PHY101 Phonetics vs Phonology

welcome this election introduces some central concepts of phonology and discusses the main differences between phonetics and phonology the relationship between these two branches of linguistics can be adequately described and illustrated by a famous quotation phonetics gathers the raw material phonemic s' cooks it what does this quotation by the famous Kenneth Pike mean well in a nutshell whereas phonetics studies speech in general and provides the general material that is speech sounds and suprasegmentals information phonology we're here the term phonemic s' which is slightly outdated has been used phonology uses this material in order to discover patterns formulate rules or to investigate the principles governing the sound systems of particular languages phonetic and phonological studies can be subdivided into two levels level 1 the segmental level or as my teacher David crystal would have said it this means basically what you say and the suprasegmentals level which can be associated with how you say something let us illustrate the difference between phonetics and phonology and start with the segmental level speech sounds are the product of human anatomy and physiology one goal of segmental phonetics is to define the articulatory properties of all human speech sounds for example a fern a Titian discusses the articulation of a voiceless dental fricative to pick just one example then a phonologists who studies the sound systems of particular languages or the sound inventories of particular languages would ask what is the function of this sound this voiceless dental fricative in languages such as ebo German or English you all know the answer don't you a voiceless dental fricative is clearly part of the English sound inventory but it is not used in German and it is not used in ebo in other words a phonetic study reveals how sounds are made phonology works out how these sounds are used in particular languages in order to convey meaning let us elaborate this difference between phonetics and phonology on the basis of German my mother tongue and English part of a phonetic study of German for example will include a statement that this sound here which is listed here a voiceless palatal fricative or curse in German but not in English so here is an example first of all to show the articulation I hear again I here okay so this exists in German but it is not really found in English likewise a phonetic study of both languages will include a statement that these sounds - sir and sir occur both in English and in German so much for the phonetic analysis however the main phonological question is whether the sounds in question are functional sound units that is units that affect the meaning of words in that language or not a phonetic study then provides an inventory and a description of the occuring segments phonology discusses the function of these segments in particular languages in the case of our first example the palatal fricative sure the answer is pretty clear it exists in both languages in German it occurs in contexts where a front vowel precedes words such as ich Peck master cooker or at the beginning of words such as henna or Hemi a phonologists would also say it is in complimentary distribution with the velar fricative ha which only occurs after back vowels as in boo da or da in English however it is if it is used at all highly restricted to contexts where a written H precedes it is the same palatal fricative as in human huge or humid follow logically however it is mostly analyzed as a combination of a glottal fricative plus a palatal approximant since languages may have the same inventory but different realizations of these sound segments a mere segmental phonological study that states which segments occur in a language and which ones do not is only superficial consider our second example the status of cell in English and German well we have two options it could be one sound unit or two whereas German lists sir as one segment English does not why well here is the answer the German example is in this case zealots and in English were using the example salts the plural form of this word the plural form of salt both German zealots which means salt and English salts involve the same final segment sir however a structural analysis reveals that native speakers of English identify two consonants whereas in German this is clearly one consonant where in German you have one letter and in English you have to maybe orthography influences their decision furthermore and this is more important sir has only a limited distribution in English it normally crosses morpheme boundaries as in what's which stands for what is States which stands for state plus plural or kit which stands for kit plus plural state by the way could also be a verb state plus third-person singular so in each case we have a morpheme boundary between the base form and the afix sir thus distributional and structural arguments support the different phonological analysis officer in English in German one unit in German two units in English and what about the Supra segment 11 well again there are Supra segmental inventories with clearly definable functions the structures and phenomena beyond the segments are among others tonal phenomena where for example in the so called tone languages such as Chinese tonal patterns Express lexical distinctions or have a morphological role expressing such features as tense or aspect and then there are stress phenomena where for example in words of more than one syllable at least one syllable has more prominence and can thus influence the meaning of that word these suprasegmentals aspects are often discussed under the heading of metrical phonology again let us look at these aspects first from a phonetic angle and then from a phonological one supra segmental phonetics investigates aspects such as loudness pitch or lengths take pitch as an example in English pitch is changing continuously there are no steady-state pitches here are some examples which I'm going to discuss in a second as we will see throughout every syllable in a normal conversational utterance the pitch is going up and down as most languages English uses the whole range of pitch variation let's listen to these examples first mary gave the money to her father by set by the window reading a book he wanted to go to town on Monday well as you see pitch is going up and down however and this is a central question of English suprasegmentals or knowledge II can the meaning of an utterance be determined by the type of pitch variation used has pitch variation a particular function in English well tonal variation exists in English however it is difficult to generalize imagine someone says I saw a pink elephant and your answer is really does your answer really said with a level tone always express boredom or does arise such as really Express excitement surely one can associate specific emotions with certain tones for example boredom with level tones yet there is no rule-based pattern thus apart from a few examples where tonal variation leads to predictable meaning differences the function of tone is restricted in English as far as stress the phonological correlate of loudness and pitch is concerned the situation is more obvious clearly in present-day English the placement of stress can lead to differences in meaning at least in three ways the first type is referred to as lexical stress where the placement of stress can lead to a distinction between nouns and verbs in contrast the first syllable is stressed and we have a noun whereas in contrast we have a verb with the second syllable receiving the stress or take shift stress as an example where words such as 13 can be stressed on the first syllable in cases such as a 13 year old girl whereas the second syllable has to be stressed if you want to say something like she is 13 and last but not least there is weakening where in sentences such as he asked for questions the stress of fall leads to an interpretation that he asked for questions are not 5 whereas in he asked for questions the interpretation where the word 4 is unstressed he asked for question the interpretation is that he wanted some questions to be asked okay so much for the main differences between phonetics and phonology perhaps the best way to remember these differences is the quotation with which I started phonetics gathers the raw material phonology cooks it right that's it for now thanks for your attention

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