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By Francis Katamba

This e-book is an creation to phonological concept put in the framework of contemporary mainstream generative phonology. The e-book is split into major elements. the 1st introduces readers to simple innovations of articulatory phonetics, classical phonemics and traditional generative phonology. the second one half is dedicated to phonological conception. the character and business enterprise of phonological representations in nonlinear generative phonology can also be explored.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Phonology (Learning About Language)

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Recall from Chapter 1 that [h] is a voiceless glottal fricative and [rj] a voiced velar nasal. There is an alternative approach to the phoneme which highlights the linguistic function of phonemes in DISTINGUISHING (or CONTRASTING) word meaning rather than their physical phonetic characteristics. The key notion in this approach is CONTRAST or DISTINCTIVENESS. On this view, the phoneme is a minimal sound unit which is capable of contrasting word meaning. As we noted above, although in reality there is an infinite amount of variation in the sounds produced by speakers of a given language, not all these phonetic differences are pertinent.

There exists a very rich literature on the phoneme. Key works include Bloomfield (1926, 1933), Sapir (1925, 1933), Jones (1931), Bloch (1941), Pike (1947), Hockett (x955) and Trubetzkoy (1939). Standard textbooks like Hyman (1975: 59-98) and Sommerstein (1977: 16-53) also contain good introduction to the literature. To those who want a more detailed account of the development of phoneme theory (and phonological theory in general), I recommend Fischer-J0rgensen (1975) and Anderson (1985). 2. This view is held by those who regard the phoneme as a psychological entity.

Admittedly, there are bound to be occasional differences of opinion between phonologists as to what constitutes adequate similarity to justify labelling environments as 'analogous'. Phonological analysis is not an exact science. Here, I shall avoid getting bogged d o w n in controversies and simply illustrate the principle of contrast in analogous environments with an example from E w e , a Ghanaian language. We can regard /f/ and / v / as separate phonemes in Ewe because they contrast in analogous environments in words like [evlo] 'he is evil' and [efle] 'he split off ([e] symbolises a nasalised [e] vowel).

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