Linguistics : Phonetics and Phonology

Baca Juga

Phonetics - The sounds of language
Phonology - The function and patterning the sound
(Dobrovolsyk & Katamba, O’Grady,et.all ,1997)

Phonetics is the study of the sounds of human language and the inventory and structure of sounds of language. Human languages display a wide variety of sounds called phone, or speech sounds. The class of possible speech sounds is also universal.

The are two ways approaching phonetics; articulatory phonetics (the approach study of physiological mechanisms of speech production) and acoustic phonetics (deals with speech sounds in terms of how we hear them).

The study of speech sounds can involve either segments or suprasegments. The analysis of speech segments are focus on the individual sounds in a given word. To describe these sounds, linguists use a set of symbols from the phonetic alphabet where each symbol corresponds to one sound.

The best-known system is IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) that has been developing since 1888. These symbols are enclosed in brackets [ ] to indicate that the transcription is phonetic and does not represent the spelling system of a particular language.

A phonetic alphabet is necessary because in the English alphabet, for instance, a single symbol can represent more than one sound. E.g., the pronunciation of orthoghrapic [α] in hαt is different from its pronunciation in tαlk.

The study of suprasegmentals moves the analysis beyond the individual speech sounds to syllables within a given word or to intonational pattern across words, phrases, and clauses. Thus, suprasegments are related to stress and intonation.

The sound producing system consists of an air supply (lungs), a sound source (in larynx;vocal cords within the larynx), and a set of filters (pharynx cavity, oral cavity and nasal cavity). Sound classes are vowels, consonants, and glide.
Consonants articulation involves, tongue, voicing, place of articulation, and manner of articulation. Vowels articulation involves tongue and lip position.

The component of grammar made up of the elements and principles that determine how sound pattern in a language. Phonology deals with sequential and phonetically conditioned patterning of sounds in language. To account from this patterning, three unit of phonological representation have been established :
  • the feature,
  • the phoneme, and
  • syllable.
Features will be used to describe classes of sound. The feature of English consists of major class features, laryngeal features, place features, dorsal features, and manner features. (Completely, see O’grady, page 99-101)

Phoneme are distinctive speech sounds that can create meaningful differences in words. Phonetically conditioned variants of phonemes are called allophones. One way to determine whether a speech sound is distinctive is to examine minimal pairs. Minimal pairs are words that differ by only single phoneme in the same position in a word.

A syllable is the basic unit in which segments are grouped. A syllable is a unit of linguistic structure that consists of a syllabic element and any segments that are associated with it. The syllabic elements consist of onset (the elements precede the nucleus in the same syllable), nucleus (the core of a syllable) and coda (the elements that follow the nucleus in the same syllable).

Further reading :
Dobrovolsky & Katamba. Phonetics and Phonology. O’grady, et. all. (Editor). Contemporary Linguistics, An Introduction. 1997. Longman:London & New York
Meyer, Michael. 2009. Introducing English Linguistics. Cambridge University Press: New York