Languages & Cultures of East Asia

Trad 101, Sections 18-19-20-21   Fall 2000

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Lecture Outline, 11/1/00 - Phonology (2)

Minimal pairs: Two different words are identical in every way except for one sound segment that occurs in the same place in the string (English big vs. pig)

Phonemes: sounds that differentiates words

Complementary distribution: they never occur in the same environment (like Superman and Clark Kent)

      English t

        [th]: top, tip, tent, talk....

      [t]: stop, strike, steak....

      [flap]: little, kettle, cutter....

      [glottal]: kitten, mitten, button....

Allophones: predictable variants of phonemes

  |     |        |       |
[th]  [t]      [flap]      [glottal]  

Basic vs. derived allophones  

Steps to follow  

1. minimal pairs?
2. complementary distribution?
3. the basic allophone or the derived allophone?

What is a vowel? (no obstruction of the air as it exits the mouth)

/a/ /e/ /i/ /o/....  

What is a consonant? (with obstruction of the air as it exits the mouth)

/t/ /s/ /n/ /b/....

Describing vowels:

      Tongue height
      Tongue advancement (backness/frontness)