1 sufficiently close together that they vibrate when subjected to air pressure

1 sufficiently close together that they vibrate when

This preview shows page 19 - 21 out of 45 pages.

Chapter 3, section [3.1] Several candidate pairs come to mind. Perhaps the first to examine is a voiced/voiceless pair that’s easily susceptible to the same ‘Adam’s apple’ test we applied to /s/ and /z/. How about the pair of ‘th’ phonemes? These
Image of page 19
Consonants (2): classification And there are several other pairs: /p/ and /b/; /t/ and /d/; /k/ and /g/: Pairs of consonants Voiceless Voiced /s/ /z/ /f/ /v/ /θ/ /ð/ / / ʃ / ʒ / / ʧ / / ʤ / /p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ /k/ /g/ Inall, these contrastshelp tosortsixteen ofour list oftwenty-four consonant phonemes into voiceless/voiced pairs. Theoretically it’s possible to conceive of a language that organised its whole consonant system in terms of such oppositions,butthatdoesn’thappeninEnglish.Youmightliketolookatthe consonantsthatdo not fallneatlyintovoiceless/voicedpairs,andtrytowork out what they have in common, as well as how they differ. The consonants that don’t fall into voiceless/voiced pairs are: /h/ /h p/ ɪ ‘hip’ /n/ /n p/ ɪ ‘nip’ /m/ /met/ ‘met’ /ŋ/ /s ŋ/ ɪ ‘sing’ /r/ /r p/ ɪ ‘rip’ /l/ /l ɪ p/ ‘lip’ /j/ /jet/ ‘yet’ /w/ /w n/ ɪ ‘win’ These are indubitably consonants, and have been exhaustively established as such via their function in minimal pairs and sets. And yet they’re all voiced, with the exception of /h/ (which has no voiced partner). So what gives this group of consonants their identity? What differentiates them and allows them to be consonant phonemes of English?
Image of page 20
Image of page 21

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture