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The subject-matter of phonetics and phonology

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Phonetics is the science that studies the sound matter of language, its semantic functions and lines of development. Phonetics studies the sound system of the language, that is segmental units (phonemes, allophones), suprasegmental units (word stress, syllabic structure, rhythmic organization, intonation). Phonetics can be theoretical and practical. While practical phonetics studies the substance, the material form of phonetic phenomena in relation to meaning, theoretical phonetics is mainly concerned with the functioning of phonetic units in language. All speech sounds have 4 aspects (mechanisms):

1. Articulatoty aspect (Articulation comprises all the movements and positions of the speech organs necessary to produce a speech sound);

2. Acoustic aspect (Speech sound is a physical phenomenon, which exists in the form of sound waves which are pronounced by vibrations of the vocal cords. Thus each sound is characterized by frequency and certain duration. These items represent acoustic aspect);

3. Auditory aspect (The listener hears the sound, percepts its acoustic features and the hearing mechanism selects from the acoustic information what is linguistically important);

4. Functional (linguistic) aspect (Every language unit performs a certain function in actual speech. Functional aspect deals with these functions).

In accordance with these 4 aspects of speech.


Вопрос. Consonants. Proto-Germanic consonant shift.

The specific peculiarities of consonants constitute the most remarkable distinetive feature of the Germanic linguistic group. Comparison with other languages within the IE family revals regular correspondences between Germanic and non-germanic consonants. The consonants in Germanic look “shifted”as compared with the consonants of non-germanic languages.the alterations of the consonants took place in PG(proto-germanic), and the resulting sounds were inherifed by the languages of the Germanic group. The changes of consonants in PG were first formulated in terms of a phonetic law by Jacob Grimm in the early 19th c,and are often called Grimm’s law. It is also known as the first or proto-germanic consonant shift .another important series of consonant changes in PG was discovered in the late 19th c. by a Danish scholar. carl verner . they are known as verner’s law. Verner’s law explains some correspondences of consonants which seemed to contradict grimm’s law and were for a long time regarded as exceptions. According to verner’s law all the earle PG voiceless fricatives[f,o,x] which arose under grimm’s law, and also[s] inherited from pie, became voiced between vowels if the preceding vowel was unstressed; in the absence of the conditions they remained. Voicless. The voicing occurred in early PG at the time when the stress was not yet fixed on the root-morpheme. The process of voicing can be shown as a slep a succession of consonant changes in prehistorical reconstructed forms; consider, e.g. Interpretation of the Proto-Germanic consonant shift.

The causes and mechanism of the PG consonant shift have been a matter of discussion ever since the shift was discovered.when Jacob Grimm first formulated the law of the shift be ascribed it to the allegedly daring spirit of the Germanic tribes which manifested itself both in their great migrations and in radical linguistic innovations. His theory has long been rejected as naïve and romantic. Some philologists attributed the shift to the physiological peculiarities of the Toutons, narrely the shape of their glottis: it diferred from that of other IE tribes, and the pronouncation of consonants was modiffed. Other scholars maintained shift was caused by a more energetic articulation of sounds brought about by the specilically Germanic force word stress.

Вопрос. Main grammatical changes within the historical context:evolution of main parts such as the noun, verb, adjective, and pronoun.

Grammatical ending , or inflections, were certainly the principal from building means used: they were found in all the parts of speech that could change their from: they were usually used alone but could also occur in combination with other means.

Sound interchanges were employed on a more limited scale and were often combined with other from building means, especially endings. Vowel interchanges were more common than interchanges of consonants .

The use of prefixes in grammatical forms was rare and was confined to verbs . Suppletive forms were restricted to several pronouns , a few adjectives and a couple of verbs . The parts of speech to be distinguished in OE are as follows : the noun , the adjective ,the pronoun , the numeral (all referred to as nominal parts of speech or nomina ) , the verb , the adverb , the preposition , the conjunction , and the interjection . Grammatical categorles are usually subdivided into nominal categories , found in nominal parts of speech and verbal categories found chiefly in the finite verb .

In the course of ME and Early NE the grammatical system of the language underwent profound alteration . Since the OE period the very grammatical type of the language has changed : from what can be defined as a synthetic or inflected language ,whit a well developed morphology English has been transformed into a language of the “analytical type ” , with analytical forms and ways of word connection prevailing over synthetic ones. This does not mean, however, that the grammatical changes were rapid or sudden :nor does it imply that all grammatical features were in a state of perpelual change.

The division of words into parts of speech has proved to be one of the most permanent chacteristics of the language .Through all the periods of history English preserved the distinctions between the he following parts of speech : the noun , the adjective , the pronoun , the numeral, the verb , the adverb , the preposition, the conjunction , and the interjection.

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