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The function of quantity and quality in the system of English vowels.
Most Russian phoneticians think that quality is decisive. But some of the British ones don’t. In Russian linguistics there is a principle that a feature can be systemic if it doesn’t depend on the context. Ex: [bit] – [bi:t] (1) , [bit] – [bi:d] (2).
In the (1) example the vowels are practically the same in length, but the quality is different. In the (2) one there is some difference in length, but the difference in quality also remains, i.e. vowel quality is distinctive regardless of the position in the word.
Positional length of English vowels: [si:] – [si.d] – [si``t]
Neutralization = weak position. Position can be weak or strong.
Phonological analysis is more difficult when the sound is in weak position or in the position of neutralization. This position means that some of the distinctive features are neutralized.
For consonants weak position in the word is the final position, or the position before other consonants.
For vowels it is the unstressed position.
Ex: зуб [зуп], activity [эk’tiviti]
This problem is tackled by the morphology (the problem of establishing of the phonemic status of speech sounds in weak positions). Its special subject is the relations between the morphemes and phonemes. Morphology studies the way sound alternate as different realization of one and the same morpheme.
‘object [o] – ob’ject [э]
лук [к] – луг [г]
There exist 2 approaches/ schools that look at this question in different ways. The one is the Moscow School, Morphological school is represented by R.E. Avanesov, A.A. Reformatskiy, Kuznetsov, Panov. It’s clear from the name, that the fundamental idea of the school is the following:
1) the phoneme is the minimal component of the morpheme, which is a minimal meaningful language unit;
2) they claim, that the phonemic ‘content of the morpheme is constant.
In establishing the phonemic status of sounds they band their phon. analysis (for a vowel – stressed, for a consonant – before a stressed vowel) on the theory of strong and weak positions.
If we find a vowel in its strong position, we can establish the phonemic status of the sound (=проверить слово).
луг – луга
(ищем проверочное слово)
нож [ш] – ножи
вода [в^да] – воды [вОды]
con’duct – ‘conduct
Everything depends on the relations.
The supporters of this school view the phoneme as the functional phonetic unit represented by a sequence of positionally alternating sounds.
с Галей [згал’эj]
It’s important to mention that according to this school the difference of the allophones of the same phoneme is not limited.
The second conception is that of the Leningrad School. The supporters are Scherba, Zinder. The main idea of the school is this:
the phonemic ‘content of the morpheme is not constant, it can change. As for the difference between the allophones of the same phoneme it is limited.
‘object [o] – ob’ject [э], where [o]-[э] are different phonemes.
луг [k] – лук [к], where [k]-[k] are the same phoneme.
вода [^] – вОды [o]
According to this reasoning the phoneme can’t lose any of its distinctive features.
гриб [п] – грибы [б] – different phonemes.
Advantages and disadvantages of the approaches.
Arguments IN FAVOUR of 1 conception:
1) phonetic changes are not separated from morphology thus the unity between form and ‘content is preserved. And the phonetic aspect is not isolated from the lexis and grammar ones.
2) it’s quite convincing that the allophones of the same phoneme can show considerable difference.
Arguments AGAINST it:
1) sometimes it’s impossible to find a strong position: корова, decorate.
2) sometimes the difference between the allophones of the same phoneme is too strong: ухо – уши, водит – вожу.
Argument FOR the second conception:
1) it’s simplicity
its WEAK points:
1) it views phonology in isolation from morphology. The unity between content and form is destroyed.
2) it’s difficult to establish the limit within which the allophone of the same phoneme may vary: (phonological function) мел (dark) – мель (clear) different phonemes, little [l] => [dark l] the same phoneme.
Moscow school is more effective in terms of teaching, because it gives an instrument for writing.
Trubetskoy – the conception of archiphonemes (text book).
Human communication isn’t possible without intonation, because it’s instrumental in conveying the meaning. No sentence can exist without a particular intonation.
Intonation (in linguistic terms) in Russian linguistics is viewed as a complex structure, a whole formed by significant variations in pitch (высота тона), loudness and tempo.
Some linguists also include voice quality or timbre.
At the moment we’ll leave an open question and limit our analysis to the pitch, loudness and tempo.
American, British scholars identify pitch or melody as intonation, because pitch has a very important linguistic meaning.
There’s another term widely used in phonetics. It’s Prosody. Generally, in research the term intonation is applied to the analysis at phases while prosody covers a broader field from a syllable to a text.
We’ll use them as synonyms.
The acoustic correlate of pitch is fundamental frequency. Loudness is intensity. Tempo – rate and pausation (time or duration).
Prosodic analysis is an undertaking.
Intonation is a language universal. It means that no language can exist without it.
Intonation Pattern is the basic unit of intonation.
The nucleus, the head, the pre-head, the tail.
The nucleus has the most significant change in pitch.
The function of Intonation Pattern is to actualize syntagms into intonation groups. (The syntagm is a group of words, semantically and syntactically complete)
I hope | you understand everything ||
An actualized syntagm is called an intonation group.
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