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THE PHONEME. MODIFICATIONS OF PHONEMES IN ENGLISH




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THE ARTICULATORY CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH SOUNDS. VOWELS.

Vowels are sounds in which there is no obstruction to the flow of air as it passes from the larynx to the lips. They differ from each other in several ways. We need a very accurate way of classifying the vowels. Phoneticians have developed a set of vowels, arranged in a diagram, which are not the vowels of any particular language. These are cardinal vowels which represent the extreme points of vowel quality that the human organs of speech can make. It is traditional to describe vowels of any language by comparing them with these cardinal vowels. Tongue height or the vertical distance between the tongue and the palate. It can be changed by moving the tongue up and down.

1. According to the vertical movement of the tongue:

· close

· open

2. According to the horizontal movements of the tongue

· Front Nuclei and diphthongs

· Front-retracted: I and the nucleus of the diphthong

· Mixed

· Back-advanced nuclei of the diphthong

· Back

3. Lip-rounding or position of the lips. We will consider only three possibilities:

· rounded (corners of lips are brought towards each other and the lips are pushed forwards)

· unrounded

  1. Natural length of the vowels. Simple vowels can be:

· short

· long

  1. Degree of muscular tension. According to this principle vowels are divided into:

· tense (long vowels)

· lax (short vowels)

6. According to the force of articulation

· Free (long monophthongs, diphthongs, unstressed short vowels)

· Checked (short V under stress)

7. According to the stability of articulation

· Monophthongs

· Diphthongs

· Diphthongized V

In connected speech a sound is generally modified by its phonetic environment (neighbouring sound), by the position it occupies in a word or an utterance; it is also modified by prosodic features, such as stress, speech melody, and tempo of speech. Every L has a limited number of sound types are shaped by all the speakers of the L and are linguistically important because they distinguish words in the l, in E there are 20 V phonemes and 24 C phonemes. All the actual SS are allophones of the phonemes that exist in the L. Those that distinguish words, when opposed to one another in the same phonetic position, are realizations of different phonemes. The phoneme may be defined as the smallest linguistically relevant unit of the sound structure of a given L which serves to distinguish one word from another. Allophonesof a certain phoneme are SS which are realizations of 1 and the same phoneme and, which cannot distinguish the words. On the one hand, the phoneme is an abstraction and a generalization. It is abstracted from its variants that exist in actual speech and is characterized by features that are common to all its variants. On the other hand, the phoneme is material, real and objective, because speech it is represented by concrete material sounds. The phoneme can be regarded as a dialectical unity of its 2 aspects: material and abstract. Phonemes in isolation has no meaning, in their material form constitute morphemes, words, all of which are meaningful (constitutive function of the phoneme). Besides, the constitutive function of the phoneme performs the distinctive function, because phonemes distinguish one word from another. Linguistics distinguish the third function of the phoneme – identificatory. It appears that when identifying linguistic units the use of the right phoneme is not the only significant factor, the use of the right allophone is not much less important. Every phoneme displays a vast range of variation in connected speech. Among the different types of variation we distinguish idiolectal, diaphonic and allophonic variation. Idiolectalembraces the individual peculiarities of articulating sounds, which are caused by the shape and form of the speaker’s speech organs and by his art habits. Diaphonicvariation affects the quality and quantity of particular phonemes. It is caused by concrete historical tendencies active in certain localities. Allophonic variation, which conditioned by phonetic position and phonemic environment. In connected speech sounds undergo various modifications under the influence of neighbouring sounds and the intonation patterns they occur in. EV are modified in unstressed syllables. The weakening of art and shortening of the duration of unstressed V results in modification of their quality and quantity. This phonetic phenomenon Is called reduction. The process of adapting the art of a V to a C, or a C to a V, is known as accommodation(depends on position in the intonation group).When a Cis a component of a C cluster, it is partially or completely assimilated by the neighbouring sound. A C may be voiced or devoiced, it may lose its plosion, or the plosion may become restricted, there may even occur coalescent assimilation which results in a new phoneme. All E phonemes in various pronouncing conditions undergo assimilation.Main problems of phonological analysis: 1. The identification of the phonemic inventory for each individual L; 2. The identification of the phonemic inventory of phonologically relevant features of a L; 3. The interrelationships among the phonemes oh a L.



 

 





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