Critique on Distinctive Features

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  • Topic: Phonology, Distinctive feature, Phonetics
  • Pages : 4 (1358 words )
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Andrew Ike B. Waga ENG 106 Dec. 14, 2011 2010-53632

Trubetzkoy, Jakobson or Chomsky, Whose Distinctive Features are truly “Distinct”?
“Teacher, teacher, Help me, I have just been side swiped by a car!” These were the exact words that came out from the mouth of the school’s resident hooligan, Kevin, one afternoon after class. During those times, our school has been intensively campaigning for every student to speak English at least while on campus, in preparation for the coming PAASCU (Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges) visit, we were so prepped up that we were even speaking in English outside school “just in case the Assessors are just loitering around, observing” our teachers would say. So one afternoon, after finding not much to do, Kevin, decided he wanted to show his antics to us, saying that he is planning to pull off a prank on our school’s English Coordinator, and our class adviser as well, we had a carefully laid out plan, he would be rushing from the street towards our school gate while we convince our teacher to approach the gate as well, and then he shouted, the exact words on quotation, except that he pronounced swiped as /sʊ ɪpd/. Our teacher, knowing Kevin’s reputation, was already sensing that she was a bait to a good laugh, calmly yet in an authoritarian manner said, “side swipe! /sʊaIp/ Next time, Kevin, try pronouncing the words well, so as not to lose your momentum, there’s always a next time!” with her signature smirk.

I remembered this incident while reading about Natural classes, I am very sure that my teacher knew what Kevin meant, since all of us thought that Kevin’s pronunciation of that word was correct as far as we were concerned, until the jokes went back to Kevin. Growing up in a city that speaks Cebuano, it is inevitable for some English words to get that “bisaya” flavour, like the occasional /p/...
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