Read aloud the minimal pairs below. Single out the phonemes which are contrasted
jug—bug led—laid lay—He
judge—budge men—main say—sigh
keen—coin try—Troy bays—buys lied—Lloyd
burn—bone fork—folk fawn—phone fur—foe girl—goal
read—reared lead—leered day—deer pays—peers pace—pierce
law—low saw—so gnaw—no pause—pose
pearl—pole pursed—post curt—coat perch—poach cursed—coast
red—rared very—vary bed—bared pier—pair dearie—dairy
roars—rose awed—ode called—cold torn—tone
barred—bowed Karl—cowl part—pout art—out no—now
do—doer pear—poor my—mire write—riot bowered—b owed
2. Read these words. Pay attention to the allophonic difference of one and the same phoneme.
aspirated: take, tall, tone
unaspirated: steak, stall, stone
no audible release: outpost, halfpin, football, white chalk
nasal release: cotton, button, eaten, utmost
lateral release: cattle, atlas, at last
partly devoiced: do, dog, day
voiced: leader, order, murder
voiceless: bid, mad, road
no audible release: good dog, bed time, good cheese
nasal release: admit, road map, red map
lateral release: middle, headless, badly, good luck
aspirated: come, car, coal unaspirated: baker, talking, equal, secret
no audible release: locked, deck chair, blackboard, dark night, black Imagic, begged
lateral release: glow, bugle, struggle voiceless: dog, leg, vague partly devoiced: go, geese, girt, glass voiced; figure, eager, ago, begin
3, Read these words. Pay attention to the positional allophones of the /1/ pho-
less—leak doll—girl let—list coal—twelve
4. Read these words. Pay attention to the pronunciation of the de voiced allophones of the /1, w, r/ phonemes after /p, t, k/.
plight—blight class—glass clad—glad clean—glean clue—glue
5. Read these words. Mind the distributional character of the /h/ phoneme.
|he, hit, help, happy, half, hop, horn, hut, hook, who, her, habitual, hay, high, how, hoist, hoe, hear, hare, houri
6. Read these words. Pay attention to the complementary nature of soft and
/p/ pea —paw /b/ bee —bark /t/ tea —talk /d/ deep—dope
/k/ key —car /g/ geese —goose /t(7 cheese—chosej /dg/ jet —jar
Щ far —fee /v/ veel —vote /9/ theme—thumb /5/ thee —those;
/z/ zeal—zone /j/ yes—young /Jf/ she—shoe /w/ we—wet /m/ me—met /n/ knee—net
/п/ пол /п7 пёк /б/ бак /67 бязь /т/ ток /т7 тёк
1 Gimson А, С,
/м/ мак /м7 мять /н/ нос /н7 нёс /л/ лад /л7 лёд
/д/ да /ф1/ Фёкла /ж/ жар /и/ яр /д1/ дядя /в/ воз /ж'/ жжёщь /р/ рад] /к/ как /в7 вёз /х/ холм /р7 ряд
1. Give examples to prove that the following features of the English consonants and vowels are distinctive,
orality—nasality 'plosiveness—constrictiveness labial-
voicelessness—voicedness ' ity
*2. Give examples of combinatory allophones of the /r/ phoneme.
*3. What positional aflophones occur as a result of palatalization in the Russian language?
*4. Give examples for 'different types of distribution: (a) complementary, (fa) contrast!ve, (c) free variation.
5. Give examples of: (a) single opposition, (b) double opposition, (c) multiple
6. Give theoretical and practical proofs to explain constitutive, recognitive
7. Match the words below to obtain minimal pairs.
catch, pip, cheap, sap, he, jail, lap, pair, say, sink, rip, fail, lass, Sam, mink, cap, tear, she, lay, heap, match
ENGLISH CONSONANTS AS UNITS OF THE PHONOLOGICAL SYSTEM
Sounds can function as units of language only if they differ from one another. Mutually distinctive speech sounds are called phonemes. As has been pointed out the main method of establishing phonemes of a given language is the commutation test or discovery of minimal pairs through which the establishment of the phonemic status of each sound is accomplished.
When in a contrastive pair one consonan ;pnoneme is opposed to any other consonant phoneme in at least one position, this pair is called minimal,1 For example, in the minimal pair pen — Ben the phoneme /p/ is opposed to the phoneme /b/ due to the presence and absence of voice; it is the only distinctive feature of this minimal pair. All the other features of the pair pen — Ben are irrelevant. If there are more than one distinctive feature in a pair, it is called sub-minimal. For example, the pair treasure — pressure is sub-minimal because the opposition is due to: (1) the presence and absence of voice in the /g — J/ phonemes, (2) forelingual articulation of the /t/ phoneme and bilabial articulation of the /p/ phoneme. All the other fea-
1 "Minimal pairs are useful, when found, but not necessarily to be expected, and not essential to the work of analysis." 'ßteason H, A. Op. cit.— P. 280.)
tures are distinctively irrelevant. Minimal pairs occur in identical, sub-minimal in similar environments.
It should be borne in mind that distinctively irrelevant features can be of two types: incidental, which may or may not be present in a phoneme, and such, without which the phoneme can't exist at all. For example, the presence or absence of voice in the word final consonants /с, з/ in the Russian рос — роз is a 'genuinely incidental or redundant feature, whereas the forelingual articulation of /t/ and the bilabial articulation of /p/ are relevant differentiatory features. Palatalization is phonemically irrelevant, incidental in English and relevant in Russian, etc.
The phonological analysis of the system of English consonant phonemes helps to establish 24 phonemes:
/p, b, t, d, k, g, f, v, 9, 3, s, z, J\ 5. h, tj, 65, m, n, n, wt r, j, 1, a1/
Classificatory principles suggested by Soviet phoneticians provide the basis for the establishment of the following distinctive oppositions in the system of consonants of the English language.
I. Work of the Vocal Cords and the Force of Exhalation
Voiceless—fort is vst voiced—lenis
/p—b/ pen—Ben /t—d/ ten—den /k—g/ coat—goat
Voiceless — voiced opposition is simultaneously based on for-tis — lenis distinction. It is not so in the Russian language where the voiceless — voiced opposition is based only on the presence or absence of voice. If we compare the English /p, t, k, b, d, g/ and the Russian In, т, к, б, д, г/, we may state that: in the initial position the English /b, d, g/ are weakly voiced, the Russian /б, д, г/ are fully voiced:
book — бук goose — гусь deem — Дима
In English /p, t, k/ in the initial position are aspirated fort is, in Russian /п, т, к/ are unaspirated, therefore in English the /p — b, t — d, k — g/ oppositions are based on breath-force distinction, whereas in Russian, the pairs /n — б, т — д, к — г/ differ due to voice — absence of voice distinction (but not in the final position).
(plead—bleed tip —dip come—gum peach—beach tea —Dee cot —got pat —bat tear—dear cane—gain
1 /a/ is a "facultative phoneme". Some authors prove its phonemic status
пой—бой тал—дал кот—год пей—бей тол—дол кит—гид
2. Active Organ of Speech and the Place of Articulation
This principle of consonant classification provides the basts for the following distinctive oppositions:
(1) Labial vs. lingual
pain — cane bun — ton fame — tame
In these pairs the labial bilabial /p/ is opposed to the lingual back-Hngual velar /k/; the labial bilabial /b/ is opposed to the lingual fore-lingual apical HI; the labial labio-dental /f/ is opposed to the lingual forelingual apical /t/.
(2) Lingual vs. pharyngat (glottal)
Tim — him this — hiss foam — home care — hair
In these pairs the lingual forelingual apical /t/ is opposed to the pharyngal /hi; the lingual forelingual apical interdental 1Ы is opposed to the pharyngal /h/; the labial labio-dental /f/ is opposed to the pharyngal /h/; the lingual backlingual velar Ikl is opposed to the pharyngal /h/.
Within the group of labial, bilabial may be opposed to labiodental.
wear — fair mice — vice
In these pairs the bilabial /w/ is opposed to the labio-dental HI; the bilabial /m/ is opposed to the labio-dental /v/.
Within the group of forelingual, apical may be opposed to cacuminal.
dim — rim
In this pair the apical forelingual alveolar /d/ is opposed to the cacuminal forelingual alveolar /r/.
Within the group of lingual, forelingual can be opposed to medio-lingual.
tongue — young jet — yet
In these pairs the forelingual (apical alveolar) /t/ is opposed to the mediolingual (palatal) 1)1]
the forelingual (apical palato-alveolar) l&$l is opposed to the mediolingual (palatal) /j/.
3. Manner of the Production of Noise
This principle of consonant classification provides the basis for the following distinctive oppositions: (1) Occlusive (stops) vs. constictive
pine—fine Bern—fern dare —share bat —that bore—thaw bee — thee care—there mine—t hine ca me—lame
In these pairs the occlusive /p, b, d, k, ml are opposed to the constrictive /f, J1, S, 9, 1/. (2) Constrictive vs. occlusive-constrictive (affricates)
fare — chair fail — jail work — jerk
In these pairs the constrictive /f, w/ are opposed to the occlusive-constrictive (affricates) /tf, dg/.
"Within the groups of occlusives, or stops, and constrictives, noise consonants may be opposed to sonorants.
(a) occlusive: noise vs. nasal somrants
pine—mine boat — moat tale—nail dead—need kick—king
In these pairs the occlusive noise /p, b, t, d, k/ are opposed to the nasal sonorants /m, n, rj/.
(b) constrictive: noise vs. sonorants
same — lame vain — lane then — when
In these pairs the constrictive noise consonants /s, v, ö/ are opposed to the constrictive sonor ants /1, w/.
Unicentral constrictive consonants may be opposed to bicentral consrictive consonants.
(c) constrictive unicentral vs. constrictive bicentral
same — shame thine — wine
In these pairs the constrictive unicentral /s, 5/ are opposed to the constrictive bicentral Ц, w/.
Constrictive consonants with a flat narrowing can be opposed to constrictive consonants with a round narrowing.
(d) flat narrowing vs. round narrowing
fame — same vat — sat
In these pairs the constrictive consonants with a flat narrowing /f, v/ are opposed to the constrictive consonants with a round narrowing /si.
In all these oppositions only examples with the initially opposed consonant phonemes are given. It does not mean that the pairs of medially and finally opposed consonants, that prove their phonemic status, may not be found.
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