Overview of Phonology
- Distribution of phones, phonemes and allophones
- Phonological rules
- Sound substitution
- Implicational laws
- Non-linear (auto-segmental) phonology
- Acquisition of phonology
- Phonological change and variation
- Why phonology?
Phone distribution, phonemes, allophones
- Categories and contrast
- How many different sounds does a language "use"?
Are two different phones the "same" within a given language?
- Environment of a phone
- Overlapping distribution
- Free variation
- Contrastive distribution
- Complementary distribution, predictability,
- Phonemes: distinct phonological categories in a given
language (dialect); used to distinguish different words from one another
- Allophones: variants of phonemes, their differences
predictable from their environment
- Does changing the value of a single phonetic feature for a
phone produce a "different" phone?
Is the feature
a distinctive feature in the language?
Does changing the feature in other phones produce a
- Differences across languages in the use of features:
- Tonemes: contrastive tones
- What is an efficient way for a speaker/hearer to store the
form of a word in the mental lexicon?
- Underlying (lexical) and surface representation
- Given several allophones, how is the phoneme represented?
- Use the least restricted allophone.
- Use a representation which all allophones share.
- Two phones in complementary distribution: two phonemes or one?
Is there other evidence that can help?
- Phonemes and graphemes: tendency for alphabetic systems to
assign one grapheme to each phoneme, but many exceptions
- One phoneme, multiple graphemes
- Separate graphemes for allophones
- One grapheme, multiple phonemes
- Phonemes with no graphemes
- Problems with insufficient data
- Homonyms: do you hear differences which are not
significant and treat them as significant?
- How can you know that a phone does not occur
in a particular environment?
- How many allophones?
Southern American English lax vowels:
picking, picker, herring, heron; parry, parrot; hopping, hopper;
putty, putter; pushy, pusher; dinner, thinner; ticking, tipping; ticker,
tipper; bicker, bilker
- What good are phonemes?
- Are phonemes psychologically real?
- Do listeners segment an utterance in phonemes, or do
they use larger units?
- Are the basic gestures of articulation best described
in terms of phonemes or larger units?
- Are words stored in the mental lexicon in terms of
phonemes or larger units?
- Phonemic form (underlying representation) phonetic form
- Rule notation
- What rules are for
- Specifying detailed realization of phonemes
- Making modifications where morphemes come together
- Making modifications accompanying informal or rapid speech
- Specifying historical changes
- Kinds of rules
- Assimilation, dissimilation, neutralization
- Insertion, deletion
- Optional (vs. obligatory) rules
- Rule ordering
- Why rules?
- Simplifying articulation: assimilation, insertion, deletion
- Simplifying perception: dissimilation, insertion, (deletion)
- Using rules for perception (word recognition) as well as
production: this is not straightforward at all
- Syllables and syllable structure
- iai uou aia uee ao aua aia ie
`They had two flowers
and four sails.' (Kiribatese)
`then he had had in his possession a bunchberry plant'
- Morpheme structure: there may be constraints on what
the phonological shape of morphemes can be, for example,
2 or more syllables may be necessary
Borrowing and foreign accent
- Sound substitution
- Replacing a phone with one nearby
- Failing to distinguish two phonemes
- Phonotactics and simplification of syllable structure
- Phoneme inventories
- Sizes of phoneme inventories
- Symmetry in phoneme inventories
- Which phones are languages likely to use more than others?
Implicational laws: given a less common phoneme, a language should also
have a related more common phoneme.
- Ease of production of different phones
- Ease of perception of different phones: maximally distinct vowels,
consonants vs. vowels
- Ease of acquisition of phones
- Relative frequency of phones
- Across languages
- Within languages, functional load of phonemes and
other contrastive features
- Sound stability and sound change in the history of a language
- Phonetic and phonemic change
- Preservation of phonemic distinctions: change in one
phoneme results in change in another (example: NZ English lax vowels)
- Loss of phonemes
- Compensation for losses of distinctions (example: Mandarin Chinese)
- Emergence of new phonemes
- Early Old English 1: *kunni 'kin', *kinn- 'chin'
- Early Old English 2: *kunni, *cinn-
- Early Old English 3: kynni 'kin' (vowel fronting)
- Old English: kynn, cinn (final vowel deletion)
- Late Old English: kinn, cinn (derounding)
- Unconditioned and conditioned sound changes
- Characteristic sound changes
- Deletion and insertion
- Monophthongization and diphthongization
- Raising, lowering, backing, fronting
- Weakening of final segments
- Vowel nasalization
- Tones and the loss of initial voicing contrasts
- "Pre-language": cooing, etc.
- Early discrimination of sounds
- Experimentation with articulation
- Matching production and perception
- Loss of the ability of to distinguish some sounds
- Early phones; these tend to be those that are more common in
languages generally, those that are easier to produce and distinguish
- Early syllables: simplified in comparison to adult syllables.
- Words with and without phonemes. Words may be learned as unanalyzed
units; the fact that a sound occurs in a single word does mean it has been
learned as a phoneme in the child's system.
- The child language as a system in its own right. It is possible to
analyze the child's system in terms of how it deviates from the adult
system or as a system in its own right.
- Perception and production: the "fiss" phenomenon.
Perception is normally ahead of production; children may hear distinctions
which they cannot produce.