Linguistics Handout

Linguistics Handout - Phonemes the smallest class of sounds...

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Unformatted text preview: Phonemes the smallest class of sounds in a language that distinguish meaning. In English, this is roughly analogous with our alphabet, though some letters, e.g., the vowels, may stand for more than one sound. All human languages use a limited number of sounds or phonemes. Minimal Pairs Linguists and linguistic anthropologists try to find minimal pairs, words with a difference of only one sound, to determine the phonemes of a language. Examples of minimal pairs in English: b it s it map mad h oney m oney d inner w inner li d la d la dder lea der hi de hee d w ine - v ine bi te migh t (notice, it is the pronunciation, not the spelling that is important) Allophones two or more different sounds that may be substituted for each other and yet not change the meaning in a language. Ex. The English word butter. Many Americans actually pronounce this word as budder. The same can be said of water and letter, where many Americans pronounce thse words as wader...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2011 for the course ANTRO 120 taught by Professor Douglas during the Spring '11 term at CSU Long Beach.

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Linguistics Handout - Phonemes the smallest class of sounds...

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