Phonology

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Phonology - How Speech Sounds Combine
Introduction to Linguistics for Computational Linguists

1

Speech Sounds
• Phonetics - Physical basis of speech sounds
– Physiology of pronunciation, perception – Acoustics of speech sounds

• Phonology - Patterns of combination of speech sounds
– Which sequences are allowed (phonotactics) – Effects of context on speech 2

Phonology
• Basic elements are phonemes. • Patterns of organization are phonology. – – – – Structure of phoneme set Syllables, phonotactics (order of phonemes) Processes (adjustments in pronunciation) Rhythm, stress, tempo (not in this course)

• Phonological principles are psychological, sometimes with phonetic (physical) base 3

Other Phonology
• Stress, rhythm, intonation
– Stress: ’Verb und Nomen vs. Ver’bundnomen – Rhythm: Nicht! Aufhören! vs. Nicht aufhören! – Intonation: Ich bin der Nächste. vs. Ich bin der Nächste?

• Tempo, intensity (loudness) also • Emphasis (here) on segmental level – Stress, rhythm, intonation are suprasegmental
4

Phoneme Inventory
• Structure in set of phonemes
– cross-classification in phonetic features – multidimensional matrix – place, manner, voice – [p,t,k] vs. [b,d,g] / [f,s,χ] vs. [v,z,-]

• Symmetry, but imperfect
– gaps (German voiced velar fricative) – crowding ([s, ] structurally close) – unique elements [l,R, ] 5

Phonotactics
• Phonotactics - allowable phoneme sequences
– reduce combinatorics of sequencing

• Which could be German?
– [frI ] [fstr t ] [kw t ] [kto] [χru t of] [kRil] [ u] [ptero]

• Preserved in “jargon” aphasia • Japanese allows only CV(n), i.e., consonsant followed by vowel perhaps followed by [n] – Borrowings with final consonants, consonant clusters modified – [besiboru] ‘baseball’ ; [kurIsumasu] ‘Christmas’ 6

Syllables
• (onset rime) = (onset (nucleus coda)) • Rime determines what rhymes (in one syll.) – groß, los [os]; Rad, Tat [at]; Zahl, Kanal [al]

• Nucleus always vowel • Possible clusters largely determined by sonority

7

Sonority and Syllables
• Observation: mirror antisymmetry in consonant order in clusters in onset vs. coda – [pl ts], [ lp]; [tr p], [fart]; [flai ], [h lft]

• Sonority - relative prominence
100 80 60 40 20 0 Vowels Liquids (l,R) Nasals Stops, etc. Sonority

8

Sonority in Syllable
• Sonority climbs toward peak, then declines

Prinz

p

r

I

n

ts

qualmt

k

w

a

l

m

t

9

Phonological Processes
• Compare Susi und Peter/Tom/Gabi spoken quickly • [zu.zi.m.pet R] / [n.t m] / [ gabi] • ‘und’ is pronounced [m/n/ ] • Similary /n/ in Es könnte dann passen/gehen • Sloppy? 10

Nasal Assimilation
• Speech requires lots of coordination • Nerves, muscles are preparing several segments ahead • Often we see effects in adjacent phonemes place

n C

n adjusts its place of articulation to anticipate the following consonant

• Processes modify phonemes

11

Aspiration Revisited
• Recall from Phonetics lecture that voiceless stops are normally aspirated, i.e. voicing starts well after stop is released release • Unaspirated [b,d,g] stop voicing

• Aspirated [p,t,k] -- note puff! stop
voicing
12

Aspiration
• [p,t,k] unaspirated after [ ,s]
– [ p k] Speck, [ tIm ] Stimme, [ski] Ski

• We note aspiration with [ph], etc.
– Tücke/Stücke [th k ]/ [ t k ]

• [th], [t] are allophones (variants) of the same phoneme; likewise [ph], [p] • Since they are found in different contexts, they are in complementary distribution 13

Informal Rule Notation
• C[-voi,+stop] → Ch / . __ V • “Voiceless Stops become aspirated in the environment (/) after syllable begin (.) and before vowels” – Tücke /t k / → [th .kh ] – phonemes → “are realized as” phones 14

Final Devoicing
• Auslautverhärtung
– lobe [lob. ] but lob! [lop] – blase [blaz. ] but blas! [blas] – steige [ taig. ] but steig! [ taik]

• C → C[-voice] / __ #,

– where ‘#’ is a word boundary – or morpheme boundary?...
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