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Chapter 2 Phonology

 

I. Decide whether each of the following statements is True or False:

l.T     2.F     3.F     4.F     5.T    6.T     7.F     8.F    9.T     10.F

11.F     12.T     13.F     14.F     15.F     16. F    17. T     18. F     19. T     20. T

II. Fill in each of the following blanks with one word which begins with the letter given:

21. Aspiration    22.Articulatory     23. bilabial     24. tongue     25. place

26. stop     27. Suprasegmental    28. sequential     29. narrow     30. intonation

31. Phonology     32. oral     33. Tone     34. sentence

III. There are four choices following each of the statements below. Mark the choice that can best complete the statement:

35.C     36.A     37.B     38.D     39.A     40.D    41.C     42.C     43.D     44.D

IV. Define the terms below:

45. phonology: Phonology studies the system of sounds of a particular language; it aims to discover how speech sounds in a language form patterns and how these sounds are used to convey meaning in linguistic communication.

46. phoneme: The basic unit in phonology is called phoneme; it is a unit of distinctive value. But it is an abstract unit. To be exact, a phoneme is not a sound; it is a collection of distinctive phonetic features.

47. allophone: The different phones which can represent a phoneme in different phonetic environments are called the allophones of that phoneme.

48. international phonetic alphabet: It is a standardized and internationally accepted system of phonetic transcription.

49. intonation: When pitch, stress and sound length are tied to the sentence rather than the word in isolation, they are collectively known as intonation.

50. phonetics: Phonetics is defined as the study of the phonic medium of language; it is concerned with all the sounds that occur in the world' s languages

51. auditory phonetics: It studies the speech sounds from the hearer's point of view. It studies how the sounds are perceived by the hear-er.

52. acoustic phonetics: It studies the speech sounds by looking at the sound waves. It studies the physical means by which speech sounds are transmitted through the air from one person to another.

53. phone : Phones can be simply defined as the speech sounds we use when speaking a language. A phone is a phonetic unit or segment. It does not necessarily distinguish meaning.

54. phonemic contrast: Phonemic contrast refers to the relation between two phonemes. If two phonemes can occur in the same environment and distinguish meaning, they are in phonemic contrast.

55. tone: Tones are pitch variations, which are caused by the differing rates of vibration of the vocal cords.

56. minimal pair: When two different forms are identical in every way except for one sound segment which occurs in the same place in the strings, the two words are said to form a minimal pair.

V. Answer the following questions as comprehensively as possible. Give ex-amples for illustration if necessary:

57. Of the two media of language, why do you think speech is more basic than writing ?

1) In linguistic evolution, speech is prior to writing.

2) In everyday communication, speech plays a greater role than writing in terms of the amount of information conveyed.

3) Speech is always the way in which every native speaker acquires his mother tongue, and writing is learned and taught later at school.

58. What are the criteria that a linguist uses in classifying vowels ?

1) Vowels may be distinguished as front, central and back in terms of the position of the tongue in the mouth.

2) According to how wide our mouth is opened, we classify the vowels into four groups: close vowels, semi-close vowels, semi-open vowels, and open vowels.

3) According to the shape of the lips, vowels are divided into rounded vowels and unrounded vowels.

4) The English vowels can also be classified into long vowels and short vowels according to the length of the sound.

59. What are the major differences between phonology and phonetics ?

They differ in their approach and focus. Phonetics is of a general nature; it is interested in all the speech sounds used in all human languages: how they are produced, how they differ from each other, what phonetic features they possess, how they can be classified. Phonology, on the other hand, is interested in the system of sounds of a particular language; it aims to discover how speech sounds in a language form patterns and how these sounds are used to convey meaning in linguistic communication.

60. Illustrate with examples how suprasegmental features can affect meaning.

1) The location of stress in English distinguishes meaning, such as `import and im`port. The similar alternation of stress also occurs between a compound noun and a phrase consisting of the same elements. A phonological feature of the English compounds, is that the stress of the word always falls on the first element and the second element receives secondary stress, for example: `blackbird is a particular kind of bird, which is not necessarily black, but a black `bird is a bird that is black.

2) The more important words such as nouns, verbs adjectives , adverbs,etc are pronounced with greater force and made more prominent. But to give special emphasis to a certain notion, a word in sentence that is usually unstressed can be stressed to achieve different effect. Take the sentence “He is driving my car.” for example. To emphasize the fact that the car he is driving is not his, or yours, but mine, the speaker can stress the possessive pronoun my, which under normal circumstances is not stressed.

3) English has four basic types of intonation, known as the four tones: When spoken in different tones, the same sequence of words may have different meanings. Generally speaking, the falling tone indicates that what is said is a straight-forward, matter-of-fact statement, the rising tone often makes a question of what is said, and the fall-rise tone often indicates that there is an implied message in what is said.

61. In what way can we determine whether a phone is a phoneme or not ?

A basic way to determine the phonemes of a language is to see if substituting one sound for another results in a change of meaning. If it does, the two sounds then represent different phonemes.