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1. How does phonology differ from phonetics?

A common characterization of the difference between phonetics and phonology is that

phonetics deals with actual physical sounds as they are manifested in human speech,
and concentrates on acoustic wave forms, format values, measurements of duration
measured in milliseconds, of amplitude and frequency or in the physical principles
underlying the production of sounds which involves the study of resonances and the study
of muscles and other articulatory structures used to produce physical sounds.
On the other hand phonology is an abstract cognitive system dealing with rules in a mental
grammar: principles of subconscious thought as they relate to language sound.
Yet once we look in the central question of phonology in greater depth, we find that the
boundaries between the disciplines of phonetics and phonology are not entirely clear-cut.

2. Exemplify allowed sound combinations accidental gaps and language

restrictions in the English language
ALLOWED SOUND COMBINATIONS The fact that English has the words brick, break,
bridge, bread is a clear indication that there is no restriction against having words begin
with the consonant sequence br.
Similarly, there are many words which begin with BL, such as blue, blatant, blast, blend,
blink, knowing that there is no rule against words beginning with BL. It is also a fact that
there is no word blick in English, even though the similar words blink, brick do exist there
are countless combinations but not all apply. The best explanation for the nonexistence of
this word is simply that it is an ACCIDENTAL GAP. Accidental gap means that not every
logically possible combination of sounds which follows the rules of English phonology is
found as an actual word of the language.
The exclusion from English of many other imaginable but nonexistent words is based on a
principled RESTRICTION OF THE LANGUAGE. While there are words that begin with sn
like snake, snip and snort, there are no words beginning with bn, and thus bnick, bnark, are
not words of English. Similarly, there are no words which are pronounced with pn at the
beginning, a fact which is not only demonstrated by the systemic lack of words such as
pnark, pnig or pnigle but also by the fact that the word spelled pneumonia which derives
from Ancient Greek is pronounced without p.
3. Define sound from the phonological and phonetic point of view.
PHONOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE A sound is a specific unit which combines with other
such specific units, and which represent physical sounds.
PHONETICS - A sound is a complex pattern of rapid variations in air pressure travelling
from a sound source and striking the air which causes series of neural signals to be
received in the brain.

4. Explain the notion of double articulation.

Language is characterized by a double articulation, at one level, we have essentially
meaningless elements (phonetic segments) with their particular rules of combination and
other non-semantic properties. And at another we have meaningful combination of these
meaningless elements.
The relation between the meaningless and the meaningful is arbitrary there is no
particular reason why dog should be dog or hund or pas.
5. Describe the activity of speech and specify the conditions that must be
fulfilled for it to take place
Activity of speech: Speech is the activity of human organism by which sounds of a
language are produced, transmitted through the air, and received.

There are two persons in an act of communication: one who produces (the speaker)
and the other who receives (listener/hearer).
There is an air channel between them, through which speech sounds are transmitted.

1. The speaker has to bear in mind the content of his/her language message, which
constitutes the principal aim of the communication, as well as the associated
phonetic form, since thoughts cannot be transmitted directly, without mediation of a
form accessible to senses.
2. The speaker activates the ways of the nervous system in order to innervate, i.e. to
move, the speech organs
3. Speech sounds are produced while the vocal tract is involved
4. The speech sounds produced are transmitted as vibrations of air molecules (sound
waves) with their frequencies (number of oscillations per second) and amplitudes
(strength of oscillations), thus
5. Reaching the outer ear, where sound waves are further carried to the middle and the
inner ear. Subsequently,
6. The vibrations which have been transformed into electrical impulses (in the cochlea)
are sent to the brain by means of the auditory nerve. In the final stage
7. The hearer indentifies the sequences of sounds that make up words as intended by
the speaker. The speaker can hear himself in a process called feedback.
6. List the phases of speech process
1. Psychological phase (1) and (7)
2. Neurological phase (2) and (6)
3. Physiological phase (3) and (5)

4. Physical (acoustic) phase (4)

7. Provide a list of speech organs and describe their deployment during the
speech process.
There are 3 types of speech organs
1. For Initiation for starting the air to move
2. For Phonation for producing the voiced sound
3. For Articulation Proper for movements above the windpipe
Deployment during the speech process: The organ used for moving the air stream
involved in speech is the lungs, and the speech sounds using the lungs are called
pulmonic. A great majority of speech sounds is formed while breathing out, and such
sounds are called egressive. Since the lungs simultaneously serve the function of
exchange of gases (inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide), the speaker has to
interrupt his/her speech from time to time in order to be able to breathe. Instead of
doing this at any place, he/she makes interruptions at the places dictated by the sense.
Word groups that make up such an interrupted whole are called breath groups. Much
rarer, speech sounds are formed while inhaling and those are ingressive sounds. It is
also infrequent to articulate speech sounds without lung air and they are called nonpulmonic sounds.
8. Describe the process of producing voiced sounds and the role of vocal
chords therein.
In order to produce a sound the speaker uses the vocal cords, two folds of ligament and
elastic tissue, housed in larynx (voice box). They can have 3 different positions.
The organ that brings them together is called glottis.
1. The vocal cords are brought loosely together and made to vibrate so that when the
air is expelled through a voiced sound is heard.
2. The vocal cords are tightly closed, with the lung air pent up bellow, this position is
called glottal stop plosives
3. When they are widely open so that air can escape freely through the space between
them. That is when voiceless sounds are made.
9. Specify the movable/fixed vocal organs, the role of the cavities and the
articulator/point of articulation.
Fixed organs: teeth, alveolar ridge, the palate (hard palate) and pharynx wall.
The quality of the speech sounds is influenced by the cavities (or the vocal tract in the
narrow sense): the nasal cavity, the oral (buccal) cavity and the pharynx.

Movable organs: tongue, the lower jaw, lips, uvula, velum (soft palate), vocal chords.
Speech sounds are formed when two (parts of) speech organs are activated or brought
together, on called an articulator which is the active, moving participant, and the other
being a point of articulation which is the passive i.e. static or less movable participant.


What are clicks?

There are non-pulmonic ingressive sounds in English as well in Serbian and other IndoEuropean languages, which are created by means of the air in the mouth. They are called
clicks, orthographically represented as tut tut (phonetically as [I] when dental and [!] when
alveolar) if the tip of the tongue is involved, used to express the doubt. Disapproval or
disagreement, when both lips are separated suddenly and noisily in a smack, for example
to send a kiss at distance, marked as [], or when sucking the air in through the corner of
the mouth, phonetically symbolized as [II].

Define and exemplify phonological redundancy.

Redundancy is the possibility to predict the presence of a linguistic unit merely on the basis
of the presence of another unit with which it is always coupled.
Define methods that are commonly used to measure and describe
There are two principal types of phonetic methods:
1. Instrumental
2. Non-instrumental (descriptive)
Diachronic phonetic sometime uses
3. The comparative method
Kinaeaesthetic feeling or proprioception-one's own feeling of the position and
movements of the speech organs, primarily the tongue
Palatography - does not impede the normal prounonciation, but can be applied only to
individual isolated sounds.
X-ray photography - Xray aparatus can be employed. If this technique is united with a
movie camera, shots of the movements of the speech organs are made.
Electromyography - serve for measuring muscular movements in the throat, by
inserting into the throat a thin electrode or this electrode is leand against the throat
from the outside.
Electroaerometer serves for measuring a relative force of the air stream from the
mouth and the nose.
Oscilloscopy and spectrography are two commonest techniques used in acoustic
phonetics. The osciloscope transforms acoustic energy into electric signalas which are
seen and interpreted on the screen. When a lasting picture is made of this, the
techniques gets the name oscillography.

In spectrography, sound s are resloved into three elements: frequency, duration and
intensity. A dozen or more sounds utteres in a sequence are representes in the form of
traces left on a slip of paper.

What is Daniel Joness definition of phoneme?

Daniel Jones defined the phoneme via allophones as a family of sounds in a given language
which are related in character and are used in such a way that no one member ever occurs
in a word in the same phonetic context as any other member.

Why are some features called distinctive? Exemplify your answer with
the phonemes /p/, /f/ and /b/ and provide a counter example for
velarized/palatalized variants.
Considering the immensity of particular speech sounds that are uttered in any language,
speakers have to reduce them to a definite number of speech sound units, called the
phonemes. On order to achieve this, attention is paid only to certain sound characteristics
in verbal communication, whereas others are neglected as inessential for the message.
These properties, which are significant for the identification of phonemes bear the name of
distinctive (phonemic) features, in other words the phoneme is a bundle of distinctive
features which make up a speech sound unit.
The features that are included in a phoneme are distinctive by virtue of their function as
distinguishers of phoneme.
For example the feature plosive, labial and strong are distinctive for English
phoneme /p/ because substituting fricative for plosive in the sequence above results in a
list of features of /f/.
Substituting alveolar for labial provides a bundle of features characteristic for the English
While replacing strong by weak a bundle of features for the phoneme /b/ is created.
If one phoneme is replaced by another, this can bring about a new word and consequently
a change of meaning.
Phonetic features can also be non-distinctive (non-phonemic) i.e. allophonic.
Thus by interchanging the feature palatalized with velarized during the articulation of
the phoneme /l/, the phoneme remains the same and a word like bill is pronounced with a
palatalized or a velarized variant would not change the meaning.
Therefore these two features are non-distinctive for English.

Provide an example of a distinctive feature becoming redundant.

When // is preceded by a vowel it has to be short and it would be redundant to mention

the feature short. In another way it is redundant to speak of /t/ as a consonant once the

feature strong is attributed to this phoneme since only consonants are characterized as
Which parameters are relevant for the articulatory features within the
system of English?
The following parameters are relevant for the articulatory features within the system of the
English language:


type of articulation
manner of articulation
height of the tongue
force of articulation
degree of length

Provide a contrastive minimal pair example to indicate phoneme
difference and free allophonic variations.
Finding word pairs whose pronunciation is the same in all but one sound (contrastive
minimal pairs) is the easiest way to prove that two sound types represent two different
phonemes (big /bg/ and beg /beg/ prove that // and /e/ are distinct phonemes in English.
Within a language such pairs also may be found with certain different phonemes in some
environment, but with the identical meaning. This phenomenon is called free phonemic
variations within a single word as with the word alphabet, which has various
pronunciations /lfbt/ or /lfbet/.

What are allophones? Explain positional allophonic variations.

Allophones are phonetically similar bundles of distinctive and non-distinctive features and
they are members of a phoneme.
When their occurrence is dependent on phonetic factors (environment and accent) they are
called positional allophones.
By replacing one positional allophone with another of the same phoneme (positional
allophonic variations), no change in meaning can be brought about under ideal
conditions of communication, but unnatural speech production may result in leading to a
possible interference and confusion under conditions of noise.

Which parameters are regarded as non-distinctive?

The following parameters are important but with no distinctive function:

1. Non-distinctive type of articulation
2. Non-distinctive manner of articulation
3. Non-distinctive height of tongue

4. Non-distinctive articulator
5. Non-distinctive force of articulation
6. Non-distinctive degree of length
7. Non-distinctive composition
8. Tongue position
9. Degree of voicing
Lip position
Type of explosion
Point of articulation
Explain the difference between positional allophonic variations and
free allophonic variations.
Free phonetic variations are free from a phonetic standpoint, being not conditioned by the
phonetic context (environment), but frequently they are not free from the sociolinguistic
standpoint because they may indicate the speakers geographical, generational or social
background or may depend on other phonetic factors such as tempo.
Positional allophonic variation takes place under the influence of phonetic environment and
the neighbouring sounds, regardless of whether they occur within one word or go beyond
the limit of a word.

Explain and exemplify the process of phonemic neutralization.

Sometimes allophones of different phonemes can be identical, which leads to the

neutralization of phonemes (m m and ).
This is the case with the labio-dental allophone of the phonemes /m/ and /n/
(transcribed /m/) or the voiced allophones of /t/ and /d/ in the pronunciation of some
American speakers who do not distinguish between writer and rider.
Provide phonetic transcription and an example for each of the
following signs: theta, eth, agma, ash, caret, schwa and allophonic (narrow
transcription and function for bridge bellow, h raised, breve and swing
Theta (thigh)
Eth (thy)
Agma (young)
Ash (bat)
Caret (but strong form)
Schwa - (but weak form)

Bridge bellow - - dental (t)

h raised h aspiration (ph)
Breve - - short ()
Swing dash - - nasalized ()

Provide examples of respelling in some American dictionaries.

Oo can stand for /u:/, for //; for /e/; for /a:/; j for /d/; ou for /au/

How are phonemes divided by the distinctive type of articulation?

From the phonological point, consonants are the speech sounds with exclusively or typically
non syllabic function whereas vowels are the speech sounds which have solely syllabic
Consonants: /p, d, t, b, k, g, f, v, , , s, z, , , h, t, d, m, n, , l, r, j, w/
Vowels: /i:, , e, , , a:, , :, U, u:, , :, e, a, , aU, , e, U/

How are phonemes divided by the distinctive manner of articulation?

This is a parameter related to the kind of closure or the choice of the cavity for the
1. Plosives are consonants for the articulation of which there is a complete closure
(obstruction) to the airstream (p, b, k, g , t, d). The making ad duration of the closure
is called the closing stage (occlusion). This stage is accompanied by the stage of
compression of the air behind the closure under pressure, the compressed air is
released, escaping abruptly as soon as the closure is released in the release
(explosion stage) and accompanied by a slight explosion (hence the name plosives).
2. Nasals are consonants in the production of which a closure in the vocal tract is
combined with a simultaneous passage of the air through the nasal cavity into the
outer air. For this to be done, the uvula has to be lowered in order to let air flow
through the nose (m). Unlike plosives, which are suddenly released, duration of
nasals can be protracted.
3. Fricatives are formed by narrowing the passage for the airstream, which causes
friction at a certain place in the vocal tract. Such a closure is partial and enables
prolongation of the sound (f, v, , , s, z, , , h).
4. Laterals for the phoneme /l/ the tip of the tongue is pressed against the center of
the alveolar ridge or against the teeth while the air flows out through the mouth at
one or both sides of the tongue.
5. Affricates the combination of a plosive and a fricative sound in a compact whole,
at approximately the same place. Namely, the plosive is here immediately followed
by a fricative in its release stage, the release being slow, and both are felt as a single
phoneme (t, d)

How are phonemes divided by the distinctive height of tongue?

The place of articulation of vowels and semi-vowels is determined by two elements, which
are the two coordinates of the place of the tongue in the oral cavity. The first coordinate is
When the tongue is in its lowest position or a little higher, reaching farthest to 1/3 of the
distance toward the highest position, the vowels formed this way are called low /, , a:,
/ and the first elements of the diphthongs / e, e, a, au, and /.
Vowels that require the tongue in its highest position are high /i:, u:/, semivowels /j, r, w/ as
well as the first elements of / and u/ and the second elements of / a, e,, au and u/.

Those in the position of (almost) 1/3 of the distance toward the lowest point are high-tomid (// and /U/).
Mid vowels take place in a band ranging between 1/3 and 2/3 of the distance between
the highest and the lowest points /e, , :, :/, the first elements of /e, e/ and /u/ and the
second elements of /, e/ and /u/.

How are phonemes divided by the distinctive articulator?

The second coordinate of the place of the tongue for vowels and semi-vowels, i.e. their
articulator is the part of the tongue that is highest towards the roof of the mouth.
It may be the front, central or the back part, and therefore vowels and semi-vowels
articulated this way are called:
1. Front /i:, j, , e, , a/, the first elements of /e, e, and / and the second elements
of / and e/.
2. Central /, , :, r/, the first elements of / U and aU/, the second elements of /,
e, U/
3. Back /, :, u, u:, a:, w/, the first element of //, the second elements of / U and
For consonants the part of the tongue is the decisive factor that defines them phonemically
since the point of articulation is always predictable, i.e. that point is invariably (part of) the
upper organ that is nearest to the activated part of the tongue when tongue is at rest. Once
the speaker activates a definite part of the tongue he/she spontaneously chooses the
shortest route to the upper articulator.

When the tip of the tongue is involved, such sounds are called apical (/t, d, , , n, l/)
By activating the blade coronal (laminal) consonants are produced (/s, z/)
The back part of the tongue produces dorsal sounds (/k, g, /)
When the tip , the blade and the front part of the tongue are activated at the same
time, the consonants are termed apicocoronofrontal (/, , t, d/)
5. The term frontal denotes the same part of the tongue as the term front. Labials
make use of the lower lip (/p, b, f, v, m/)
How are phonemes divided by force of articulation?
Investing a greater muscular effort in the pronunciation of certain sounds a stronger breath
Such sounds are called strong (fortis).
Weak (lenis) are those consonants that are pronounced with less force.

How are phonemes divided by degree of length

Vowel phonemes are distinguished not only according to quality (affected by the height and
part of the tongue), but also according to duration (quantity).
The easiest way to ascertain this is to find minimal pairs of words differing only in one
vowel (bit /bt/ and beat /bi:t/ differ as regards to vowels // and /i:/, the former being

shorter, the later longer when the two words are pronounced in the same pace one after
However, this contrast is always accompanied by distinctive height and there are only a
few minimal pairs to prove that the degree of length is distinctive for vowels (such as but
/bt/ and Burt /b:t/)
Short vowels are: /, e, , , , U and /
Long vowels are: /i:, a:, u:, :, :, e, a, , , au, u, e and u/
The degree of length may seem to function distinctively with consonants, although that is
not the case.
This happens in the case of those consonant that can change their length significantly, i.e.
all except plosives and affricates, /j, r, w/, which would, if lengthened, lose their status of
consonants (Hungary /hgr/ and hungry /hgr/, lightening /latn/ and lightning
/latn/, etc).

How are phonemes divided by the distinctive composition

Any phoneme can be essentially different from other phonemes as to whether it requires
the statitc position of the articulatory organs (simple) or has an abrupt change of position
(compound), or whether it consists of one or two sounds.
Compound consonants called affricates consist of a plosive and affricative. They are /t/
and /d/ while some phoneticians also include /tr/ and /dr/ among compound phonemes.
In the sphere of vowels, there are compound sounds called diphthongs and they are
transcribed as two-vowel symbols.
Only two-vowel segments occurring within one syllable may be called diphthongs,
otherwise, we deal with a cluster of two phonetically simple vowels (or monophthongs as in
easiest /i:zst/).
How are








All languages classify sounds into two categories:

1. Contoids (consonants) are sounds made with a closure in the vocal tract, so that the
airstream cannot flow freely
2. Vocoids (vowels) for the articulation of which there is no such closure, produced
below the upper line that represents the so-called vowel limit.
A closure of a contoid can be:
a) Complete, when typical contoids are realized (as in the case of plosives)
b) Partial (incomplete), when the contoidal nature of the sounds is less noticeable
There is a possibility for the partial closure to be realized

a) In the form of narrowing as when fricatives are produced

b) As a combination of a complete closure at one place with the lack of (complete)
closure at another place as with nasals, laterals and affricates
Certain consonants may have contoid allophones in addition to vocoid ones. They are
termed semi-vowels /j/, /r/ and /w/.
How are








A more precise, phonetic classification of sounds according to the manner of articulation is

Thus it is possible to identify liquids, which are produced with the air passing freely
through the mouth like vocoids, but simultaneously at another place in the oral cavity a
contoidal closure is made. Such a sound is /l/.
Some speakers of British English articulate phoneme /r/ by a single quick contact of the tip
of the tongue against the alveolar ridge or the upper teeth. In narrow transcription this
sound is written as [r] (fishhook r) and its name is flapped (tapped) /r/.
When the semi-vowels are realized as contoids, they are fricatives. Production of vowels
may sometimes involve the nasal cavity in addition to the oral cavity, and such vowels are
called nasalized.

How are phonemes described by non distinctive height of the tongue

The phoneme // is lower than usual in the pronunciation of all, and // in the pronunciation
of some speakers when immediately followed by a pause.
The phoneme // is at its highest when immediately followed by a velar (ago /gU/).
The phoneme /u:/ is realized as lower when it is immediately preceded by /j/ as in few /fju:/.
There is general tendency for the front vowels to be higher and for the back vowels to be
lower in conservative RP, while the opposite tendency has been noticed for advanced RP.

How are phonemes described by non distinctive articulator?

According to this parameter /r/ is an (apico) coronal, /j/ is a frontal, which means that the
front part of the tongue is activated, while /w/ is labial, /n/ can have a labial instead of
apical articulation (while at the same time point of articulation is dental), which can be
explained as due to the influence of the following labio-dental /f/ or /v/ and the adjacency of
the tip of the tongue and the lower lip (convey /knve/).

How are phonemes described by non distinctive force of articulation

All and only strong plosives can be pronounced with aspiration marked [h] which is the
additional energy of the breath.

This happens on condition that a strong plosive (/p/, /t/ or /k/) is immediately followed by a
vowel and that it occurs at the beginning of an accented syllable.
For plosives to be aspired, all these conditions have to be fulfilled (time [tham], pull
In articulatory terms laterals and nasals are always weak, while /h/ is strong.

How are phonemes described by non distinctive degree of length

The duration of each vowel is reduced if a strong consonant immediately follows, and is
lengthened if a weak consonant immediately follows.
The combination of distinctive and non-distinctive degrees of length produces four degrees:
Under identical conditions (when the same speaker is speaking in uvarying tempo), the
longest is a phonemically long vowel followed by a weak consonant (bead /bi:d/ [bi::d]), a
little shorter is a phonemically short vowel followed by a weak consonant (bid /bd/ [bi:d].
Still shorter is a phonemically long vowel followed by a strong consonant (beat /bi:t/ [bi:t]
and the shortest is a phonemically short vowel followed by a strong consonant (bit /bt/
As regards consonant, other conditions being the same, the greatest duration is that of
fricative, while the shortest is the flapped [r].

How are phonemes described by non distinctive composition?

When the second element of a diphthong is closer than the first (this element being [] or
[U]) an impression of closing is created, which has given such diphthong the name closing.
They are /e, a, , U and aU/.
When the second element is represented by a central vowel, such diphthongs are centring , e, U.
English diphthongs are usually realized with the first element more prominent than the
The impression of prominence is achieved by means of the length, stress and most often
openness of the first element; such diphthongs are called falling.
In the case of two diphthongs, // and /U/, where the first element is closer than the
second there is one more possibility.
Namely, when these two diphthongs occur in a stressed syllable, the force of the stress
falls on the first element which is more prominent owing to the strong stress and the
diphthong is falling. But when they happen to be in an unstressed syllable, their first
element left without the support from stress, becomes less prominent than the second
more open element, which is symbolized as // and /U/.

Such realizations of diphthongs have been termed rising (crescendo).


How are phonemes described by non distinctive tongue position?

When the back of the tongue is raised in the direction of the soft palate, velarises (dark
sounds) are made.
Such consonant is /w/, when syllabic, followed by a pause or by a consonant other than
/j/, /l/ as well.
If the middle of the tongue is raised towards the hard palate, sounds pronounced this way
are called palatalized (clear).
Sounds made when the tip of the tongue is curled back towards the hard palate are called
retroflex, as in the case of the typical allophone of /r/.

How are phonemes described by non distinctive degree of voicing?

All strong consonants are always voiceless, while weak consonants are typically fully
Untypically, all weak consonants can be devoiced (partially voiced or voiceless when
immediately preceded or followed by a pause or a strong consonant).
The lateral /l/ and the semi-vowels are voiceless when accented and at the same time
preceded by a strong syllable initial plosive consonant or /h/ (supply /spla/).
When preceded by a strong consonant in other position the nasals /l/ and the semi-vowels
are realized as partially voiced (smart /sma:t/, spleen /spli:n/).
In short, /l/, the nasals and the semi-vowels are devoiced when preceded by a strong
With some speakers /h/ which is typically voiceless, becomes voiced between two vowels
(ahead /hed/).

How are phonemes described by non distinctive lip position?

The position of the lips varies, so that the lips can be rounded (/u:/) or unrounded.
Unrounded vowels are spread, with lips spread (/i:/) or neutral (/a:/).

How are phonemes described by non distinctive type of explosion?

The closure can be suddenly released, so that the pent-up air escapes through the mouth
(orally), which is called oral explosion and is the common typical way of producing
explosion (peel /pi:l/, boss /b s/, lucky /lk/.

When a plosive is immediately followed by /l/, the closure for the latter sound is made
simultaneously with the closure for the plosive so that the air compressed has no possibility
to escape directly through the mouth and is used for articulation of /l/.
Such explosion is called lateral (gamble /gmbl/, battle /btl/, eagle /i:gl/).
Oral explosion is missing when a plosive is followed by homorganic nasal (nasal formed
with the same articulator as the plosive).
Such type of explosion is called nasal explosion.

How are phonemes described by non distinctive point of articulation?

During the articulation of all sounds, including vowels, the side rims of the tongue are
spontaneously in contact with the upper side molars, so that this characteristic plays no
distinctive role.
As a point of articulation, the upper lip can be used. Such contoids are called labials. The
phonemes /b, p/ and /m/ are labials typically, while the phonemes /f/ and /v/ may be labial
in the pronunciation of some speakers when preceded by /b, p/ or /m/.
Dentals are sounds that are made by means of the upper teeth as a point of articulation.
The phonemes // and // are always dental.
Alveorals make use of the alveolar ridge as a place of obstruction. Most English contoids
are alveolars (/t, d, s, z, n, l/), which means this central zone is fully exploited for
Postalveolars are formed by using a part of the tongue at the back part of the alveolar
ridge as for the most common contoid variant of /r/.
Palatals are articulated with the tongue raised towards the hard palate, the only palatal
is /j/ in its contoid variant.
Provide phonetic rules for restrictions in the distribution of the
phoneme //, consonant clusters/semi-vowels with initial plosives, /s/ and
//, initial semi-vowels, affricates, // and /z/, vowels /e, , , o/.
- The phoneme // does not occur initially in words or syllables
- When two consonants occur initially in words, unless the first is /s/, the other can only
be a semi-vowel or /l/ and even this is not always possible (fp, tm, zg, ks, vz, tw)
- Initial plosives, /s/ and // may form clusters with /l/ and semi-vowels only when a
different articulator is used: pw, bw, dl, tl, sr
- Initial semi-vowels, affricates, // and /z/ are not followed by another consonant: jr,
rd, tl, v, zl
- Vowels /e, , , o/ and consonants /h, r, j, w/ do not occur finally in vowels, while /U/
occurs in words finally only in weak forms and never initially.
Which consonant clusters cannot take final position?
There are no consonant clusters with final /g, , /: -sg, -tn, -z

Write examples of words with maximum numbers of consonants at
word beginning and end.
The greatest number of consonants that can accumulate at the beginning of a word is three
(street), whereas four are tolerated at the end (prompts, sixths, thousands).

What is coarticulation?

The causes of phonemic positional variations are essentially the same as allophonic
positional variations: endeavoring to effect a successful communication with the least effort
in articulation the speaker modifies the adjacent sounds (usually identifying them or
producing them as fairly similar) which is called coarticulation.
Why are positional phonemic variations facultative and what do they
With free (facultative) phonemic variations the speaker may choose whether to realize the
variation or not.
If the speech is more rapid, casual or familiar and if the given word has been mentioned
before, it is likely that a phoneme will be substituted for another.
Positional phonemic variations include assimilation, coalescence, gradation, elision and

Define and exemplify assimilation.

It happens when a phoneme A is replaced by a phoneme B under the influence of a third

phoneme C, which is in the vicinity, B and C being more alike than A and C. For instance,
instead of pronunciation of the phrase a good man as / gUd mn/ in colloquial speech
one can hear / gUb mn/.
In this case the weak apical plosive /d/ in the word good is replaced by the weak labial
plosive /b/ under the influence of the following phoneme /m/ in the word man, which is
weak labial plosive.
Consequently, the phoneme /d/ has been replaced with phoneme /b/ under the influence of
the phoneme /m/ (C), which results in greater similarity between /b/ and /m/ being both
labials, than between /d/ and /m/ originally.
Within which articulatory parameters phonemic variations may be
realized? Provide an example for each.
The articulatory parameters within which phonemic variations may be realized are manner
of articulation, articulator and force of articulation.
1) Manner of articulation in this case plosives (or less frequent, fricatives) may
become nasals:

good morning /gUd m:n//gUm m:n/, the articulator is also different and the
second variation /gUb/ comes in between
- individual /ndvdjUl/ /nnvdjUl/
- wonderful /wndfUl/ /wnnfl/
2) Articulator these phonemic variations are found only with apicals and coronals;
more precisely with those of them which already have numerous allophonic
variations according to the point of articulation thus shifting the articulator over two
of three different /t, d, n, s, z/. Although an apical with a variety of the points of
articulation, the phoneme /l/ is not replaced by any other phoneme as it is the only
- Horse shoe /h:s u:/ /hou:/
- Those years /Uz j:z/ /uj:z/
- They wont care /e wUnt ke/ /e wUke/
3) Force of articulation usually fricatives and affricates take part in the phonemic
variations according to the force of articulation, weak changing into strong
- With toys /w tz/ /w tz/ - partial
- His sister /hz sst/ /hs sst/ - ful
- Of course /vk:s/ /of k:s/
- Page seven /pedsevn/ /petsevn/

When is assimilation called regressive/progressive?

Usually the later sound influences the preceding one so that it accommodates itself to the
latter. Such type of assimilation is called regressive.
If the preceding sound influences the latter, such assimilation is called progressive.

When is assimilation called complete/incomplete?

It two identical adjacent sounds are produced as a result of assimilation, it is complete

(total) (horse shoes), and if the sound remains to be different, the assimilation is
incomplete (partial).

Define and exemplify coalescence?

A phonemic variation in which two adjacent phonemes (A and B) change resulting in a third
phoneme (C) which preserves the main features of the original articulators.

What you want /wotUwont/

Shut your eyes /tjraz/
I lost you /a lostU/
Dont you /dUntU/


Define and exemplify linking?

Words ending in permissible vowels /a:, :, :, or / (including the centering diphthongs)

which are spelled with the final /r/ activate the pronunciation of this letter in British English
if a word beginning with a vowel immediately follows.

Since /r/ in such cases conjoins or links two words, such usage of this consonant is termed
linking /r/.

Later in time /letr n tam/

Fire and water /far nd w:t/


Define and exemplify the intrusive /r/?

Under the same conditions some speakers insert glottal stops. If a /r/ precedes, no linking r
is activated as in rare and beautiful /re nd bju:tfUl/.
By analogy some speakers pronounce /r/ even when there is no corresponding letter in
spelling nor a historical justification; such /r/ is called intrusive r.

China and Japan /tanr nd dpn/


Define and exemplify gradation?

Words that belong in the restricted class of the words of speech (auxiliary verbs,
conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns and articles) are covered by the common term
function (grammar) words.
They all have, unlike other (lexical or context) words a quite general, grammatical
Most often function words are unstressed in speech, and their vowels are unprominent /, ,
U/ reduced or some of their vowels are elided.
Actually, they are stretched only for the sake of contrast or when the speaker is hesitating.
Such forms are called weak forms while much rarer unelided and unreduced forms are
called strong forms.
Weak forms are always unstressed, while strong forms can be both.
- A /e/, //
- Am /m/, /m, m/
- Could /kUd/, /kd/
- Have /hv/, /hv/, /v/
- Just /dst/, /dst/
- Must /mst/, /mst, ms/
- Some /sm/, /sm/
- Your /j:/, /j/
Transcribe gradation forms in the following examples
Describe phonemic occurrence patterns in sense groups.
The beginning of a sense group is even more prominent than the end, so that in this
position weak forms of the words and, as, at, is, till, will, would are not allowed, while has,
have and had can use only weak forms which retain /h/.

Will you pass me some bread, please /wl jU pa:s m sm bred pli:z/

Define elision and provide at least one example for elision of //, //
and /U/.
Elision is a kind of phonemic variation when one and the same word comes to have two
speech variants one with the given sound as a representative of a phoneme and another
without the sound (phoneme).

Elision of //
Camera /km()r/
Fatally /fet()l/
February /febr()r/
Government /gv()mnt/
History /hst()r/
Elision of //
Difficult /df()klt/
Family /fm()l/
Geography /d()ogrf/
Elision of /U/
Awfull /:f(U)l/
Carefulness /kef(U)lns/

Define elision and provide at least one example for elision of a
consonant between two other consonants, at word boundaries, /l/ and in
very rapid colloquial speech.
Elision is a kind of phonemic variation when one and the same word comes to have two
speech variants one with the given sound as a representative of a phoneme and
another without the sound (phoneme).
Elision of consonants takes place when the consonant occurs between two other

clothes /klU()z/
handsome /hn(d)sm/
dustman /ds(t)mn/
jumped /dm(p)t/

The same kind of elision takes place at word boundaries, as in the following phrases;

blind man /bla(d)mn/

didnt come /ddn(t)come/
last time /la:s(t) tam/
remind me /rman(d) m/

The phoneme /l/ is subject to elision when immediately followed by a consonant

(velarized) /l/) and usually at the same time preceded by the back vowel /:/.

All right /:(l) rat/

Already /:(l)red/
Shall we /()(l) w/

Other cases of elision of individual consonants in positions other than interconsonantal

(between other consonants) or clusters of two consonants, occur in very rapid colloquial

Expected /(k)spektd/
Extraordinary /(k)str:(d)n()r/
Interest of the /ntrs(t) (v) /
Recognize /rek(g)naz/

What are free
different words.







Free phonemic variations are not contigent upon any elements surrounding a phoneme of a
word and speakers are free to choose which option to use.
Most of the so-called free phonemic variations are not free from a sociolinguistic point of
- /t/ or // French
- /g/ or /d/ gibberish, pedagogic
- /d/ or // garage, ingenuity
- // or // Asia
/i:/ or /e/ Economics, premature
// or /e/ alphabet, enjoy, embark, example
/U/ or /ju:/ suit, supreme, allusion, allude, absolute
/e/ or // data, esplanade