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Unformatted text preview: y near minimal pairs, and in some cases more two sounds
are distinct [myiɁ]‘river’ - [hmoyayɁ] ‘to cure’. We do not have enough pieces of
evidence to postulate phonemic status of the voiced and of the voiceless nasal. EXERCISE 4. Examine the pairs of sounds [s], [z] and [d], [t] in Finnish. Are [s] and [z] different
phonemes, are they in complementary distribution, or are they in free variation? Determine the
same information for [d] and [t]. Give evidence for your conclusions. Also, there is one near
minimal pair – which pair is it?
[ku:zi] ‘six’ [li:sa] ‘Lisa’ [kadot] ‘failures’ [madon] ‘of a woman’ [kate] ‘cover’ [maton] ‘of a rug’ [katot] ‘roofs’ [ratas] ‘wheel’ [kade] ‘envious’ [li:za] ‘Lisa’ [ku:si] ‘six’ [radan] ‘of a track’ ANSWER KEY: - in order to answer this question, it is necessary to examine each pair of sounds
first, the pair [s] – [z]. There are minimal pairs illustrating these two sounds. These are
the minimal pair [li:sa] ‘Lisa’ and [li:za] ‘Liza’, and the minimal pair [ku:si] ‘six’ and
[ku:zi] ‘six’. But, as it can be seen in the gloss, although [s] alternates with [z] in the two
pairs above, the meaning stays constant. Therefore, we have a situation in which two
sounds are found in the exactly same environment, and there is no distinction in meaning.
This is a typical instance of free variation. Sounds found in free variation are always
allophones of a single phoneme, as they do not trigger difference in meaning.
In human languages, allophones can be found in one of the following two contexts
o complementary distribution: where one allophone occurs, the other is blocked
o free variation: the two allophones can appear in the exact same environment, with
no distinction in meaning 4|Page PHONEMES AND ALLOPHONES– LINA01 H3F PRACTICE EXERCISES –ANSWER KEY - - We do not have enough pieces of evidence in the exercise above to actually decide which
of the allophones is the phoneme.
then, the pair [t]-[d]. There are minimal pairs illustrating these sounds: [kadot] ‘failures’
and [katot] ‘roofs’; [kate] ‘cover’ and [kade] ‘envious’; [madon] ‘of a woman’ and
[maton] ‘of a rug’. But this time, there is difference in meaning. Therefore, /d/ and /t/ are
the near minimal pair is [ratas] ‘wheel’ and [radan] ‘of a track’ (the sounds s and d also
alternate here) EXERCISE 5. Examine the following data from Sindhi (a language spoken in Pakistan).
Determine the phonemic status of [p], [ph], and [b]. That is, are the three sounds different
phonemes or allophones of the same phoneme? Is the relationship between the sounds the same
as in English...
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- Summer '11