Branches of phonology/definition/basic concepts/Phoneme analysis


It is known as phonology to linguistic science that studies the sound of the voice. Phonology and its branches

Specifically, it is a science that deals with phonemes in relation to their language.

Sounds that serve a differentiating function are considered phonemesPhonemes are represented between two slashes: //. In Spanish there are 24 phonemes: 5 vowels and 19 consonants.

There are two criteria for vowel phonemes: the place of articulation and the mode of articulation. Due to the place of articulation, vowel phonemes are classified into previous vowels “/ i /, / e /”, central “/ a /” and later “/ o /, / u /”. By way of articulation, vowel phonemes are classified into closed vowels “/ i /, / u /”, middle “/ e /, / o /” and open / a / “.

Consonant phonemes are classified taking into account the action of the soft palate (oral and nasal), the action of the vocal cords (voiced and deaf), the mode of articulation (stops, fricatives, affricates), and the place of articulation ( bilabial, labiodental, dental, interdental, alveolar, palatal and velar).

The phoneme, sound model, is represented in writing by letters. There is no exact correspondence between phonemes and letters, since different letters can represent a minimum phoneme. Due to these mismatches, the number of phonemes and the number of letters is very similar but not identical. Phonology and its branches

In relation to the above, minimal pairs are those words that mean different things but only differ in one sound. For example: the phoneme is what allows us to distinguish the words “step and case”, just by exchanging the phoneme / p / for the phoneme / k /.

In 1886, the International Association of Phonetics, created an International Phonetic Alphabet, in which they represented graphic symbols that allow describing the pronunciation of any human language.

Etymologically , the word phonology is of Greek origin “phonos ” which means “sound”; “Logos” that expresses “study”, and the suffix “ -ia” that is synonymous with “quality or action”.

Main Branches Phonology and its branches

1-Diachronic phonology

Diachronic phonology studies the functional and structural changes and substitutions of the phonic elements of a language throughout history.

This branch of phonology was postulated at the linguists congress in The Hague, in 1928, by Jakobson, Karcervsky and Trubetzkoy.

2-Synchronous phonology

Synchronic phonology is responsible for investigating the phonological system of a language at a given time. Phonology and its branches

3-Generative phonology

Generative phonology has the function of representing the phonemic of the morphemes of the language, and proposing a set of rules that identify the phonetic form of a language.

4-Phonology and phonetics Phonology and its branches

Phonetics and phonology are two related sciences, the first deals with the study of sounds in speech, and the second studies sounds at the level of language.

Basic concepts of Phonology

If someone wants to have a grasp on Phonology, he must have to understand the fundamental concepts of phonology otherwise it will be fruitless activity.

1- Phonetics

The phonetic is the study of physical sounds human speech It is the branch of linguistics that studies the production and perception of sounds of a specific language , with respect to its physical manifestations . Their main branches are experimental phonetics, articulatory phonetics, phonetics and phonetics acoustics.

2- Phonology

The phonology is a subfield of linguistics. While phonetics studies the acoustic and physiological nature of sounds or allophones, phonology describes the way in that sounds work (in a language or in general language) on an abstract level or mental. Phonology and its branches

3-Phoneme Phonology and its branches

Phoneme is the smallest unit of language. We can define it as each of sounds that within a language have distinctive value; that is, it has the capacity to distinguish between two words one

Actually, phonemes are not true sounds. Sounds are material realities (who studies phonetics). The phonemes are ABSTRACTIONS, that is they are the image Mental ideal that every speaker has of the fundamental sounds of their language. They are called minimum to those words that mean different things but only differ from each other in a sound. For example, “house” and “rate”.

4- Allophone

In phonetics, each of the phones or sounds that in a given language are called allophone recognize as variants of a certain phoneme, without variations between them have distinctive value. Each allophone corresponds to a certain acoustic form (it they pronounce slightly differently), but in the rules of the language they are considered as having the same value. Normally, these variations of the same phoneme are produced by the action of surrounding sounds. A typical example of allophone in Spanish is the one that exists among the two pronunciations of / d / in the word “given.” If you look to pronounce naturally this word, the second “d” sounds a little softer, the air does not blow out, but little too little (frication is its technical name). In this way, we distinguish an occlusive allophone [d] of the fricative allophone [δ], but both are the same phoneme / d /.

Another clear case of allophone is the different embodiments of / n / in the following cases:

– The / n / of ” cream” is pronounced with the tongue in the alveoli.

– The / n / ” before” is pronounced with the tongue at the base of the teeth.

– The / n / ” dance” is pronounced with the tongue between the teeth.

– The / n / ” wide” is pronounced with the tongue on the palate.

– The / n / of ” anca” is pronounced with the tongue in the veil of the palate.

5-Distinctive (or relevant) features Phonology and its branches

We have said that phonemes are the minimum units of the language, and this is true in the sense that they cannot break down into smaller units that are recognizable by ear. But, with electroacoustic techniques, as the spectrogram, you can check that in the production of each sound involved different factors and it Produces in different phases. Each of those factors and phases provide their own characteristics that allow us to differentiate a phoneme of another. Phonology and its branches

Distinctive feature is, therefore, each of the characteristics minimums that allow us to differentiate one phoneme from another. Every Phoneme is defined by a beam of distinctive features, for example:

– / p /: consonant, occlusive, bilabial, deaf

– / b /: consonant, occlusive, bilabial, sonic

Later, we will study the different distinctive features that

They intervene in the production of Spanish phonemes.

6-Suprasegmental elements

The linguistic message, as we said when defining the linguistic sign, is linear. That is, their elements (phonemes) are produced one by one, as links in a chain. However, there are certain elements that overlap the linear segments (phonemes, words, sentences …) and that contribute to the correct interpretation of message. We call, then, suprasegmental elements to those sound characteristics that are superimpose the linear segments of the sounds and contribute to the correct expression and interpretation of the message The list of suprasegmental elements could be very wide, but we will focus on the three fundamentals, because they have the greatest influence on meaning: accent , pauses and intonation. Phonology and its branches

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