they read. It isn’t a separate skill, and it can only be tested in the context of reading.
To construct meaning, readers use their background knowledge and cues from three linguistic systems: graphophonics, syntax and semantics.
Views of reading: Phonology Look at the charts on pages 59 and 61
Word transcription:
(your name)
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