-(3434)-(809)-(7483)-(1457) -(14632) -(1363)-(913)-(1438)-(451)-(1065)-(47672) -(912)-(14524) -(4268)-(17799)-(1338)-(13644)-(11121)-(55)-(373)-(8427)-(374)-(1642)-(23702)-(16968)-(1700)-(12668)-(24684)-(15423)-(506)-(11852) -(3308)-(5571)-(1312)-(7869)-(5454)-(1369)-(2801)-(97182)-(8706)-(18388)-(3217)-(10668) -(299)-(6455)-(42831)-(4793)-(5050)-(2929)-(1568)-(3942)-(17015)-(26596)-(22929)-(12095)-(9961)-(8441)-(4623)-(12629)-(1492) -(1748)

Read aloud the minimal pairs below. Single out the phonemes which are contrasted

  1. Actions which are considered counter-productive
  2. Comparative Chart of Vowel Phonemes in Canadian English, General American and RP
  3. Cross wiring multiple explosive devices vs. single load explosive device
  4. Each minimal pair exemplifies a possible consonant opposition
  5. Exercise 8. Read the question, stressing one of the underlined words. Then identify which of the alternatives is implied.
  6. Exercise3. Match the following materials with item which they are most likely to be associated with from the box.
  7. Exercise4. Complete the sentences using the correct form of the words below.
  8. F. Practise reading the sentences below. Concentrate on the influence of rhythm on the stress pattern of compound adjectives.
  9. Factor which determine the variety of phonetic styles.
  10. General demands from the people which are covered in the above policies
  11. Here is a text read aloud first by a British English speaker and then an American English speaker. Listen and note differences in pronunciation that you observe.
  12. Listen to the conversation below. Mark the intonation and be prepared to comment on it. Practise reading the dialogue together with a partner.





/r/ /I/

/k/ /S/ /0/

vant or not, whether the opposition is single, double or multiple, e.g. /t/ and /d/ differ along the following lines:

/t/ /d/

voiceless fortis voiced lenis

Their other characteristic features are irrelevant, thus /t/ and M/ have only one distinctively relevant feature single opposition. We can prove that this opposition is really phonemic by the minimal pairs: ten den, time dime, try dry. If there are two distinc-

Commutation Table 4
(other examples can be found by the students).

M N IV /r/ /i/ // /g/ // //

perch pope pay pine, rope pipe top play pig pip pen-
search pose lay shine rouge ripe toy clay gig ping hen

birch best bay bob babe bound- bell bar bide bib be

search zest lay bosh beige round yell car guide bing he

mad meal mike make room mice mel- mad met rum mouse-
sad zeal like shake rouge rice low cad get rung house


wo- west wife whine wipe well wave wave we-

und zest life shine ripe yell cave gave atth

sound health

found feel fife fee roof foot folk fat fame rough force-
sound zeal life she rouge root yoke catgame rung horse

veal veal vice veer vice veer van vet have view-
seal zeal lice sheer rice year can get hang bue

thin- think thaw thief- ruth- thumb- thaw- throw throw hath third-
sin zinc law shief rouge runt your crow grow hang heard

they thee thy thy- bathe- thy- then- that- these- with there-
say zee lie shy beige rye yen cat geese wing here

talk booty tight toe root talks tongue- tin tap sit Toby-
sock boozy tight shoe rouge rock young kin gap sing hobby

died deal dives death rude doe door dan- died bad dear-
side zeal lives chef rouge rowyour cer guide bang hear


knock known- knife nave bane knock- hap night name Ian near-
sock nose life shave beige rock yap kite game fang hear

peace sock sock base sock sore city same sis sit

peas rock slock beige rock your kitty game sing hit

zest zone ruse sest zoo zinc easel has zero

lest shown rouge rest you kink eagle hang hero

look rule lice less lick lame silk late

shook rouge rice yes kick game sink bate

ruche shock shell shin shame- wish she-
rouge rock yell kin game wing he

rouge beige
Ruhr bake

rack rid rag roof-
yak kid gag hoof

yap yes

cap guess

coat sock calf-
goat song half

bag gear-
bang hear

tively relevant features, the opposition is double, e.g. /p/ and /d/ differ along the following lines:

/p/ /d/

voiceless fortis voiced lenis labial, bilabial | lingual, forelingual, apical, alveolar

This opposition is really phonemic. It can be proved by the minimal pairs: pie die, pail dale, pry dry. The opposition /b/ 1

Table 5


Comparative Table of Phonemes in Different Languages  
Language Consonants Vowels Total Language Consonants Vowels Total
Russian English French 36 24 17 6 20 15 42 44 32 German Abkhazian Finnish 22 68 13 IS 3 8. 40 71 21

is multiple because these phonemes differ along the following linesi

/b/ /h/

voiced lenis voiceless fortis

labial, bilabial pharyngal

occlusive constrict ive

The phonemic nature of this opposition can be proved by minimal pairs, e.g. be he, bit hit, bait hate.

Soviet phoneticians perform commutation tests on the basis of the knowledge of the grammatical form and the meaning of the words, they apply the semantic method of phoneme identification.

The method of minimal pairs helps to establish the inventory of phonemes, it is one of the two main problems of phonological analysis. The other big problem phonologists are confronted with is to define the phonemic status of the sound in the neutral position.

There is one more big problem in phonology theory of distinctive features.

It was originated by N. S. Trubetskoy and developed by such foreign scientists as R, Jackobson, C. G. Fant, M. Halle, N. Chomsky, P. Ladefoged, H. Kucbra, G. K. Monroe and many Soviet phonologists, such as L. R. Zinder, G. S. Klychkov, V. Ya. Plotkin, Stepona-vicius and many others.

The taxonomy of differentiator features is being constructed on the basis of objective reality of phonological distinction, which really exist in phonemic classes. Distinctive features are the main, basic elements of variability in different languages. The commutation of meaning and utterance is effected due to these features.

Enriching the theory of distinctive features Prof. G. S. Klychkov introduces a modal feature of "turbulency" to make the hierarchy of consonants more logical. He states that the main question of distinctive theory is the criterion of frequency and the direction of markedness.

There are different opinions on the nature of the phoneme and its
definition. v

I. I. A Baudouin de Courteney (1845-1929) defined the phoneme as a psychical image of a sound. He originated the so called "menta-Jist view of the phoneme. In our days Prof. V. Ya. Ptotkin thinks it appropriate to revive the terms "kinema" and "acousma" coined 52

by Baudouin deCourteneyfor the psychic images of articulatory movements and their auditory counterparts and blended into "kinakeme" to designate the bilateral psychophonic unit He states that experimental investigations demonstrate the impossibility of accepting the phoneme as the basic unit in the production and perception of oral speech. Speech production and perception are cerebral activities first and foremost, while the sound chain is the vehicle for their externalization. Thus phonemes are composed of kinakemes which possess the paradignr-atic, syntagmatic and semantic properties, characteristic of -other phonological units, and are ultimate phonological units. The acceptance of the kinakeme makes the notion of distinctive phonemic features redundant in phonemic theory because the kinakeme covers practically the same ground as the notion of "distinctive feature". (G. Fant considers the term "minimal category" or "distinction" much better than "distinctive feature".) V. Ya. Plotkin suggests two dichotomies:

jl. Kinakemic system consists of two sub-systems: vocalic and con: sonantal, which are not rigidly separated.

2. All kinakemes are divided into two categories: modal and lo-cational.

Modal kinakemes are concerned with the origin of sounds and the vertical dimensions of the vocal tract. (1) Obstructional: a) occlusion, b) constriction, (2) Phonal: a) sonority, b) discordance.

Consonantal modal kinakemes determine the mode of obstruction and the acoustic type of sound-tone or noise, their vocalic kinakemes deal with the height of the vocal tract.

Locational kinakemes: vocalic and consonantal, function on the horizontal plane, activating certain areas along the vocal tract, (1) Articulatory: a) prelinguality, b) postlinguality. (2) Pointal: a) prealveolarity, b) postalveolarity.

"The-phoneme retains its status of the minimal unit of sound in the language system. Its indivisibility should be qualified as inability to be broken up into smaller units of sound." "As for the ultimate phonological unit, it is an instrument for the linguistic structuring of extralinguistic substance which might be called prephonic rather than phonic."1

II. The abstraction^ conception of the phoneme was originated
by Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913), the famous Swiss linguist and
the Danish linguist L. Hjelmsley (1889-1965). It was .advocated by
their pupils in the Copenhagen Linguistic Circle'. The "abstract" view
regards the phoneme independent of the phonetic properties.

III. N. S. Trubetzkoy (1890-1938), L. vBloomfield (1887-1949),
R, Jakobson (1896-1982) viewed the phoneme as the minimal sound
units by which meanings may be differentiated. They stated that the
features of the phoneme involved in the differentiation of words are
called distinctive. They can be found in contrastive sets.

1 Plotkin V. Ya. Systems of Ultimate Phonological Units // Phonetica, 1976. P. 82.

IV. The physical view on the phoneme was originated by D. Jones
(1881-1967). He defined the phoneme as a "family" of sounds. The
members of the family show phonetic similarity. No member of the
family can occur in the same phonetic context as any other member.

This view was shared by the American scientists B. Bloch and G. Träger. They define the phoneme as a class of phonetically similar sounds, contrasting and mutually exclusive with all similar classes in the language.

V. The problem of the phoneme can be solved on a "populational
basis" (J. A. Perry, 1974), that is on the definition of the phoneme as
a unit of an idiolect (D. Jones, K. Pike), a dialect (L. Bloomfield),
a multidialect the phoneme is a unit of the English Language as
a whole (G. Trager, H. Smith), or a "supralect" the phoneme is a
unit of a standard form, by which the dialects and idiolects may be
compared (J.A. Perry),

VI. L. V. Shcherba (1880-1944) was the first to define the phoneme
as a real, independent distinctive unit which manifests itself in the
form of allophones. Prof. V. A. Vassilyev developed Shcherba's theo
ry and presented a detailed definition of the phoneme in his book
"English Phonetics. A Theoretical Course", where he writes that a
phoneme is a dialectical unity of three aspects: (1) material, real and
objective, (2) abstractional and generalized, (3) functional. It serves
to perform the following functions: (a) constitutive, (b) distinctive
and (c) recognitiye. V. A. Vassilyev states that phoneme is material,
real and objective because it really exists in the material form of
speech sounds, allophones. It is an objective reality, existing inde
pendently from our will, or intention. It is an abstraction, because we
make it abstract from concrete realizations for classificatory pur
poses; it functions to make one word or its grammatical form distinct
from the other, it constitutes words and helps to recognize them.


1. What is phonology? 2. How are phonemes discovered? 3. What is commutation test? 4. What is the difference between phonemes and allophones? How are they represented in writing? 5. How are allophones classified? 6. What patterns of phoneme distribution do you know? 7. Speak on the method of discovery of minimal distinctive features. 8. What are the main problems of phonological analysis?

9. What do you know about the history of the phoneme discovery?

10. What is a kinakeme? . How is the phoneme defined by Soviet


jugbug ledlaid layHe

judgebudge menmain saysigh

birch-bird singesinned

keencoin tryTroy baysbuys liedLloyd

burnbone forkfolk fawnphone furfoe girlgoal

readreared leadleered daydeer payspeers pacepierce

penpain edgeage

lawlow sawso gnawno pausepose

pearlpole pursedpost curtcoat perchpoach cursedcoast

redrared veryvary bedbared pierpair deariedairy

bayby daysdies

roarsrose awedode calledcold torntone

barredbowed Karlcowl partpout artout nonow

dodoer pearpoor mymire writeriot boweredb owed

2. Read these words. Pay attention to the allophonic difference of one and the same phoneme.


aspirated: take, tall, tone

unaspirated: steak, stall, stone

no audible release: outpost, halfpin, football, white chalk

nasal release: cotton, button, eaten, utmost

lateral release: cattle, atlas, at last

partly devoiced: do, dog, day

voiced: leader, order, murder

voiceless: bid, mad, road

no audible release: good dog, bed time, good cheese

nasal release: admit, road map, red map

lateral release: middle, headless, badly, good luck


aspirated: come, car, coal unaspirated: baker, talking, equal, secret

no audible release: locked, deck chair, blackboard, dark night, black Imagic, begged

lateral release: glow, bugle, struggle voiceless: dog, leg, vague partly devoiced: go, geese, girt, glass voiced; figure, eager, ago, begin


3, Read these words. Pay attention to the positional allophones of the /1/ pho-


likelip liveUly

pull-mill foolhall

lessleak dollgirl letlist coaltwelve

4. Read these words. Pay attention to the pronunciation of the de voiced allophones of the /1, w, r/ phonemes after /p, t, k/.

cleft twice

cleg tweed

ply quiet

please quaver

clerk queer

try tree






plightblight classglass cladglad cleanglean clueglue

5. Read these words. Mind the distributional character of the /h/ phoneme.
Pay attention to the allophones in the syllable initial prevocalic position,
each of them should be considered as a "strong, voiceless onset of the vowel,
which follows it."

|he, hit, help, happy, half, hop, horn, hut, hook, who, her, habitual, hay, high, how, hoist, hoe, hear, hare, houri

6. Read these words. Pay attention to the complementary nature of soft and
hard English allophones and to the independent soft and hard Russian pho

/p/ pea paw /b/ bee bark /t/ tea talk /d/ deepdope

/k/ key car /g/ geese goose /t(7 cheesechosej /dg/ jet jar

far fee /v/ veel vote /9/ themethumb /5/ thee those;

/r/ readrode

/s/ seesaw

// jupeJoe /h/ hehome /1/ leelaw

/z/ zealzone /j/ yesyoung /Jf/ sheshoe /w/ wewet /m/ memet /n/ kneenet

// /7 // /67 // /7

1 Gimson , ,


/7 //
// /1/
/7 //
// /7
N //
// /'
Op. cit__ . 1S6.

// /7 // /7 // /7

// /1/ Ը // // /1/ // /'/ // ] // /7 // /7

Control Tasks

1. Give examples to prove that the following features of the English consonants and vowels are distinctive,

oralitynasality 'plosivenessconstrictiveness labial-

voicelessnessvoicedness ' ity

tensenesslaxness frontnessbackness

*2. Give examples of combinatory allophones of the /r/ phoneme.

*3. What positional aflophones occur as a result of palatalization in the Russian language?

*4. Give examples for 'different types of distribution: (a) complementary, (fa) contrast!ve, (c) free variation.

5. Give examples of: (a) single opposition, (b) double opposition, (c) multiple

6. Give theoretical and practical proofs to explain constitutive, recognitive
and distinctive functions of phonemes.

7. Match the words below to obtain minimal pairs.

catch, pip, cheap, sap, he, jail, lap, pair, say, sink, rip, fail, lass, Sam, mink, cap, tear, she, lay, heap, match


Sounds can function as units of language only if they differ from one another. Mutually distinctive speech sounds are called phonemes. As has been pointed out the main method of establishing phonemes of a given language is the commutation test or discovery of minimal pairs through which the establishment of the phonemic status of each sound is accomplished.

When in a contrastive pair one consonan ;pnoneme is opposed to any other consonant phoneme in at least one position, this pair is called minimal,1 For example, in the minimal pair pen Ben the phoneme /p/ is opposed to the phoneme /b/ due to the presence and absence of voice; it is the only distinctive feature of this minimal pair. All the other features of the pair pen Ben are irrelevant. If there are more than one distinctive feature in a pair, it is called sub-minimal. For example, the pair treasure pressure is sub-minimal because the opposition is due to: (1) the presence and absence of voice in the /g J/ phonemes, (2) forelingual articulation of the /t/ phoneme and bilabial articulation of the /p/ phoneme. All the other fea-

1 "Minimal pairs are useful, when found, but not necessarily to be expected, and not essential to the work of analysis." 'ßteason H, A. Op. cit. P. 280.)

tures are distinctively irrelevant. Minimal pairs occur in identical, sub-minimal in similar environments.

It should be borne in mind that distinctively irrelevant features can be of two types: incidental, which may or may not be present in a phoneme, and such, without which the phoneme can't exist at all. For example, the presence or absence of voice in the word final consonants /, / in the Russian is a 'genuinely incidental or redundant feature, whereas the forelingual articulation of /t/ and the bilabial articulation of /p/ are relevant differentiatory features. Palatalization is phonemically irrelevant, incidental in English and relevant in Russian, etc.

The phonological analysis of the system of English consonant phonemes helps to establish 24 phonemes:

/p, b, t, d, k, g, f, v, 9, 3, s, z, J\ 5. h, tj, 65, m, n, n, wt r, j, 1, a1/

Classificatory principles suggested by Soviet phoneticians provide the basis for the establishment of the following distinctive oppositions in the system of consonants of the English language.

I. Work of the Vocal Cords and the Force of Exhalation

Voicelessfort is vst voicedlenis

/pb/ penBen /td/ tenden /kg/ coatgoat

Voiceless voiced opposition is simultaneously based on for-tis lenis distinction. It is not so in the Russian language where the voiceless voiced opposition is based only on the presence or absence of voice. If we compare the English /p, t, k, b, d, g/ and the Russian In, , , , , /, we may state that: in the initial position the English /b, d, g/ are weakly voiced, the Russian /, , / are fully voiced:

book goose deem

In English /p, t, k/ in the initial position are aspirated fort is, in Russian /, , / are unaspirated, therefore in English the /p b, t d, k g/ oppositions are based on breath-force distinction, whereas in Russian, the pairs /n , , / differ due to voice absence of voice distinction (but not in the final position).

in English

(pleadbleed tip dip comegum peachbeach tea Dee cot got pat bat teardear canegain

1 /a/ is a "facultative phoneme". Some authors prove its phonemic status
by minimal pairs: witch which, wine whine, wear____ where.

in Russian

2. Active Organ of Speech and the Place of Articulation

This principle of consonant classification provides the basts for the following distinctive oppositions:

(1) Labial vs. lingual

pain cane bun ton fame tame

In these pairs the labial bilabial /p/ is opposed to the lingual back-Hngual velar /k/; the labial bilabial /b/ is opposed to the lingual fore-lingual apical HI; the labial labio-dental /f/ is opposed to the lingual forelingual apical /t/.

(2) Lingual vs. pharyngat (glottal)

Tim him this hiss foam home care hair

In these pairs the lingual forelingual apical /t/ is opposed to the pharyngal /hi; the lingual forelingual apical interdental 1 is opposed to the pharyngal /h/; the labial labio-dental /f/ is opposed to the pharyngal /h/; the lingual backlingual velar Ikl is opposed to the pharyngal /h/.

Within the group of labial, bilabial may be opposed to labiodental.

wear fair mice vice

In these pairs the bilabial /w/ is opposed to the labio-dental HI; the bilabial /m/ is opposed to the labio-dental /v/.

Within the group of forelingual, apical may be opposed to cacuminal.

dim rim

In this pair the apical forelingual alveolar /d/ is opposed to the cacuminal forelingual alveolar /r/.

Within the group of lingual, forelingual can be opposed to medio-lingual.

tongue young jet yet

In these pairs the forelingual (apical alveolar) /t/ is opposed to the mediolingual (palatal) 1)1]

the forelingual (apical palato-alveolar) l&$l is opposed to the mediolingual (palatal) /j/.

3. Manner of the Production of Noise

This principle of consonant classification provides the basis for the following distinctive oppositions: (1) Occlusive (stops) vs. constictive

pinefine Bernfern dare share bat that borethaw bee thee carethere minet hine ca melame

In these pairs the occlusive /p, b, d, k, ml are opposed to the constrictive /f, J1, S, 9, 1/. (2) Constrictive vs. occlusive-constrictive (affricates)

fare chair fail jail work jerk

In these pairs the constrictive /f, w/ are opposed to the occlusive-constrictive (affricates) /tf, dg/.

"Within the groups of occlusives, or stops, and constrictives, noise consonants may be opposed to sonorants.

(a) occlusive: noise vs. nasal somrants

pinemine boat moat talenail deadneed kickking

In these pairs the occlusive noise /p, b, t, d, k/ are opposed to the nasal sonorants /m, n, rj/.

(b) constrictive: noise vs. sonorants

same lame vain lane then when

In these pairs the constrictive noise consonants /s, v, ö/ are opposed to the constrictive sonor ants /1, w/.

Unicentral constrictive consonants may be opposed to bicentral consrictive consonants.

(c) constrictive unicentral vs. constrictive bicentral

same shame thine wine

In these pairs the constrictive unicentral /s, 5/ are opposed to the constrictive bicentral , w/.

Constrictive consonants with a flat narrowing can be opposed to constrictive consonants with a round narrowing.

(d) flat narrowing vs. round narrowing

fame same vat sat

In these pairs the constrictive consonants with a flat narrowing /f, v/ are opposed to the constrictive consonants with a round narrowing /si.

In all these oppositions only examples with the initially opposed consonant phonemes are given. It does not mean that the pairs of medially and finally opposed consonants, that prove their phonemic status, may not be found.

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