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Assignment 2 Answers

Assignment 2 Answers - SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION LING 201...

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SOLUTION SOLUTION SOLUTION LING 201: Introduction to Linguistics (Fall 2010) Assignment 2 SOLUTION Due: Friday 8 October 2010 1. Transcription (5 points; 1 point each word, -0.5 per error up to -1 for each) This was an example of how you would transcribe words from an unfamiliar language without knowing anything about its phonotactics at first. Without knowing anything about the phonology of the language it’s of course very difficult to transcribe words correctly at the first try. For example, when you hear a vowel that sounds like something between [o] and [ A ] it’s useful to know whether the language has a phonemic distinction between the two or not. Before you have this information or find clear minimal pairs, you just do you best at finding the closest phonetic approximation. That’s why the terms ‘broad transcription’ and ‘narrow transcription’ don’t even apply here: you have no idea about the phonemic vs. allophonic distinctions in this language. In the real world, seeing the speaker pronounce words also helps, because you can clearly see things like lip rounding, and where the consonants are produced. Your task was made even more difficult by the fact that you didn’t see the speaker. So, congratulations on this first attempt at real linguistic fieldwork in a less than real setting! The following information should now help you understand where you had certain difficulties in transcription. Of course, you weren’t expected to rely on this information when doing the transcriptions. Moreover, if you knew all this, it might have interfered with your task, because you were expected to provide the closest phonetic approximation, without relying on the knowledge of phonemic contrasts. The language in question (Russian) has a five-vowel system, as follows: i u e o a No phonemic tense-lax distinction, no length distinction, no diphthongs. No aspiration on voiceless stops. Sonorant+obstruent onset clusters are allowed.
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