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《英语语言学概论》重、难点问与答.doc

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《英语语言学概论》重、难点问与答.doc

1英语语言学概论重、难点问与答QuestionsAnswersonKeyPointsofLinguistics1.1.WhatislanguageLanguageissystemofarbitraryvocalsymbolsusedforhumancommunication.Itisasystem,sincelinguisticelementsarearrangedsystematically,ratherthanrandomly.Arbitrary,inthesensethatthereisusuallynointrinsicconnectionbetweenaworklikebookandtheobjectitrefersto.ThisexplainsandisexplainedbythefactthatdifferentlanguageshavedifferentbooksbookinEnglish,livreinFrench,inJapanese,inChinese,checkinKorean.Itissymbolic,becausewordsareassociatedwithobjects,actions,ideasetc.bynothingbutconvention.Namely,peopleusethesoundsorvocalformstosymbolizewhattheywishtoreferto.Itisvocal,becausesoundorspeechistheprimarymediumforallhumanlanguages,developedornew.Writingsystemscamemuchlaterthanthespokenforms.Thefactthatsmallchildrenlearnandcanonlylearntospeakandlistenbeforetheywriteandreadalsoindicatesthatlanguageisprimarilyvocal,ratherthanwritten.Thetermhumaninthedefinitionismeanttospecifythatlanguageishumanspecific.1.2.WhataredesignfeaturesoflanguageDesignfeatureshererefertothedefiningpropertiesofhumanlanguagethattellthedifferencebetweenhumanlanguageandanysystemofanimalcommunication.Theyarearbitrariness,duality,productivity,displacement,culturaltransmissionandinterchangeability1.3.WhatisarbitrarinessByarbitrariness,wemeanthereisnologicalconnectionbetweenmeaningsandsoundsseeI.1.Adogmightbeapigifonlythefirstpersonorgroupofpersonshaduseditforapig.Languageisthereforelargelyarbitrary.Butlanguageisnotabsolutelyseemtobesomesoundmeaningassociation,ifwethinkofechowords,likebang,crash,roar,whicharemotivatedinacertainsense.Secondly,somecompoundswordscompoundedtobeonewordarenotentirelyarbitraryeither.Typeandwriteareopaqueorunmotivatedwords,whiletypewriterislessso,ormoretransparentormotivatedthanthewordsthatmakeit.Sowecansayarbitrarinessisamatterofdegree.1.4.WhatisdualityLinguistsreferdualityofstructuretothefactthatinalllanguagessofarinvestigated,onefindstwolevelsofstructureorpatterning.Atthefirst,higherlevel,languageisanalyzedintermsofcombinationsofmeaningfulunitssuchasmorphemes,wordsetc.atthesecond,lowerlevel,itisseenasasequenceofsegmentswhichlackanymeaninginthemselves,butwhichcombinetoformunitsofmeaning.AccordingtoHuZhanglinetal.p.6,languageisasystemoftwosetsofstructures,oneofsoundsandtheotherofmeaning.Thisisimportantfortheworkingsoflanguage.Asmallnumberofsemanticunitswords,andtheseunitsofmeaningcanbearrangedandrearrangedintoaninfinitenumberofsentencesnotethatwehavedictionariesofwords,butnodictionaryofsentences.Dualitymakesitpossibleforapersontotalkaboutanythingwithinhisknowledge.Noanimalcommunicationsystemenjoysthisduality,orevenapproachesthishonor.21.5.WhatisproductivityProductivityreferstotheabilitytotheabilitytoconstructandunderstandanindefinitelylargenumberofsentencesinonesnativelanguage,includingthosethathasneverheardbefore,butthatareappropriatetothespeakingsituation.NoonehaseversaidorheardAredeyedelephantisdancingonthesmallhotelbedwithanAfricangibbon,buthecansayitwhennecessary,andhecanunderstanditinrightregister.Differentfromartisticcreativity,though,productivitynevergoesoutsidethelanguage,thusalsocalledruleboundcreativitybyN.Chomsky.1.6.WhatisdisplacementDisplacement,asoneofthedesignfeaturesofthehumanlanguage,referstothefactthatonecantalkaboutthingsthatarenotpresent,aseasilyashedoesthingspresent.Inotherwords,onecanrefertorealandunrealthings,thingsofthepast,ofthepresent,ofthefuture.Languageitselfcanbetalkedabouttoo.Whenaman,forexample,iscryingtoawoman,aboutsomething,itmightbesomethingthathadoccurred,orsomethingthatisoccurring,orsomethingthatistooccur.Whenadogisbarking,however,youcandecideitisbarkingforsomethingoratsomeonethatexistsnowandthere.Itcouldntbebowwowingsorrowfullyfordomelostloveorabonetobelost.Thebeessystem,nonetheless,hasasmallshareofdisplacement,butitisanunspeakabletinyshare.1.7.WhatisculturaltransmissionThismeansthatlanguageisnotbiologicallytransmittedfromgenerationtogeneration,butthatthedetailsofthelinguisticsystemmustbelearnedanewbyeachspeaker.ItistruethatthecapacityforlanguageinhumanbeingsN.Chomskycalleditlanguageacquisitiondevice,orLADhasageneticbasis,buttheparticularlanguageapersonlearnstospeakisaculturaloneotherthanageneticonelikethedogsbarkingsystem.Ifahumanbeingisbroughtupinisolationhecannotacquirelanguage.TheWolfChildrearedbythepackofwolvesturnedouttospeakthewolfsroaringtonguewhenhewassaved.Helearnedthereafter,withnosmalldifficulty,theABCofacertainhumanlanguage.1.8.Whatisinterchangeability1Interchangeabilitymeansthatanyhumanbeingcanbebothaproducerandareceiverofmessages.Wecansay,andonotheroccasionscanreceiveandunderstand,forexample,Pleasedosomethingtomakemehappy.Thoughsomepeopleincludingmesuggestthatthereissexdifferentiationintheactuallanguageuse,inotherwords,menandwomenmaysaydifferentthings,yetinprinciplethereisnosound,orwordorsentencethatamancanutterandawomancannot,orviceversa.Ontheotherhand,apersoncanbethespeakerwhiletheotherpersonisthelistenerandastheturnmovesontothelistener,hecanbethespeakerandthefirstspeakeristolisten.Itisturntakingthatmakessocialcommunicationpossibleandacceptable.2Somemalebirds,however,uttersomecalls,whichfemalesdonotorcannot,andcertainkindsoffishhavesimilarhapsmentionable.Whenadogbarks,alltheneighboringdogsbark.Thenpeoplearoundcanhardlytellwhichdogdogsisare0speakingandwhichlistening.1.9.WhydolinguistssaylanguageishumanspecificFirstofall,humanlanguagehassixdesignfeatureswhichanimalcommunicationsystemsdo3nothave,atleastnotinthetruesenseofthemseeI.28.LetsborrowC.F.HocketsChartthatcompareshumanlanguagewithsomeanimalssystems,fromWangGang1998,p.8.Secondly,linguistshavedonealottryingtoteachanimalssuchaschimpanzeestospeakahumanlanguagebuthaveachievednothinginspiring.BeatniceandAlanGardnerbroughtupWashoe,afemalechimpanzee,likeahumanchild.ShewastaughtAmericansignLanguage,andlearnedalittlethatmadetheteachershappybutdidmotmakethelinguisticscirclehappy,forfewbelievedinteachingchimpanzees.Thirdly,ahumanchildrearedamonganimalscannotspeakahumanlanguage,notevenwhenheistakenbackandtaughttolotososeetheWolfChildinI.71.10.WhatfunctionsdoeslanguagehaveLanguagehasatleastsevenfunctionsphatic,directive,Informative,interrogative,expressive,evocativeandperformative.AccordingtoWangGang1988,p.11,languagehasthreemainfunctionsatoolofcommunication,atoolwherebypeoplelearnabouttheworld,andatoolbywhichpeoplelearnabouttheworld,andatoolbywhichpeoplecreateart.M.A.K.Halliday,representativeoftheLondonschool,recognizesthreeMacroFunctionsideational,interpersonalandtextualsee1117seeHUZhuanglinetal.,pp1013,pp394396.1.11WhatisthephaticfunctionThephaticfunctionreferstolanguagebeingusedforsettingupacertainatmosphereormaintainingsocialcontactsratherthanforexchanginginformationorideas.Greetings,farewells,andcommentsontheweatherinEnglishandonclothinginChineseallservethisfunction.Muchofthephaticlanguagee.g.HowareyouFine,thanks.Isinsincereiftakenliterally,butitisimportant.IfyoudontsayHellotoafriendyoumeet,orifyoudontanswerhisHi,youruinyourfriendship.1.12.WhatisthedirectivefunctionThedirectivefunctionmeansthatlanguagemaybeusedtogetthehearertodosomething.Mostimperativesentencesperformthisfunction,e.g.,Tellmetheresultwhenyoufinish.Othersyntacticstructuresorsentencesofothersortscan,accordingtoJ.AustinandJ.SearlesindirectspeechacttheoryseeHuZhuanglinetal.,pp271278atleast,servethepurposeofdirectiontoo,e.g.,IfIwereyou,Iwouldhaveblushedtothebottomofmyears1.13.WhatistheinformativefunctionLanguageservesaninformationalfunctionwhenusedtotellsomething,characterizedbytheuseofdeclarativesentences.Informativestatementsareoftenlabeledastruetruthorfalsefalsehood.AccordingtoP.GricesCooperativePrincipleseeHuZhuanglinetal.,pp282283,oneoughtnottoviolatetheMaximofQuality,whenheisinformingatall.1.14.WhatistheinterrogativefunctionWhenlanguageisusedtoobtaininformation,itservesaninterrogativefunction.Thisincludesallquestionsthatexpectreplies,statements,imperativesetc.,accordingtotheindirectspeechacttheory,mayhavethisfunctionaswell,e.g.,Idliketoknowyoubetter.Thismaybringfortha4lotofpersonalinformation.Notethatrhetoricalquestionsmakeanexception,sincetheydemandnoanswer,atleastnotthereaders/listenersanswer.1.15.WhatistheexpressivefunctionTheexpressivefunctionistheuseoflanguagetorevealsomethingaboutthefeelingsorattitudesofthespeaker.Subconsciousemotionalejaculationsaregoodexamples,likeGoodheavensMyGodSentenceslikeImsorryaboutthedelaycanserveasgoodexamplestoo,thoughinasubtleway.Whilelanguageisusedfortheinformativefunctiontopassjudgmentonthetruthorfalsehoodofstatements,languageusedfortheexpressivefunctionevaluates,appraisesorassertsthespeakersownattitudes.1.16.WhatistheevocativefunctionTheevocativefunctionistheuseoflanguagetocreatecertainfeelingsinthehearer.Itsaimis,forexample,toamuse,startle,antagonize,soothe,worryorplease.Jokesnotpracticaljokes,thougharesupposedtoamuseorentertainthelisteneradvertisingtourgecustomerstopurchasecertaincommoditiespropagandatoinfluencepublicopinion.Obviously,theexpressiveandtheevocativefunctionsoftengotogether,i.e.,youmayexpress,forexample,yourpersonalfeelingsaboutapoliticalissuebutendupbyevokingthesamefeelingin,orimposingiton,yourlistener.Thatsalsothecasewiththeotherwayround.1.17.WhatistheperformativefunctionThismeanspeoplespeaktodothingsorperformactions.Oncertainoccasionstheutteranceitselfasanactionismoreimportantthanwhatwordsorsoundsconstitutetheutteredsentence.WhenaskedifathirdYangtzeBridgeoughttobebuiltinWuhan,themayormaysay,OK,whichmeansmorethanspeech,andmorethananaveragesocialindividualmaydofortheconstruction.Thejudgesimprisonmentsentence,thepresidentswarorindependencedeclaration,etc.,areperformativesaswellseeJ.AustinsspeechActTheory,HuZhuanglin,ecal.pp271278.1.18.WhatislinguisticsLinguisticsisthescientificstudyoflanguage.Itstudiesnotjustonelanguageofanyonesociety,butalsothelanguageofallhumanbeings.Alinguist,though,doesnothavetoknowandusealargenumberoflanguages,buttoinvestigatehoweachlanguageisconstructed.Heisalsoconcernedwithhowalanguagevariesfromdialecttodialect,fromclasstoclass,howitchangesfromcenturytocentury,howchildrenacquiretheirmothertongue,andperhapshowapersonlearnsorshouldlearnaforeignlanguage.Inshort,linguisticsstudiesthegeneralprincipleswhereuponallhumanlanguagesareconstructedandoperateassystemsofcommunicationintheirsocietiesorcommunitiesseeHuZhuanglinetal.,pp20221.19.WhatmakeslinguisticsascienceSincelinguisticsisthescientificstudyoflanguage,itoughttobaseitselfuponthesystematic,investigationoflanguagedata,whichaimsatdiscoveringthetruenatureoflanguageanditsunderlyingsystem.Tomakesenseofthedata,alinguistusuallyhasconceivedsomehypothesesaboutthelanguagestructure,tobecheckedagainsttheobservedorobservablefacts.Inordertomakehisanalysisscientific,alinguistisusuallyguidedbyfourprinciplesexhaustiveness,5consistency,andobjectivity.Exhaustivenessmeansheshouldgatherallthematerialsrelevanttothestudyandgivethemanadequateexplanation,inspiteofthecomplicatedness.Heistoleavenolinguisticstoneunturned.Consistencymeansthereshouldbenocontradictionbetweendifferentpartsofthetotalstatement.Economymeansalinguistshouldpursuebrevityintheanalysiswhenitispossible.Objectivityimpliesthatsincesomepeoplemaybesubjectiveinthestudy,alinguistshouldbeorsoundatleastobjective,matterofface,faithfultoreality,sothathisworkconstitutespartofthelinguisticsresearch.1.20.WhatarethemajorbranchesoflinguisticsThestudyoflanguageasawholeisoftencalledgenerallinguisticse.g.HuZhuanglinetal.,1988WangGang,1988.Butalinguistsometimesisabletodealwithonlyoneaspectoflanguageatatime,thustheariseofvariousbranchesphonetics,phonology,morphology,syntax,semantics,sociolinguistics,appliedlinguistics,pragmatics,psycholinguistics,lexicology,lexicography,etymology,etc.1.21.WhataresynchronicanddiachronicstudiesThedescriptionofalanguageatsomepointoftimeasifitstoppeddevelopingisasynchronystudysynchrony.Thedescriptionofalanguageasitchangesthroughtimeisadiachronicstudydiachronic.AnessayentitledOntheUseofTHE,forexample,maybesynchronic,iftheauthordoesnotrecallthepastofTHE,anditmayalsobediachronicifheclaimstocoveralargerangeorperiodoftimewhereinTHEhasundergonetremendousalterationseeHuZhuanglinetal.,pp2527.1.22.Whatisspeechandwhatiswriting1Nooneneedstherepetitionofthegeneralprincipleoflinguisticanalysis,namely,theprimacyofspeechoverwriting.Speechisprimarybecauseitexistedlonglongbeforewritingsystemscameintobeing.Geneticallychildrenlearntospeakbeforelearningtowrite.Secondly,writtenformsjustrepresentinthiswayorthatthespeechsoundsindividualsounds,asinEnglishandFrenchasinJapanese.2Incontrasttospeech,spokenformoflanguage,writingaswrittencodes,giveslanguagenewscopeandusethatspeechdoesnothave.Firstly,messagescanbecarriedthroughspacesothatpeoplecanwritetoeachother.Secondly,messagescanbecarriedthroughtimethereby,sothatpeopleofourtimecanbecarriedthroughtimethereby,sothatpeopleofourtimecanreadBeowulf,SamuelJohnson,andEdgarA.Poe.Thirdly,oralmessagesarereadilysubjecttodistortion,eitherintentionalorunintentionalcausingmisunderstandingormalentendu,whilewrittenmessagesallowandencouragerepeatedunalterablereading.3Mostmodernlinguisticanalysisisfocusedonspeech,differentfromgrammariansofthelastcenturyandtheretofore.1.23.WhatarethedifferencesbetweenthedescriptiveandtheprescriptiveapproachesAlinguisticstudyisdescriptiveifitonlydescribesandanalysesthefactsoflanguage,andprescriptiveifittriestolaydownrulesforcorrectlanguagebehavior.Linguisticstudiesbeforethiscenturywerelargelyprescriptivebecausemanyearlygrammarswerelargelyprescriptivebecausemanyearlygrammarswerebasedonhighliteraryorreligiouswritten6records.Modernlinguisticsismostlydescriptive,however.Itthelatterbelievesthatwhateveroccursinnaturalspeechhesitation,incompleteutterance,misunderstanding,etc.shouldbedescribedintheanalysis,andnotbemarkedasincorrect,abnormal,corrupt,orlousy.These,withchangesinvocabularyandstructures,needtobeexplainedalso.1.24.WhatisthedifferencebetweenlangueandparoleF.DeSaussurereferslanguetotheabstractlinguisticsystemsharedbyallthemembersofaspeechcommunityandrefersparoletotheactualoractualizedlanguage,ortherealizationoflangue.Langueisabstract,parolespecifictothespeakingsituationlanguenotactuallyspokenbyanindividual,parolealwaysanaturallyoccurringeventlanguerelativelystableandsystematic,paroleisamassofconfusedfacts,thusnotsuitableforsystematicinvestigation.Whatalinguistoughttodo,accordingtoSaussure,istoabstractlanguefrominstancesofparole,I.e.todiscovertheregularitiesgoverningallinstancesofparoleandmakethanthesubjectoflinguistics.Thelangueparoledistinctionisofgreatimportance,whichcastsgreatinfluenceonlaterlinguists.1.25.Whatisthedifferencebetweencompetenceandperformance1AccordingtoN.Chomsky,competenceistheideallanguageusersknowledgeoftherulesofhislanguage,andperformanceistheactualrealizationofthisknowledgeinutterances.Theformerenablesaspeakertoproduceandunderstandanindefinitenumberofsentencesandtorecognizegrammaticalmistakesandambiguities.Aspeakerscompetenceisstablewhilehisperformanceisofteninfluencedbypsychologicalandsocialfactors.Soaspeakersperformancedoesnotalwaysmatchorequalhissupposedcompetence.2Chomskybelievesthatlinguistsoughttostudycompetence,ratherthanperformance.Inotherwords,theyshoulddiscoverwhatanidealspeakerknowsofhisnativelanguage.3Chomskyscompetenceperformancedistinctionisnotexactlythesameas,thoughsimilarto,F.deSaussureslangueparoledistinction.Langueisasocialproduct,andasetofconventionsforacommunity,whilecompetenceisdeemedasapropertyofthemindofeachindividual.SaussurelooksatlanguagemorefromasociologicalorsociolinguisticpointofviewthanN.Chomskysincethelatterdealswithhisissuespsychologicallyorpsycholinguistically.1.26.WhatislinguisticpotentialWhatisactuallinguisticbehaviorM.A.K.Hallidaymadethesetwoterms,orthepotentialbehaviordistinction,inthe1960s,fromafunctionalpointofview.Thereisawiderangeofthingsaspeakercandoinhisculture,andsimilarlytherearemanythingshecansay,forexample,tomanypeople,onmanytopics.Whatheactuallysaysi.e.hisactuallinguisticbehavioronacertainoccasiontoacertainpersoniswhathehaschosenfrommanypossibleinjusticeitems,eachofwhichhecouldhavesaidlinguisticpotential.1.27.Inwhatwaydolanguage,competenceandlinguisticpotentialagreeInwhatwaydotheydifferAndtheircounterpartsLangue,competenceandlinguisticpotentialhavesomesimilarfeatures,buttheyareinnatelydifferentsee1.25.Langueisasocialproduct,andasetofspeakingconventionscompetenceisapropertyorattributeofeachidealspeakersmindlinguisticpotentialisallthelinguisticcorpusorrepertoireavailablefromwhichthespeakerchoosesitemsfortheactualutterancesituation.In7otherwords,langueisinvisiblebutreliableabstractsystem.Competencemeansknowing,andlinguisticpotentialasetofpossibilitiesfordoingorperformingactions.TheyaresimilarinthattheyallrefertotheconstantunderlyingtheutterancesthatconstitutewhatSaussure,ChomskyandHallidayrespectivelycalledparole,performanceandactuallinguisticbehavior.Parole,performanceandactuallinguisticbehaviorenjoymoresimilaritiesthandifferences.1.28.WhatisphoneticsPhoneticsisthesciencewhichstudiesthecharacteristicsofhumansoundmaking,especiallythosesoundsusedinspeech,andprovidesmethodsfortheirdescription,classificationandtranscriptionseeHuZhuanglinetal.,pp3940,speechsoundsmaybestudiedindifferentways,thusbythreedifferentbranchesofphonetics.1Articulatoryphoneticsthebranchofphoneticsthatexaminesthewayinwhichaspeechsoundisproducedtodiscoverwhichvocalorgansareinvolvedandhowtheycoordinateintheprocess.2Auditoryphonetics,thebranchofphoneticresearchfromthehearerspointofview,lookingintotheimpressionwhichaspeechsoundmakesonthehearerasmediatedbytheear,theauditorynerveandthebrain.3Acousticphoneticsthestudyofthephysicalpropertiesofspeechsounds,astransmittedbetweenmouthandear.Mostphoneticians,however,areinterestedinarticulatorphonetics.1.29.HowarethevocalorgansformedThevocalorgansseeFigure1,HuZhuanglinetal.,p41,orspeechorgans,areorgansofthehumanbodywhosesecondaryuseisintheproductionofspeechsounds.Thevocalorganscanbeconsideredasconsistingofthreepartstheinitiatoroftheairstream,theproducerofvoiceandtheresonatingcavities.1.30.WhatisplaceofarticulationItreferstotheplaceinthemouthwhere,forexample,theobstructionoccurs,resultingintheutteranceofaconsonant.Whateversoundispronounced,atleastsomevocalorganswillgetinvolved.g.Lips,hardpalateetc.,soaconsonantmaybeoneofthefollowing1bilabialp,b,m2labiodentalf,v3dental,4alveolart,d,l,n.s,z5retroflex6palatalalveolar,7palatalj8velark,g,9uvular10glottalh.Somesoundsinvolvethesimultaneoususeoftwoplacesofarticulation.Forexample,theEnglishwhasbothanapproximationofthetwolipsandthosetwolipsandthatofthetongueandthesoftpalate,andmaybetermedlabialvelar.1.31.WhatisthemannerofarticulationThemannerofarticulationliterallymeansthewayasoundisarticulated.Atagivenplaceofarticulation,theairstreamsmaybeobstructedinvariousways,resultinginvariousmannersofarticulation,arethefollowing1plosivep,b,t,d,k,g2nasalm,n,3trill4taporflap5laterall6fricativef,v,s,z7approximantw,j8affricate.1.32.HowdophoneticiansclassifyvowelsPhoneticians,inspiteofthedifficulty,groupvowelsin5types1longandshortvowels,e.g.,i,4roundedandunroundedvowels,e.g.,i5pureandglidingvowels,e.g.I,.81.33.WhatisIPAWhendiditcomeintobeingTheIPA,abbreviationofInternationalPhoneticAlphabet,isacompromisesystemmakinguseofsymbolsofallsources,includingdiacriticsindicatinglength,stressandintonation,indicatingphoneticvariation.Eversinceitwasdevelopedin1888,IPAhasundergoneanumberofrevisions.1.34.WhatisnarrowtranscriptionandwhatisbroadtranscriptionInhandbookofphonetics,HenrySweetmadeadistinctionbetweennarrowandbroadtranscriptions,whichhecalledNarrowRomic.Theformerwasmeanttosymbolizeallthepossiblespeechsounds,includingeventhemostminuteshadesofpronunciationwhileBroadRomicortranscriptionwasintendedtoindicateonlythosesoundscapableofdistinguishingonewordfromanotherinagivenlanguage.1.35.WhatisphonologyWhatisdifferencebetweenphoneticsandphonology1Phonologyisthestudyofsoundsystemstheinventionofdistinctivespeechsoundsthatoccurinalanguageandthepatternswhereintheyfall.Minimalpair,phonemes,allophones,freevariation,complementarydistribution,etc.,arealltobeinvestigatedbyaphonologist.2Phonetics,asdiscussedinI.28,isthebranchoflinguisticsstudyingthecharacteristicsofspeechsoundsandprovidesmethodsfortheirdescription,classificationandtranscription.Aphoneticianismainlyinterestedinthephysicalpropertiesofthespeechsounds,whereasaphonologiststudieswhathebelievesaremeaningfulsoundsrelatedwiththeirsemanticfeatures,morphologicalfeatures,andthewaytheyareconceivedandprintedinthedepthofthemindphonologicalknowledgepermitsaspeakertoproducesoundswhichfrommeaningfulutterances,torecognizeaforeignaccent,tomakeupnewwords,toaddtheappropriatephoneticsegmentstofrompluralsandpasttenses,toknowwhatisandwhatisnotasoundinoneslanguage.1.36.WhatisaphoneWhatisaphonemeWhatisanallophone1Aphoneisaphoneticunitorsegment.Thespeechsoundswehearandproduceduringlinguisticcommunicationareallphones.Whenwehearthefollowingwordspronouncedpit,tip,spit,etc.,thesimilarphoneswehaveheardarepforonething,andthreedifferentps,readilymakingpossiblethenarrowtranscriptionordiacritics.Phonesmayandmaynotdistinguishmeaning.Aphonemeisaphonologicalunititisaunitthatisofdistinctivevalue.Asanabstractunit,aphonemeisnotanyparticularsound,butratheritisrepresentedorrealizedbyacertainphoneinacertainphoneticcontext.Forexample,thephonemepisrepresenteddifferentlyinpit,tipandspit.2Thephonesrepresentingaphonemearecalleditsallophones,i.e.,thedifferenti.e.,phonesbutdonotmakeonewordsophoneticallydifferentastocreateanewwordoranewmeaningthereof.Sothedifferentpsintheabovewordsaretheallophonesofthesamephonemep.Howaphonemeisrepresentedbyaphone,orwhichallophoneistobeused,isdeterminedbythephoneticcontextinwhichitoccurs.Butthechoiceofanallophoneisnotrandom.Inmostcasesitisrulegovernedtheserulesaretobefoundoutbyaphonologist.1.37.WhatareminimalpairsWhentwodifferentphoneticformsareidenticalineverywayexceptforonesoundsegmentwhichoccursinthesameplaceinthestring,thetwoformsi.e.,wordaresupposedtoformaminimal9pair,e.g.,pillandbill,pillandtill,tillanddill,tillandkill,etc.Allthesewordstogetherconstituteaminimalset.Theyareidenticalinformexceptfortheinitialconsonants.TherearemanyminimalpairsinEnglish,whichmakesitrelativelyeasytoknowwhatareEnglishphonemes.ItisofgreatimportancetofindtheminimalpairswhenaphonologistisdealingwiththesoundsystemofanunknownlanguageseeHuZhuanglinetal.,pp6566.1.38.WhatisfreevariationIftwosoundsoccurringinthesameenvironmentdonotcontrastnamely,ifthesubstitutionofonefortheotherdoesnotgenerateanewwordformbutmerelyadifferentpronunciationofthesameword,thetwosoundsthenaresaidtobeinfreevariation.Theplosives,forexample,maynotbeexplodedwhentheyoccurbeforeanotherplosiveoranasale.g.,act,apt,goodmorning.Theminutedistinctionsmay,ifnecessary,betranscribedindiacritics.Theseunexplodedandexplodedplosivesareinfreevariation.Soundsinfreevariationshouldbeassignedtothesamephoneme.1.39.WhatiscomplementarydistributionWhentwosoundsneveroccurinthesameenvironment,theyareincomplementarydistribution.Forexample,theaspiratedEnglishplosivesneveroccurafters,andtheunsaturatedonesneveroccurinitially.Soundsincomplementarydistributionmaybeassignedtothesamephoneme.Theallophonesofl,forexample,arealsoincomplementarydistribution.Theclearloccursonlybeforeavowel,thevoicelessequivalentofloccursonlyafteravoicelessconsonant,suchasinthewordsplease,butler,clear,etc.,andthedarkloccursonlyafteravowelorasasyllabicsoundafteraconsonant,suchasinthewordsfeel,help,middle,etc.1.40.WhatistheassimilationruleWhatisthedeletionrule1Theassimilationruleassimilatesonesegmenttoanotherbycopyingafeatureofasequentialphoneme,thusmakingthetwophonesmoresimilar.Thisruleaccountsfortheraringpronunciationofthenasalnthatoccurswithinaword.Theruleisthatwithinawordthenasalconsonantnassumesthesameplaceofarticulationasthefollowingconsonant.Thenegativeprefixinservesasagoodexample.Itmaybepronouncedasin,orimwhenoccurringindifferentphoneticcontextse.g.,indiscretealveolarinconceivablevelarinputimputbilabialThedeletionruletellsuswhenasoundistobedeletedalthoughisorthographicallyrepresented.Whilethelettergismuteinsign,designandparadigm,itispronouncedintheircorrespondingderivativessignature,designationandparadigmatic.Therulethencanbestatedasdeleteagwhenitoccursbeforeafinalnasalconsonant.ThisaccountsforsomeoftheseemingirregularitiesoftheEnglishspellingseeDaiWeidong,pp2223.1.41.WhatissuprasegmentalphonologyWhataresuprasegmentalfeaturesSuprasegmentalphonologyreferstothestudyofphonologicalpropertiesoflinguisticunitslargerthanthesegmentcalledphoneme,suchassyllable,wordandsentence.HuZhuanglinetal.,p,73includesstress,lengthandpitchaswhattheysupposetobeprincipalsuprasegmentalfeatures,callingtheconcurrentpatterningofthreeintonation.DaiWeidongpp2325liststhreealso,buttheyarestress,toneandintonation.

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