Language Grammar

Download An Introduction to English Phonology by April McMahon PDF

By April McMahon

ISBN-10: 0748612521

ISBN-13: 9780748612529

This can be a brief, energetic, and obtainable creation to the sounds of contemporary English. Its emphasis on version, with examples from British, American, New Zealand, and Singaporean English, make it appropriate for either local and non-native audio system. McMahon makes a speciality of the vowels and consonants, but in addition discusses syllables, rigidity, and the phonology of phrases and words. She introduces new instruments and terminology progressively, and discusses the inducement for key concepts.

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Extra info for An Introduction to English Phonology

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Note that it is common practice to exclude features which are not absolutely necessary to distinguish the sound or sounds referred to from others in the language: thus, although the input /k/ is strictly also [– nasal, – lateral, – delayed release, – strident], these redundant feature values need not be 02 pages 1-150 46 18/10/01 1:14 pm Page 46 AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH PHONOLOGY included, as /k/ is already uniquely identified from the features given. (11) – syllabic +consonantal – sonorant – voice – continuant – anterior – coronal → [+coronal] /____ front vowel Ideally, the explanation for the presence of a certain allophone in a certain context should be available in the rule itself.

Before a vowel or an alveolar consonant, like [s], the nasal is alveolar; before a bilabial consonant like [p], it is bilabial; before a labio-dental like [f ], it is labio-dental [ ]; before a dental, it is dental [n]; and before a velar, in this case [k], it is also velar. We can write these generalisations as a series of phonological rules, as in (9). These rules have the same format as the redundancy rules proposed above; but instead of stating generalisations about necessary 02 pages 1-150 44 18/10/01 1:14 pm Page 44 AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH PHONOLOGY combinations of features, or excluded combinations, they summarise processes which take place in the structure of a particular language, in a certain context.

We must try to identify what members of such groups have in common, and what makes certain phonemes work together. 2 Making generalisations In Chapter 2, several examples of allophonic variation were considered. In one case, we found that /k/ has two variant pronunciations, namely 36 02 pages 1-150 18/10/01 1:14 pm Page 37 DEFINING DISTRIBUTIONS 37 velar [k] in cupboard and palatal [c] in kitchen. Another involved /p/, /t/ and /k/, which have aspirated allophones, with a perceptible release of air, in pill, till and kill, but unaspirated allophones in spill, still and skill, or sip, sit and sick.

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