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Read aloud the minimal pairs below. Single out the phonemes which are contrasted
/k/ /S/ /0/
vant or not, whether the opposition is single, double or multiple, e.g. /t/ and /d/ differ along the following lines:
voiceless fortis voiced lenis
Their other characteristic features are irrelevant, thus /t/ and M/ have only one distinctively relevant feature Ś single opposition. We can prove that this opposition is really phonemic by the minimal pairs: ten Ś den, time Ś dime, try Ś dry. If there are two distinc-
Commutation Table 4
M N IV ě ╣ /r/ /i/ /ŕ/ /g/ /ţ/ /▄/
perchŚ popeŚ payŚ pine,Ś ropeŚ pipeŚ topŚ playŚ pigŚ pipŚ pen-
birchŚ bestŚ bayŚ bobŚ babeŚ bound- bellŚ barŚ bideŚ bibŚ beŚ
search zest lay bosh beige round yell car guide bing he
madŚ mealŚ mikeŚ makeŚ roomŚ miceŚ mel- madŚ metŚ rumŚ mouse-
wo- westŚ wifeŚ whineŚ Ś wipeŚ wellŚ waveŚ waveŚ Ś we-
undŚ zest life shine ripe yell cave gave atthŚ
foundŚ feelŚ fifeŚ feeŚ roofŚ footŚ Ľ folkŚ fatŚ fameŚ roughŚ force-
vealŚ vealŚ viceŚ veerŚ Ś viceŚ veerŚ vanŚ vetŚ haveŚ view-
thin- thinkŚ thawŚ thief- ruth- thumb- thaw- throwŚ throwŚ hathŚ third-
theyŚ theeŚ thyŚ thy- bathe- thy- then- that- these- withŚ there-
talkŚ bootyŚ tightŚ toeŚ rootŚ talksŚ tongue- tinŚ tapŚ sitŚ Toby-
diedŚ dealŚ divesŚ deathŚ rudeŚ doeŚ doorŚ dan- diedŚ badŚ dear-
knockŚ known- knifeŚ naveŚ baneŚ knock- hapŚ nightŚ nameŚ IanŚ near-
peaceŚ sockŚ sockŚ baseŚ Ś sockŚ soreŚ cityŚ sameŚ sisŚ sitŚ
peas rock slock beige rock your kitty game sing hit
zestŚ zoneŚ ruseŚ sestŚ zooŚ zincŚ easelŚ hasŚ zeroŚ
lest shown rouge rest you kink eagle hang hero
lookŚ ruleŚ liceŚ lessŚ lickŚ lameŚ silkŚ lateŚ
shook rouge rice yes kick game sink bate
rucheŚ shockŚ shellŚ shinŚ shame- wishŚ she-
rougeŚ Ś beigeŚ Ś Ś Ś
rackŚ ridŚ ragŚ Ś roof-
yapŚ yesŚ Ś
coatŚ sockŚ calf-
tively relevant features, the opposition is double, e.g. /p/ and /d/ differ along the following lines:
voiceless fortis voiced lenis labial, bilabial | lingual, forelingual, apical, alveolar
This opposition is really phonemic. It can be proved by the minimal pairs: pie Ś die, pail Ś dale, pry Ś dry. The opposition /b/ Ś 1█
is multiple because these phonemes differ along the following linesi
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 Ś he, bit Ś hit, bait Ś 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 analyşsis. 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 Ś theory of distincştive features.
It was originated by N. S. Trubetskoy and developed by such foşreign scientists as R, Jackobson, C. G. Fant, M. Halle, N. Chomsky, P. Ladefoged, H. Kucbra, G. K. Monroe and many Soviet phonoloşgists, 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 disştinctive theory is the criterion of frequency and the direction of markedness.
There are different opinions on the nature of the phoneme and its
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 moveşments and their auditory counterparts and blended into "kinakeme" to designate the bilateral psychophonic unit He states that experimenştal investigations demonstrate the impossibility of accepting the phoşneme as the basic unit in the production and perception of oral speech. Speech production and perception are cerebral activities first and foreşmost, 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 acceptşance of the kinakeme makes the notion of distinctive phonemic feaştures redundant in phonemic theory because the kinakeme covers pracştically 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) occluşsion, b) constriction, (2) Phonal: a) sonority, b) discordance.
Consonantal modal kinakemes determine the mode of obstrucştion and the acoustic type of sound-tone or noise, their vocalic kinaşkemes 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 phoşnological 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
III. N. S. Trubetzkoy (1890-1938), L. vBloomfield (1887-1949),
1 Plotkin V. Ya. Systems of Ultimate Phonological Units // Phonetica, 1976.Ś P. 82.
IV. The physical view on the phoneme was originated by D. Jones
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
VI. L. V. Shcherba (1880-1944) was the first to define the phoneme
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 alloşphones 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
jugŚbug ledŚlaid layŚHe
judgeŚbudge menŚmain sayŚsigh
keenŚcoin tryŚTroy baysŚbuys liedŚLloyd
burnŚbone forkŚfolk fawnŚphone furŚfoe girlŚgoal
readŚreared leadŚleered dayŚdeer paysŚpeers paceŚpierce
lawŚlow sawŚso gnawŚno pauseŚpose
pearlŚpole pursedŚpost curtŚcoat perchŚpoach cursedŚcoast
redŚrared veryŚvary bedŚbared pierŚpair dearieŚdairy
roarsŚrose awedŚode calledŚcold tornŚtone
barredŚbowed KarlŚcowl partŚpout artŚout noŚnow
doŚdoer pearŚpoor myŚmire writeŚriot boweredŚb 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-
lessŚleak dollŚgirl letŚlist coalŚtwelve
4. Read these words. Pay attention to the pronunciation of the de voiced alloşphones of the /1, w, r/ phonemes after /p, t, k/.
plightŚblight classŚglass cladŚglad cleanŚglean clueŚglue
5. Read these words. Mind the distributional character of the /h/ phoneme.
|he, hit, help, happy, half, hop, horn, hut, hook, who, her, habitşual, hay, high, how, hoist, hoe, hear, hare, houri
6. Read these words. Pay attention to the complementary nature of soft and
/p/ pea Śpaw /b/ bee Śbark /t/ tea Śtalk /d/ deepŚdope
/k/ key Ścar /g/ geese Śgoose /t(7 cheeseŚchosej /dg/ jet Śjar
┘ far Śfee /v/ veel Śvote /9/ themeŚthumb /5/ thee Śthose;
/z/ zealŚzone /j/ yesŚyoung /Jf/ sheŚshoe /w/ weŚwet /m/ meŚmet /n/ kneeŚnet
/´/ ´ţŰ /´7 ´Şŕ /ß/ ßÓŕ /67 ß šŘ /˛/ ˛ţŕ /˛7 ˛Şŕ
1 Gimson └, Đ,
/ý/ ýÓŕ /ý7 ý ˛Ř /Ý/ Ýţ˝ /Ý7 ÝŞ˝ /Ű/ ŰÓń /Ű7 ŰŞń
/ń/ ńÓ /˘1/ ďŞŕŰÓ /Š/ ŠÓ /Ŕ/ /ń1/ ń ń /Ô/ Ôţš /Š'/ ŠŠŞ¨Ř // Óń] /ŕ/ ŕÓŕ /Ô7 ÔŞš /§/ §ţŰý /7 ń
1. Give examples to prove that the following features of the English consoşnants and vowels are distinctive,
oralityŚnasality 'plosivenessŚconstrictiveness labial-
voicelessnessŚvoicedness ' ity
*2. Give examples of combinatory allophones of the /r/ phoneme.
*3. What positional aflophones occur as a result of palatalization in the Rusşsian 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
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
ENGLISH CONSONANTS AS UNITS OF THE PHONOLOGICAL SYSTEM
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 Ś 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 Ś Ben are irrelevant. If there are more than one distinctive feature in a pair, it is called sub-minşimal. For example, the pair treasure Ś pressure is sub-minimal beşcause the opposition is due to: (1) the presence and absence of voice in the /g Ś J/ phonemes, (2) forelingual articulation of the /t/ phoşneme and bilabial articulation of the /p/ phoneme. All the other fea-
1 "Minimal pairs are useful, when found, but not necessarily to be expectşed, and not essential to the work of analysis." 'ßteason H, A. Op. cit.Ś 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 consoşnants /˝, š/ in the Russian ţ˝ Ś ţš is a 'genuinely incidental or redundant feature, whereas the forelingual articulation of /t/ and the bilabial articulation of /p/ are relevant differentiatory features. Palşatalization is phonemically irrelevant, incidental in English and relşevant in Russian, etc.
The phonological analysis of the system of English consonant phoşnemes 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 opposiştions in the system of consonants of the English language.
I. Work of the Vocal Cords and the Force of Exhalation
VoicelessŚfort is vst voicedŚlenis
/pŚb/ penŚBen /tŚd/ tenŚden /kŚg/ coatŚgoat
Voiceless Ś voiced opposition is simultaneously based on for-tis Ś lenis distinction. It is not so in the Russian language where the voiceless Ś 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, ˛, ŕ, ß, ń, Ń/, we may state that: in the initial position the English /b, d, g/ are weakly voiced, the Russian /ß, ń, Ń/ are fully voiced:
book Ś ßˇŕ goose Ś Ńˇ˝Ř deem Ś ─ŔýÓ
In English /p, t, k/ in the initial position are aspirated fort is, in Russian /´, ˛, ŕ/ are unaspirated, therefore in English the /p Ś b, t Ś d, k Ś g/ oppositions are based on breath-force distinction, whereşas in Russian, the pairs /n Ś ß, ˛ Ś ń, ŕ Ś Ń/ differ due to voice Ś absence of voice distinction (but not in the final position).
(pleadŚbleed tip Śdip comeŚgum peachŚbeach tea ŚDee cot Śgot pat Śbat tearŚdear caneŚgain
1 /a/ is a "facultative phoneme". Some authors prove its phonemic status
´ţÚŚßţÚ ˛ÓŰŚńÓŰ ŕţ˛ŚŃţń ´ňÚŚßňÚ ˛ţŰŚńţŰ ŕŔ˛ŚŃŔń
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 Ś cane bun Ś ton fame Ś 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 linşgual forelingual apical /t/.
(2) Lingual vs. pharyngat (glottal)
Tim Ś him this Ś hiss foam Ś home care Ś 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 pharşyngal /h/; the lingual backlingual velar Ikl is opposed to the pharşyngal /h/.
Within the group of labial, bilabial may be opposed to labioşdental.
wear Ś fair mice Ś 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 cacumişnal.
dim Ś 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 Ś young jet Ś 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 meşdiolingual (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
pineŚfine BernŚfern dare Śshare bat Śthat boreŚthaw bee Ś thee careŚthere mineŚt hine ca meŚlame
In these pairs the occlusive /p, b, d, k, ml are opposed to the conşstrictive /f, J1, S, 9, 1/. (2) Constrictive vs. occlusive-constrictive (affricates)
fare Ś chair fail Ś jail work Ś 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
pineŚmine boat Ś moat taleŚnail deadŚneed kickŚking
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 Ś lame vain Ś lane then Ś when
In these pairs the constrictive noise consonants /s, v, ö/ are opşposed to the constrictive sonor ants /1, w/.
Unicentral constrictive consonants may be opposed to bicentral consrictive consonants.
(c) constrictive unicentral vs. constrictive bicentral
same Ś shame thine Ś wine
In these pairs the constrictive unicentral /s, 5/ are opposed to the constrictive bicentral Í, w/.
Constrictive consonants with a flat narrowing can be opposed to constrictive consonants with a round narrowing.
(d) flat narrowing vs. round narrowing
fame Ś same vat Ś sat
In these pairs the constrictive consonants with a flat narrowing /f, v/ are opposed to the constrictive consonants with a round narrowşing /si.
In all these oppositions only examples with the initially opposed consonant phonemes are given. It does not mean that the pairs of meşdially and finally opposed consonants, that prove their phonemic staştus, may not be found.
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