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Unformatted text preview: Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 319 Chapter 11: Phonology I — Phonemic Analysis 1. Phonology Phonetics studies speech sounds as physical events; whereas phonology studies the (mostly unconscious) rules that govern the use of sounds in language. That is, phonology studies the “grammar of sound.” There are two basic phenomena that arise in such a grammar. First, the speech sounds of a language all vary by their context; in phonology we find the pattern of this variation (which is generally quite systematic) and characterize it with rules. Second, in morphological paradigms (Chapter 2), we often find that one sound is replaced by another in a particular context; such replacements are also describable with rules. We will first cover the contextual variation of speech sounds. 2. Phonemes The most basic and obvious principle of phonology is the following: Phonemic Principle Every language has a limited set of phonemes (= basic speech sounds); and every word in the language consists solely of phonemes of that language. The phonemes of one dialect of English, arranged in feature-based charts, are as follows: Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 320 Consonants [+bilabial] [+labio- dental] [+dental] [+alveolar] [+palato- alveolar] [+palatal] [+velar] [+glottal] [+stop] [–voice] [+voice] /p/ pin /b/ bin /t/ tin /d/ din /tʃ/ chin /dʒ/ gin /f/ fin /v/ van /θ/ thin /ð/ this /s/ sin /z/ zip /n/ nip /l/ Lynn /ɹ/ rip 113 /k/ kin /g/ gift [+affricate] [–voice] [+voice] [+fricative] [–voice] [+voice] /ʃ/ shin /ʒ/ vision /ŋ/ sing /h/ hill [+nasal] [+liquid] [+voice] [+voice] /m/ mitt [+glide] [+voice] /w/ 114 /j/ yet win 113 114 /l/ is also distinct from /ɹ/ in being [+lateral]; air moves around sides of tongue. “bilabial” is an approximation for /w/; the feature chart from last time uses the vowel features [+round, +high, +back]. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 321 Vowels –back –round /i/ beat /ɪ/ bit –high –low [+tense] [–tense] –high +low [+tense] [–tense] /æ/ bat /eɪ/ bait / ɛ/ bet / ə/ abbot /ʌ/ but /ɑ/ father +back –round +back +round /u/ boot /ʊ/ foot /oʊ/ boat /ɔ/115 bought +high –low [+tense] [–tense] Can’t fit on chart: rhotacized schwa /ɚ/116 Three diphthongs: /aɪ/, /aʊ/, /ɔɪ/117 All the words of English (in the relevant dialect) are made up of these sounds and no others. Thus you can recognize that [blk] could be English and that [q’ø] could not, even if you have never heard either word before. In analysis, we seek a phoneme inventory that is large enough to encompass the target language, and no larger. Languages vary a great deal in the number of phonemes they have. The record low is believed to be held by Rotokas (South Pacific), with 11, and the record high is believed to be held by !Xoo, with 160. English has somewhere around 40, the number varying according to dialect. The average across languages is about 30. To see the point of the phonemic principle, you have to imagine a language that did not obey it. In such a language: every word would have its own unique phonetic content, and would not be decomposable into a sequence of units. (Such a system might be rather like the vocal communication systems of certain animal species, consisting of a fixed inventory of calls.) There is a clear advantage for a language in having a phonemic design. As noted earlier, speech articulation is highly complex, with many articulators moving very rapidly. It would be 115 116 117 Dialectal; many speakers use /ɑ/ in all of the words that (for speakers who have this vowel) have /ɔ/. Treated as bearing a consonant feature, [+palato-alveolar] (tongue blade is up, unlike in any other vowel). Features for diphthongs: one approach is to treat them as vowel sequences, assigning features to each vowel. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 322 difficult to learn to pronounce all the thousands of words of a language if each one were a unique phonetic sequence. Presumably it is easier to proceed phonemically; that is, to learn only a limited number of sounds and form all words by stringing these sounds together. The sign languages of the deaf could, in principle, be suggested as a counterexample to the Phonemic Principle. However, research on sign language suggests that even this form of language can be analyzed into gestural “phonemes”, even though these phonemes are quite different from the phonemes of spoken language.118 3. Allophones, phonemes, and rules A second principle, which will be the basis of much of the analyses to follow, is the Allophonic Principle: Allophonic Principle Phonemes vary; and the variation is rule-governed. A allophone is a variant of phoneme. Consider an example. We consider two variants of the phoneme //—a distinction that typically is not transcribed, but seems to be widely found.119 One variant is simply the plain alveolar central approximant [], already discussed. However, many instances of this phoneme are pronounced as [],with simultaneous lip rounding. The superscript [] is the IPA symbol for simultaneous rounding, which is also called labialization. Inspecting my own speech (and checking with other speakers), I transcribed the following data: And more generally, such research has found morphemes, words, phrases, sentences, grammar, intonation, etc. in sign languages; it’s a serious area of linguistics with a large research program. Reference: Daniel Jones (1918) An outline of English phonetics. For a study with physical measurement, see Delattre, Pierre C., and Donald C. Freeman. 1968. “A Dialect Study of American r’s by X-ray Motion Picture.” Linguistics 44: 29–68. 119 118 Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 323 real write rope reveal arrange apparition carry era Erie [il] [at] [op] [vil] [end] [æpn] [kei] [e] [ii] par core ear part bear lure forming tornado [pr] [ko] [i] [prt] [b] [lu] [fom] [toneo] Plainly, some words have [] and some have [], but the data are not haphazard. Looking at the examples, it should be apparent that [] [] occurs only before a vowel occurs elsewhere; that is, before a consonant or pause The idea, then, is that at some abstract level, [] and [] belong to the same category—they are predictable variants of the same fundamental sound. A diagram suggesting this idea is: // [] [] phonemic level phonetic (= allophonic) level This fundamental sound designated as // is a phoneme of English. Phonemes are normally placed in slant brackets to distinguish them from ordinary phonetic transcription. The sounds [] and [] are said to be the allophones of //. One justification for this move is as follows. If we were trying to form the minimal number of sounds with which we could specify the pronunciation of any English word, it would be pointless to include both [] and [] in this list of sounds. The distinction between the two is redundant (predictable)—thus it is far more sensible to include just // in our list of sounds, and let the distinction between [] and [] be derived by rule. The point at hand has nothing to do, incidentally, with the spelling of these sounds (always letter r)—the argument would hold just as true for illiterate or preliterate speakers, as it is based solely on phonetic observations. Many unwritten languages have been subjected to phonemic analysis. Moreover, where the spelling is inconsistent (beat vs. beet), the phonemes are the same, in this example /i/. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 324 4. Treating phonemes with rules and derivations We can produce a systematic phonological analysis of languages by using the same method of rules and derivations we have been using for morphology, syntax and semantics. The idea is to begin the derivation with each word consisting solely of its phonemes, then use phonological rules to derive the details; that is, the particular allophones in particular environments. The phonological rules most often change the values of the features; later on we will see that they can insert or delete sounds and perform other operations as well. To do this carefully, let us suppose that every word has a phonemic representation, defined as follows: The phonemic representation of a word is the string of phonemes from which it is formed. For example, the phonemic representation of real (phonetically [il]) is /il/. The phonemic representation of par (phonetically [p]) is /p/. From the phonemic representation, we can derive a phonetic representation, which is a linguistic characterization of the actual pronunciation of a word. In the case we are considering, there is just one phonological rule, which can be stated as follows: // Rounding [+round] / ___ [+syllabic] Here is a verbal translation of the notation. / / ___ X and similarly / X ___ / X ___ Y means “after X” means “between X and Y” means “becomes”, or in the present context, “changes its features to” means “in the environment, in the context” means “before X” With this notation, the rule of /ɹ/ Rounding can be read “If the sound occurs in the environment before a [+syllabic] sound, change its features so that it is [+round].” Given a phonemic form and one or more rules, we can apply the rules in a derivation, which derives the allophones from the phonemes. Here is a derivation for the word real. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 325 /il/ [il] underlying representation // Rounding surface representation The inputs and outputs to the derivation are traditionally called the “underlying” and “surface” representations. The underlying representation could be thought of as an abstract, idealized version of the pronunciation, embodying only the essential aspects, and the surface representation is what one obtains after filling in all the detail through the application of rules. The process of applying a rule to a form can be examined in detail: // Rounding matches up to /il/ as follows: / i l / [+round] / ___ [+syllabic] That is, the position where // occurs is immediately followed in the form /il/ by the phoneme /i/, which, being a vowel, is [+syllabic]. When we change the feature values of // so that its former value of [–round] is altered to [+round], that is the formal way of indicating that the plain // has been converted to a labialized []. The word par has a quite trivial derivation, since // Rounding cannot apply to it (there is no following [+syllabic] sound). The non-effect of inapplicable rules is shown in a derivation with a long dash: /p/ — [p] underlying representation // Rounding surface representation Such cases should be shown, because it is assumed that all words are submitted to all rules, like objects passing down an assembly line. The allophone [] is what is often called an elsewhere allophone. This term can only be defined if you have a rule-based analysis. The elsewhere allophone of a phoneme is the one that has not undergone any rules. Verbally, it is often best described with the word “elsewhere”: for the phoneme /ɹ/, you get [ɹw] before a vowel and [ɹ] elsewhere. The analysis just given makes an important claim: although English has two []-like sounds at the phonetic level, there is a more abstract analytical level at which it has just one, namely the phoneme //: we don’t need both [] and [] to characterize the pronunciation of English words; having // plus the rule of // Rounding suffices. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 326 5. Practical uses of phonemes Here are practical uses of phonemes. First, ambitious linguists sometime write reference grammars, intended to be a thorough account of the structure of a language, covering phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Often the first few pages of a reference grammar give the examples in full IPA transcription, setting forth a phonemic analysis with its phoneme inventory. Once this is done, all future examples can be given in phonemic transcription. It is assumed that the reader can apply the allophone rules to any such transcription to get the desired pronunciation. This eliminates unnecessary detail from the transcriptions and makes them easier to read.120 Dictionaries usually use a phonemic transcription in their specifications of pronunciation. This avoids redundancy and clutter. There is often a further advantage: speakers of different dialects of the dictionary’s language often have the same phonemes but different systems of allophones. Such speakers can make use of the same phonemic transcription but render it (probably, without even thinking about it) in their own accent. Second, phonemic analysis is important in alphabet design. A sensible alphabet will have a symbolization for all and only the phonemes of a language. This makes is possible for the spelling to specify, in principle, all aspects of the pronunciation of a word, without including any additional redundant information. Alphabet design is in fact a continuing activity worldwide as ever more languages are provided with writing systems. 6. Phonemes, allophones, and well-formedness Usually, if you say a word with the “wrong” allophone for one of the phonemes, it sounds funny. I find this to be true with the words above: if I say real write rope *[il] *[at] *[op] leaving out the labialization, it doesn’t right (intuitively: “not enough like an r”); and likewise if I say par core ear *[p] *[kɔ] *[i] it sounds quite peculiar indeed (intuitively: “adding a w where it doesn’t belong”). Indeed, most reference grammars go one step further and produce a practical orthography; a spelling system that follows the phonemic principle but uses only Roman letters. 120 Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 327 A phonemic analysis is a partial theory of what is “sayable” in a language. For a word to sound right, it must be composed of phonemes from the language, to which all the rules of the language have been applied. *[il] is ungrammatical because the speaker has neglected to apply // Rounding where it should be applied; *[p] is ungrammatical because (one might say) // Rounding has been applied in the wrong context.121 7. Features and natural classes The rule of /r/ Rounding just covered has just one segment in its input. But many rules apply to more than one segment. This is where phonological features, covered in the last chapter, come in. The scheme is: (a) on the left side of the arrow, we set up a group of features to single out the class of sounds that undergo the rule; (b) on the right side of the arrow, we specify all and only the features that change their value. The result is a kind of parallel shift of whole classes of sounds. The relevant term here is natural class: A natural class is the complete set of speech sounds from a particular language characterized by a set of one or more features. Here are examples of allophonic rules of English that apply to natural classes. Aspiration +stop [+aspirated] / [word ___ −voice “Voiceless stops become aspirated word-initially.” Derivations: pit /pɪt/ p [pɪt] spit /spɪt/ — [spɪt] top /tɑp/ t [tɑp] stop /stɑp/ — [stɑp] kick /kɪk/ k [kɪk] Scot /skɑt/ — [skɑt] underlying representation Aspiration surface representation Note the parallel shift, /p t k/ [p t k]. The assumption made in the theory is that only the features specified in the rule are changed in the form. Thus /p/ starts out [+bilabial] and [−voice], and ends up with these features because nothing has changed them (and similarly for all of the features of /p/, see chart on p. 313). There are other aspects to “sayability” in phonology—notably legal phoneme orders—that we won’t have time to cover. 121 Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 328 Vowel Nasalization [+syllabic] [+nasal] / ___ [+nasal] “A vowel becomes nasalized when it precedes a nasal sound.” bun /bʌn/ ʌ̃ [bʌ̃n] bud /bʌd/ — [bʌd] doom /dum/ ũ [dũm] do /du/ — [du] sing /sɪŋ/ ɪ̃ [sɪ ̃ŋ] sit /sɪt/ — [sɪt] underlying representation Vowel Nasalization surface representation Examples are given here for three vowels only, but all the others would work the same. Study Exercise #39 Demonstrate that Vowel Nasalization can apply to /ɚ/, using a close pair similar to bun / bud. Include a derivation in the same format as above. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 329 Answer to Study Exercise #39 Possible cases are burn/bird, turn/turd, kern/curd. If you don’t insist on near-identity, there are many more. Derivations for burn/bird: burn /bɚn/ ɚ̃ bird /bɚd/ — underlying representation Vowel Nasalization [bɚ̃n] [bʌd] surface representation ____________________________________________________________________________ 8. Phonemic analysis by the method of local environments English phonemic analysis has a kind of trivial quality to it if you are an English speaker — we strongly sense our own phonemic system, and the rules are just adding the details. But this is an English-internal perspective. The surprises happen when you do the same basic procedure on other languages. The sounds are often organized in a way quite different from how English works, the crucial point being that sounds that are mere allophones in English are phonemes in other languages, and vice versa. The important analytic procedure is the working out of each language’s phonemic system in its own terms. There is a fairly well-worked out method (about 80 years old) for working out phonemes from data; it doesn’t cover all cases, but is effective in quite a few, assuming the transcriptions you feed it are accurate. The method has no official name, but I will call it the “method of local environments” here. I’ll work through the method with some data from an Australian aboriginal language, Yidi ([] is IPA for the palatal nasal, like Spanish “ñ”). Yidi is probably no longer spoken, though there may be a few aborigines alive today who remember a few words. The fieldwork on Yidi was done in the 1960’s and 70’s by Prof. Robert M. W. Dixon of the Australian National University. The data below are somewhat idealized, constructed from Dixon’s lexicon following his description of the facts. First, the non-English IPA symbols needed: [] is a voiced palatal stop —same place of articulation as [j], but full closure. [] is a palatal nasal, as noted above [] indicates that the preceding vowel is long [ɫ] is an [l] with the tongue body backed—in IPA terminology, velarized. English in fact uses such an [l] at the end of words, as in call [kɫ]. In English, [ɫ] is an allophone of /l/. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 330 [r] is a trilled r [ɻ] is a retroflex central approximant, with tongue tip curled up and back122 The following are consonant and vowel charts for Yidi. These are not just a casual review—consulting the chart is actually a good procedure to follow when you are discovering the rule environments. Consonants Bilabial Stops (voiced) Nasals Liquids nonlateral Lateral Lateral velarized Glides b m Alveolar d n r l ɫ w j ɻ Retroflex Palatal Velar g Vowels Front Unrounded High tense High lax Low i, i a, a Back Unrounded Back Rounded u, u , We won’t approach the language from scratch (as Dixon had to!), but will focus our efforts on some particular target sounds. Here are the data: 1. [ɟʊmbaːgɪ] 2. [ŋawuːjʊ] 3. [guɫaːɻ] 4. [ŋuɲʊːr] 5. [duguːbil] 6. [muɲɟʊːɻ] 7. [wigilwigil] 8. [ɟambuːɫ] 122 ‘tobacco’ ‘salt-water turtle’ ‘big-leafed fig tree’ ‘initiated man’ ‘bark bag’ ‘plenty’ ‘sweet’ ‘two’ Many English speakers use this kind of r, rather than the (more common) /ɹ/. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 331 9. [ɟʊɫŋuːɫ] 10. [gabuːɫ] 11. [wurguːɫ] 12. [babuːɟʊ] 13. [guɫgɪ] 14. [maguːɫ] 15. [muɫɲaːrɪ] 16. [ŋumbuːbʊ] 17. [jʊjʊɻuŋguɫ] 18. [ɟʊgaːbal] 19. [ɟʊwaːr] 20. [ɟʊduːɫʊ] 21. [duɫnbiːlaj] 22. [ɟimuːr] 23. [gunbuːɫ] 24. [guɫaːn] 25. [ɲʊŋguːɫ] 26. [mugaːɻʊ] 27. [wiɻuːɫ] 28. [wuɫmbuːɻ] 29. [ɟʊriːn] 30. [ɲʊnduːba] 31. [gujʊ] 32. [wuɫmbuːɻ] 33. [ɟʊɫugunʊ] 34. [buɫuːɻ] 35. [ŋuɻuːɫ] 36. [guguːɫʊ] 37. [wubuːɫ] 38. [dalŋudalŋʊ] 39. [dalʊ] 40. [ɟʊmaːl] 41. [ɟilŋgʊ] 123 ‘waterfall’ ‘stick for carrying fish’ ‘pelican’ (can’t find gloss) ‘sand, sugar’ ‘a root vegetable’ ‘blanket’ ‘new-born baby’ ‘noise of snake sliding through grass’ ‘house frame’ ‘wattle tree’ ‘brown pigeon’ ‘white cedar’ ‘large house’ ‘billy-can’ ‘walnut tree’ ‘Torres Straits pigeon’ ‘fish net’ ‘shellfish species’ ‘leafy broom’ ‘leech’ ‘you-nom. sing’ ‘tree vine species’ ‘leafy broom’ ‘black myrtle tree’ ‘storytime person’ ‘just now’ ‘recitative mourning style used by men’ ‘lucky’ ‘sound of bell ringing’ ‘forehead’ ‘straight woomera’123 ‘down’ Spear-thrower (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/2970/woomera.htm) Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 332 42. [baŋgaːmʊ] 43. [muɫaːrɪ] 44. [ganguːɫ] 45. [guɟʊːn] 46. [gaɟʊːɫ] 47. [buɫguːɻ] 48. [ɟʊŋguːm] 49. [ɟʊɻɪ] 50. [gawuːɫ] 51. [bawʊː] 52. [gawʊː] 53. [galbɪː] 54. [diwɪː] ‘English potato’ ‘initiated man’ ‘grey wallaby’ ‘wind’ ‘dirty (e.g. water)’ ‘swamp’ ‘worm’ ‘sharp, pointed’ ‘blue gum tree’ ‘backbone’ ‘tree species’ ‘catfish’ ‘small ground bee’ Consider first the two sounds [l] and [ɫ]. We collect local environments for them by looking up each on in the data, and recording (a) the example number; (b) the preceding sound; (c) the following sound. Here is such a chart for [l] 5. 7. 7. 18. 21. 38. 38. 39. 40. 41. i___] i___ i___] a___] i___a a___ a___ a___ a___ i___ The first item on this chart was obtained by taking the l-containing form 5. [dugubil] replacing l with ___, 5. [dugubi___] and removing all the material not next to the l: 5. [dugubi___] Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 333 The resulting entry, 5. i___], means “an [l] occurred after [i] and at the end of a word.” The same procedure yields this list for [ɫ]: 3. u___a 8. u___] 9. ___n 10. u___] 11. u___] 13. u___g 14. u___] 15. u___ 17. u___] 20. 21. 23. 24. 25. 27. 28. 32. 33. 34. u___ u___n u___] u___a u___] u___] u___m u___m ___u u___u 35. u___] 36. u___ 37. u___] 43. u___a 44. u___] 46. ___] 47. u___g 50. u___] These lists are then inspected for pattern. It’s useful to look first at “right sides” alone, then at “left sides” alone, and remember the phonetic character of the sounds in involved. In the present case, the payoff comes from looking at the “left side” environments for [ɫ], which, shown alone, look like this: 3. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 14. 15. 17. 20. 21. 23. 24. 25. 27. 28. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. u___ u___ ___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ u___ ___ u___ u___ u___ 37. 43. 44. 46. 47. 50. u___ u___ u___ ___ u___ u___ which in turn reduces to four cases: u ___, u___, ___, ___ These four cases occupy a specific region of the vowel chart, repeated below: Front Unrounded High tense High lax Low i, i Back Unrounded Back Rounded u, u , a, a This can be characterized very simply as the round vowels.124 Thus, in our notation, “in the environment, after a round vowel” is stated: +syllabic / +round ___ This is clearly a meaningful discovery; there are enough data that this pattern is very unlikely to be true by accident. The next thing to check is: how does the distribution of the phonetically similar [l] sound relate to this environment? Combing through the data, we find that there are no cases of [l] in +syllabic the environment +round ___. Assuming that the data are representative,125 this gap likewise is something we need to explain. The phonemic analysis, therefore, would work like this. We assume the phoneme /l/, and write the following rule: /l/ Velarization +syllabic l [+back] / +round ___ “Realize the /l/ phoneme as back (velarized) when it follows a round vowel.” This rule can be illustrated with derivations. To make the illustration clear, we pick one form that is eligible for the rule and one that isn’t: It’s true that these four vowels are also [+round] and [+high]; we’re going for a terse characterization here; there’s no point in using more features than necessary. Note that [a] and [a] are central, not back. 125 124 And in a teaching context, you should always assume this; why would we be trying to deceive you? Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 335 10. /gabul/ ɫ [gabuɫ] 5. /dugubil/ — [dugubil] phonemic form /l/ Velarization phonetic form As before, the horizontal dash bears the meaning “rule is inapplicable.” 8.1 Why does the local-environment method work? Collecting local environments is, of course, tedious, and some people find they can solve phoneme problems at sight, rather than slogging through all this data processing by hand. However, collecting local environments can certainly be a help when you are stuck. The method works because the environments for phonological rules are usually local, meaning “confined to adjacent segments”. Some rules have non-local environments—vowels sometimes influence vowels across intervening consonants; and consonants occasionally influence consonants across intervening vowels. Such cases require the linguist to examine a wider window. 8.2 Complementary distribution Where Yidi [l] occurs, [ɫ] cannot occur. Where Yidi [ɫ] occurs, [l] cannot occur. This pattern is known as complementary distribution (one set of environments is the complement of the other). Complementary distribution is a pattern that strongly suggests126 membership in the same phoneme. 9. Demonstrating separate phonemehood: minimal pairs In many languages (for instance, Italian and Swahili), long vowels are allophones of the their short counterparts. This might be true of Yidi, in principle, but the following data show that we needn’t pursue this hypothesis very far: [malan] ‘flat rock’ [malan] ‘right hand’ [wuɻu] [wuɻu] [guil] [guil] 126 ‘spear handle’ ‘river’ or ‘snake species’127 ‘smell-present tense’ ‘smell-past tense’ But does not prove it; if we have time I hope to cover cases of complementary distribution that do not prove membership in the same phoneme. 127 Thus like English bank. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 336 These are so-called minimal pairs, defined as two words that differ in just one sound, in the same location. Minimal pairs generally show the existence of separate phonemes. The idea of a phoneme inventory is that it is the minimal set needed to represent all the words of a language. Yidi malan and malan are distinct words, and are identical in the parts mal...n, mal...n. If /a/ and /a/ are not separate phonemes, then we can’t represent the difference between these different words; and it follows that /a/ and /a/ must be separate phonemes. Generally, phonemic analysis involves the application of both the method of local environments, plus the collection of minimal pairs — together, the two methods will gradually make clear the inventory of phonemes. The minimal pair method is widely used in phonemicization, but in fact it is an important method of analysis throughout linguistics. Thus, we have already seen minimal pairs in morphology (Turkish eli ‘hand-accusative’ / ele ‘hand-dative’), in syntax (“Fred stole/killed the chicken from Greeley”), and in semantics (“Alice congratulated her/herself”). Throughout, the idea is to compare utterances that have just one single difference, in order to learn the contribution made by that difference. 10. More Yidi allophones The local-environment method for detection of allophones is applied below to [u], [], [u], and []: 10.1 Environments for [] 1. 9. 12 18. 19. 20. 29. 33. 40. 48. 49. 30. 2. 17. 17. ___m ___ɫ ___] ___g ___w ___d ___r ___ɫ ___m ___ ___ɻ ___n j___] j___j j___ɻ Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 337 31. j___] 16. b___] 20. ɫ___] 26. 33. 36. 38. 39. 41. 42. ɻ___] n___] ɫ___] ___] l___] g___] m___] Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 338 10.2 Environments for [u] 11. 13. w___r g___ɫ 15. m___ɫ 16. ___m 17. ɻ___ 17. g___ɫ 21. d___ɫ 23. g___n 24 g___ɫ 26. m___g 28. w___ɫ 3. g___ɫ 31. g___j 32. w___ɫ 33. 33. 34. ɫ___g g___n b___ɫ 35. ___ɻ 36. g___g 37. w___b 38. ___d 4. ___ 43. m___ɫ 45 g___ 47. b___ɫ 5. d___g 6. m___ This one is a bit harder: you have to notice that there are two environments for []: after a palatal consonant, and at the end of a word. The [u] cases occur in neither environment, so we have a more complex complementary distribution. We can set up a basic phoneme (“elsewhere”) /u/, and write two rules, which happen to derive the same allophone. Both rules turn out to be generalizable when we look at further data, so these are preliminary versions. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 339 Postpalatal Laxing (preliminary) –syllabic u [–tense] / +palatal ___ “/u/ becomes lax when it follows a palatal consonant.” Final Laxing (preliminary) u [–tense] / ___ ]word “/u/ becomes lax at the end of a word.” Some derivations of three sample forms are as follows. Note that these forms have /l/’s as well, which redundantly illustrate /l/ Velarization. 1. /ilgu/ — — [ilg] 9. /uɫngul/ — ɫ [ɫnguɫ] 4. /buluɻ/ — — ɫ [buɫuɻ] phonemic form Postpalatal Laxing Final Laxing /l/ Velarization phonetic form 10.3 Environments for [] and [u] 4. 45 46. ___r ___n ___ɫ 6. ___ɻ 51. w___] 52. w___] and 10. b___ɫ 11. g___ɫ 12 b___ 14. g___ɫ 16. b___b 2. w___j 20. d___ɫ 22. m___r 23. b___ɫ Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 340 25. 27. 28. 30. 32. 34. 35. 36. 37. 44. g___ɫ ɻ___ɫ b___ɻ d___b b___ɻ ɫ___ɻ ɻ___ɫ g___ɫ b___ɫ g___ɫ 47. g___ɻ 48. g___m 5. g___b 50. w___ɫ 8. 9. b___ɫ g___ɫ It should be clear that the situation is quite parallel to what we saw with short [u] and []: the laxed vowel occurs finally and after a palatal consonant, whereas the tense vowel occurs elsewhere. There are fewer data here, but our confidence should be increased by the fact that we’ve seen the pattern before. The analysis needs to be revised, not replaced, to handle these data: evidently the rules of Postpalatal Laxing and Final Laxing must apply to the class of vowels { u, u }. This is another instance of phonological rules applying to natural classes (see section 7 above). Using features to handle this, we restate the rules as follows: Postpalatal Laxing (final version) +syllabic –syllabic +round [–tense] / +palatal ___ “Any rounded vowel becomes lax after a palatal consonant.” Final Laxing (still preliminary) +syllabic +round [–tense] / ___ ]word “Any rounded vowel becomes lax in final position.” Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 341 +syllabic The designation +round suffices, in a language like Yidi with a tiny vowel inventory, to designated all and only the vowels of the set { u, u }. The idea behind the rule is that is changes only the feature [tense], with all other features remaining the same. As a result, /u/ becomes [] and /u/ become [], each retaining their value of the feature [long]—again, features not specified by the rule are assumed to remain unaltered. Note that in this kind of analysis, part of the goal is to achieve as much generality as you can. In principle, you could describe the language with zillions of little rules, each applying to one sound in one environment. But aiming for more general rules gives a clearer picture of the overall pattern. Study Exercise #40 Find three appropriate forms from the list above and illustrate the revised versions of these rules as they apply to long vowels. Use the derivations given on page 339 as your model. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 342 Answer to Study Exercise #40 52. /bawuː/ — — [bawː] 6. /muɲɟʊːɻ/ — — [muɲɟʊːɻ] 11. /wurguːl/ — — ɫ [wurguːɫ] phonemic form Postpalatal Laxing Final Laxing /l/ Velarization phonetic form _____________________________________________________________________ 10.4 Environments for [i] and [] []: 1. 13. 15. 43. 49. g___] g___] r___] r___] ɻ___] [i]: 22. 27. 41. 5. 7. 7. 7. 7. ___m w___ɻ ___l b___l w___g g___l w___g g___l These data also suggest complementary distribution: all of the []’s are final. Knowledge of phonetics helps here: clearly, [] is the lax partner of [i] just as [] is the lax partner of [u], suggesting that our Final Laxing rule should be generalized even further, to include the front vowels. However, Postpalatal Laxing should not be generalized further, since as examples 22 and 41 show, we get [i], not [] after palatals. 10.5 Environments for [i], [], [i], [] If Final Laxing applies to long /u˘/, to short /u/, and to short /i/, then it have better apply to long /i˘/ as well. Data are few, but apparently conform to the prediction: Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 343 []: 53. b___] 54. w___] [i] 21. 29. b___l r___n Let us go out on a limb, assuming that collection of further data would continue to confirm the overall pattern. Thus we will complete the fully-generalized rule. We want it to apply, in final position, to { u, u, i, i }, but not [a, a]. This can be done if we formulate it to affect only non-low vowels: Final Laxing (final version) +syllabic [–tense] / ___ ]word –low “Non-low vowels are made lax in word-final position.” Study Exercise #41 Review the completed Yidiɲ analysis and specify all the natural classes it uses that have more than one member. Describe each natural class according to (a) the rule that uses it; (b) a list of sounds in { }, (c) a description in IPA terminology. Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 344 Answer to Study Exercise #41 Postpalatal Laxing is triggered by the natural class of palatal consonants, which in Yidiɲ is { , , j }. Postpalatal Laxing applies to the class of round vowels, which in Yidiɲ is { u, u˘ }. Final Laxing applies to the natural class of nonlow vowels, which in Yidiɲ is { i, i˘, u, u˘ }. ______________________________________________________________________________ 10.6 The Yidi phoneme inventory We’ve now succeeded in showing that several of the sounds of the Yidi phonetic chart above are not independent phonemes, but merely allophones. These are placed in parentheses in the revised charts below: Consonants Bilabial Stops (voiced) Nasals Liquids Glides: w b m Alveolar d n r j Retroflex Palatal Velar g Vowels Front Unrounded High tense High lax Low i, i (), (ɪː) a, a Back Unrounded Back Rounded u, u (), () This reduces the phoneme population to 19, a rather small inventory. 10.7 When to use features in writing rules A fully explicit phonological analysis of a language would use no phonetic symbols. Only the features have theoretical status, and the phonetic symbols are meant only as convenient abbreviations for particular feature matrices. On the other hand, one also wants to be able to describe phonologies in a way that is precise, but accessible to human inspection. My own feeling is that in semi-formal presentation, it is appropriate to use a mixed notation, using phonetic symbols where they lead to no harm, and Hayes Introductory Linguistics p. 345 features where they contribute insight. Here are ways in which rules benefit by writing them with features. To capture a natural class. We’ve just seen several examples of this in Yidi. To capture an assimilation. We do this by showing that the assimilating segment adopts a feature value already possessed by one of its neighbors. For example, in English, /k, g, / becomes fronted [k+, g+, +] before front vowels, as in keel [k+il], gale [g+eIl], or dinghy [dI+i]. This is an assimilation, which can be expressed by: Velar Fronting +syllabic [+velar] [–back] / ___ –back “A velar consonant becomes fronted before a front vowel.” To show that a change is minor; that is, of only one or two feature values. For example, if a rule changes (only) /p/ to [b], one would write p [+voice] rather than p b, to show that nothing other than [voice] is changing. Otherwise use of plain symbols seems like a sensible way to make a rule easier to read, provided that it is understood that the “real” rule employs only feature matrices. ...
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