Briefly Explain Phonology and Phonetics by Pointing Out the Differences and Similarities

Topics: Linguistics, Language, Phonology Pages: 2 (779 words) Published: August 27, 2013
In answering this question, it will be appropriate to define the two terms which do not only explain them but also point out their difference (s). Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is a science of human speech and study the human speech sounds. It further studies the defining characteristics of human vocal noise and concentrates its attention on those sounds that occurs in world language. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs (phones): their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory perception, and neuro-physiological status. On the other hand, phonology is concerned with the abstract, grammatical characterization of systems of sounds or signs. Phonology is the study of how sounds pattern in human languages as well as used to refer to the knowledge speakers have about the sound patterns of their language. Phonetics therefore differs from Phonology in that Phonetics studies sounds not in specific language whereas Phonology deals with sounds and their contrasts only within the concept of some language. All possible human sounds are concerns of phonetics unlike phonology which is language-specific. Also, the conclusions reached on phonology of a language must not be generalized into the study of another language because the patterns might not be the same. Again, the basic unit of phonology is the phoneme while the basic unit of phonetics is the phone. Another difference is that while Phonetics is a science, phonology is in the humanities. Equally, Phonetics discovers, identifies and describes the sounds that phonology study their patterns in particular languages. Phonetics descriptions are general and applicable wherever the sounds are found while phonological descriptions are usually language-specific. The field of phonetics is a multiple layered subject of linguistics that focuses on speech....
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