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Linguistics for Teachers

Language and Sounds

Unit 1 – Language and Sounds

Phonetics and Phonology
In Our Online Segment…
We discussed:

Phonetics Phonology
• the oral equipment • phonemes
• places of articulation • phones and allophones
• manner of articulation • minimal pairs
• consonants, vowels and • phonological rules
• clusters
• phonotactic constraints
• intonation and stress
In Today’s Lesson…
• Review of phonetics

• Practice and discussion of phonetics

• Review of phonology

• Practice and discussion of phonology

Review of Phonetics
What is phonetics?
Where are sounds made?
How are sounds made?
What are consonants, vowels and
What is a schwa?
What are sound segments?
Why are these different?
Are these picture showing the same thing?
What do these categories represent?


Sound Segments:
not / knot → [nat]

These two words (although different in length)

demonstrate 3 sound segments

**To the foreign speaker, we sound like we run our sounds

together. Native English speakers also have problems
distinguishing sounds, as we will see in Practice 4 and
Practice 1
Write these words using Did your answers look like
phonetic transcription. this?
1. heat 1. [hit]
2. stroke 2. [strok]
3. phase 3. [fez]
4. tone 4. [ton]
5. bony 5. [boni]
6. scream 6. [skrim]
7. fruit 7. [frut]
8. preacher 8. [pričər]
9. crack 9. [kræk]
Practice 2
Write the following Did your sentences look
sentences in regular like this?
English spelling:
1. Noam Chomsky is a linguist
who teaches at MIT?
1. nom čamski ɪz ə lɪngwɪst
hu tičəz æt ɛm aj ti
2. Phonetics is the study of
2. fonɛtɪks ɪz ðə stʌdi əv spič speech sounds.
3. In one dialect of English, cot
3. ɪn wʌn dajəlɛkt əv ɪnglɪš kat the noun and caught the
ðə nawn ænd kɔt ðə vɚrb ar
pronawnst ðə sem verb are pronounced the
What do these categories represent?

voiced and voiceless

nasal and oral sounds
liquids and glides
glottal stops and flaps

**Can you give examples for each?

Glottal stops and flaps
[ʔ] – the glottis is closed very briefly then released

Oh oh Uh-uh

[D] or [ɾ] – the tongue tip is tapping the alveolar

ladder rider medal

**Why was it funny when a student wrote about the

importance of play-dough?
Vowels and the schwa
heat hit hat hot

According to how vowel sounds are characterized, how

would you describe these sounds?

ə - This is called a schwa and represents an unstressed

vowel – [səpɔrt] [əbʌv]

ʌ - This represents a stressed vowel – [tʌf] [kʌzɪn]



**sequences of two sounds (vowel + glide)
**Can you think of some words using these
Practice 3
What phonetic property and/or feature Were your
distinguish the sets of sounds in column A answers
from those in Column B? similar to

a. [i] [ɪ] [u] [U] front / back

b. [p] [t] [k] [s] [f] [b] [d] [g] [z] [v] voiceless / voiced
c. [i] [ɪ] [u] [U] [e] [ɛ] [o] [ɔ] [æ] [a] high / low
d. [f] [v] [s] [z] [š] [ž] [č] [dʲ] fricative / affricate
e. [i] [ɪ] [e] [ɛ] [æ] [u] [U] [o] [ɔ] [a] front / back
Practice 4
Misheard Lyric Real Lyric

The algebra has a devil for Queen (Bohemian

a sidekick eeeeeeeeee.... Rhapsody)
Beelzebub has a devil put
aside for me...

Let’s pee in the corner, Let’s R.E.M (Losing My Religion)

pee in the spotlight…. That's me in the corner,
That's me in the
Practice 5
In your group, explain how these people
‘misheard’ these lyrics

a) in terms of places of articulation

b) in terms of manner of articulation

Review of Phonology

• What is the difference between phonetics and

• What are phonemes and allophones?
• What are minimal pairs, free variation, complementary
• What do we mean by phonological rules? (assimilation,
deletion, insertion, metathesis)
• What is the significance of slips-of-the-tongue?
• What is the relationship between clusters and
phonotactic constraints?
• What are intonation and word stress?
Phonetics vs. Phonology

[m] vs. /m/

Why is the first m enclosed in square brackets?

Why is the second m enclosed in back slashes?

What is the difference between phonetics and

Phonemes and Allophones

What are [tʰ] and [t]?

Can you think of examples of words where these
phones exist?

What are [ñ] and [n]?

Can you think of examples of words where
these phones exist?
Complementary Distribution

/p/ “When Clark Kent is

present, Superman
is not; when
[pʰ] - in the Superman is
[p] -as the initial position
or in a present, Clark Kent
element of a stressed
consonant syllable is not” (Fromkin &
cluster without a
preceding Rodman, 1998,
(pit) p.261).
Practice 6
Look at the distribution of [r] and [l] in Korean in the
following words:
rupi “ruby” mul “water”
kiri “road” pal “big”
saram “person” ilkop “seven”
ratio “radio” ipalsa “barber”
a) In what environment do [r] and [l] occur?
b) Do you think [r] and [l] are in complementary
c) Do you think [r] and [l] are allophones of one phoneme?
Sounds that contrast meaning

• crick / creek and crook / croak are minimal pairs –

explain this

• crick / creek / crook / croak / crack / crock constitute a

minimal set – explain this
Sounds that do not contrast meaning

economics [i]
economics [ɛ]
-these two
phonemes are in
free variation –
they simply
differences in
pronunciation, not
Practice 7
Write phonetic transcriptions
of these words. Do all of My transcriptions look like
you pronounce these this:
words the same way?

1. won (past tense of win) 1. [wan]

2. delightful 2. [dilajtfəl]
3. warm 3. [wɔrm]
4. scallops 4. [skaləps]
5. Calgary 5. [kælgəri]
Can you name these phonological rules?

A vowel becomes nasalized in the environment before a

nasal segment. (example?)

A consonant or vowel becomes null in the environment

between two consonant segments. (example?)

A consonant segment is added in the environment between

a nasalized consonant and a dental . (example?)

A consonant segment is added in the environment between

a bilabial and a velar. (example?)
More phonological rules

dissimilation – a segment becomes less similar to

another segment rather than more similar
*occurred originally in Latin, and is present in English

anecdot-al angul-ar
annu-al annul-ar
ment-al column-ar
pen-al perpendicul-ar
spiritu-al simil-ar

Can you write this rule?

metathesis - phonemes from one place in the string of
sound segments is moved to another place

animal → aminal
spaghetti → pusketti
Tylenol → Tynol

Can you explain why this happens?

Slips-of-the-tongue or spoonerisms

William Archibald Spooner made the following

slips-of-the-tongue in the early 1900s:

That queer old dean

You have hissed my mystery lecture.
You have tasted the whole worm.

Can you guess what he was trying to say?

Evidence for phonological rules

Intended Utterance Actual Utterance

-gone to seed -god to seen

[gãn tə sid] [gad tə sĩn]

-stick in the mud -smuck in the tid

[stɪk ɪñ ðə mʌd] [smʌk ɪn
̃ ðə tʰɪd]

-speech production -preach seduction

[spič prədʌkšə̃n] [pʰrič sədʌkšən
̃ ]

**We are still following phonological rules even when we’ve

mixed up the order of the segments.
Syllable (σ) Structure

-A syllable is a phonological unit that is composed of one or more

-A syllable will have an onset and a rhyme – every syllable has a
nucleus (usually a vowel) which may be preceded by an onset and
followed by a coda.
-Can you think of examples for these clusters: CCVC, CVC, VCC,
Sequential Constraints

/k/ /b/ /l/ /ɪ/

How many possible English words can you

make using these four phonemes?

Which combinations cannot be made into

possible English words? Why?
Practice 8
Write the English spelling for each transcription. Indicate if
the word is an English word, a possible word or a foreign

1. [ŋar]
2. [blaft]
3. [skrič]
4. [pʰril]
5. [maj]
6. [know] **Explain your choice.**
Intonation and Stress

English is an intonation language and Thai

is a tone language.

What does this mean in terms of pitch?

How can understanding proper word stress

help our students with pronunciation?
Practice 9
1. Explain why someone would say aks
instead of ask.

2. Have you ever made a slip-of-the-

tongue? If so, can you describe how your
slip-of-the-tongue illustrated evidence for
phonological rules?