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Kenneth L. Pike. Phonemics. Phonemes / / Abstract contrastive units in a language Never pronounced Realized by one or more allophones Allophone [ ] Sound units that are a physical reality Always pronounced Variation of a phoneme. Two possibilities. Allophones of separate phonemes

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Kenneth L. Pike

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Kenneth L. Pike


Phonemics

  • Phonemes / /

    • Abstract contrastive units in a language

    • Never pronounced

    • Realized by one or more allophones

  • Allophone [ ]

    • Sound units that are a physical reality

    • Always pronounced

    • Variation of a phoneme


Two possibilities

  • Allophones of separate phonemes

    /t//th/

    [t][th]

  • Allophones of the same phoneme

    /t/

    [t][th]


Allophones of separate phonemes

  • Proof

    • Minimal pair

      • “sip” and “zip”

        /s//z/

        [s][z]


Allophones of separate phonemes

  • Are [h] and [?] allophones of separate phonemes?

    [kahon]“box”[?umagos]“to flow”

    [humagos]“to paint”[ka?on]“to fetch”

  • YES

    /h//?/

    [h][?]


Allophones of separate phonemes

  • Are [p] and [b] allophones of separate phonemes?

    [peso] “(monetary unit)” [beso] “kiss”

    [kompa] “mate” [komba] “skipping”

  • YES

    /p//b/

    [p][b]


Allophones of the same phoneme

  • Proof

    • Complementary distribution

      • The allophones never occur in the same environment

        /the man/

        [bus driver][security guard]


Allophones of the same phoneme

  • Are [t] and [th] allophones of the same phoneme in English?

  • YES

    /t/

    [t][th]

  • But what about in Hindi?


[t] and [th] in Hindi

[tal] “beat”

[thal] “plate”

  • Allophones of separate phonemes

    /t//th/

    [t][th]


Different mappings

  • English

    /t/

    [t][th]

  • Hindi

    /t//th/

    [t][th]


How to do phonemic analysis

  • Examine your data

    • The question will ask about certain sounds; pay special attention to those sounds. Don’t get confused by extra data. Pronounce each item.

  • Look for minimal pairs involving those sounds

    • If you find one, you can conclude that the sounds are allophones of separate phonemes

  • If there are no minimal pairs, list the environments in which each sound occurs

    • If they never occur in the same environment, you can conclude that they are allophones of the same phoneme


Greek

  • Are [k] and [x] allophones of the same phoneme or allophones of separate phonemes?

    [kano]“do”[kori]“daughter”

    [xori]“dances”[xrima]“money”

    [xano]“lose”[xufta]“handful”

    [krima]“shame”[kufeta]“bonbons”

    [ceri]“candle”[kali]“charms”


Conclusion

  • [k] and [x] are allophones of separate phonemes

    /k//x/

    [k][k]


Sango

  • Are [r] and [l] allophones of the same phoneme or allophones of separate phonemes?

    [tere]“body”[kiri]“return”

    [wali]“woman”[wara]“like”

    [koli]“man”[nila]“then”

    [gere]“leg”[doli]“elephant”


List the environments

[r][l]

e___ea___i

e___eo___i

i___io___i

a___ai___a


Conclusion

  • [r] and [l] are allophones of the same phoneme

    /l/

    [r][l]


Other considerations

  • Suspicious pairs

    • Consider only “suspicious” pairs that have some features in common

  • Free variation

    • Common in all languages


Phonetic reality filtered by your phonemic grid


Phonetic reality filtered by your phonemic grid


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