Introduction to Linguistics Chapter 1 (pp. 1-13)

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1 Introduction to Linguistics Chapter 1 (pp. 1-13) I. Basic concepts Linguistics is the study of mental grammar There are many things you know about your language that you have not been taught To study language objectively, linguists are careful not to tell people how they should speak, but rather describe how people actually speak Prescriptive grammar and mental grammar are both lists of rules, but your mental grammar is unconscious and a natural result of your experiences and human genetics, whereas prescriptive grammar is an artificial and cultural phenomenon II. III. Some questions What is the difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammars? What are some examples of prescriptivist rules? What are some factors that one s linguistic performance depends on? What does AAE stand for? How do linguists denote ungrammatical utterances? Some terms to know Mental grammar, prescriptive grammar, descriptive grammar, grammaticality judgment, African American English, Standard American English, linguistic competence, linguistic performance

2 Phonetics Chapter 2 (pp ) I. Basic concepts The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) attempts to represent each sound of human speech with a single symbol Remember that letters are NOT the same as speech sounds! Ignore spelling when transcribing! IPA symbols are denoted with square brackets [ ] II. Some questions What does it mean to be voiced? That is, what is happening anatomically when you voice something? How many properties do we use to describe consonants? How many to describe vowels? What are these properties? What are the consonant properties of [t]? [m]? What are the vowel properties of [u]? What is the vowel in the word beak? What is the difference between diphthongs and monophthongs? A student who speaks American English has transcribed the word shed with the vowel [e]. How do you know this is incorrect? What is an obstruent? What is a sonorant? There are 8 phones in English which are alveolar. Can you name all 8? There are 9 phones in English which are fricatives. Can you name all 9? Name the voiced pair of the following phones without looking at your IPA consonant chart: [p], [t], [k], [s], [f], [θ] [s] or [z]? The following words end in either [s] or [z]. Which ones end with [z]? 1. cats 2. dogs 3. mess 4. cans 5. drivers 6. programs 7. surprises 8. caps 9. cabs 10. ads How do you know the words you wrote down end with [z]? Make reference to something you can physically feel. [t], [d], [ɾ], or [ʔ]? The following underlined letters refer to one of these four sounds. Write the one that you use in your pronunciation. (Hint: try replacing the underlined sections with each of the four sounds like we did in class, and see which one sounds most like the one you use when speaking naturally.) 1. batter 2. baton 3. pudding 4. mitten 5. beetle 6. dill Which sounds in English may be aspirated? For brownie points: In what environment are they aspirated?

3 A common thing that beginning Spanish learners will hear is that Spanish contains a sound which is between a b and a v. This sound is a voiced bilabial fricative. Now that we know IPA properties, we can be more specific in describing this sound. In what way is it like a [b], and in what way is it like a [v]? What is the only palatal sound in English? III. Some terms to know Place of articulation, manner of articulation, voiced, voiceless, oral, nasal Vocal folds/cords (vocal folds = vocal cords) Anatomical terms: lips, teeth, alveolar ridge, (hard) palate, velum, uvula, pharynx, glottis Places of articulation used in English: bilabial, labiodental, interdental, alveolar, alveopalatal, palatal, velar, glottal Manners of articulation: stops, fricatives, affricates, tap/flap, lateral liquid, retroflex liquid, glide Height, backness, rounding, tense/lax, voicing Monophthong, diphthong Obstruent, sonorant, sibilant (sibilant = strident) Aspiration

4 Phonology Chapter 3 I. Basic concepts The lexicon, your mental dictionary, is written in phonemes. What you pronounce are phones or allophones. In order to find the phonemic transcription and to determine whether there are any phonological rules in a person s mental grammar, by solely observing phonetic transcriptions, we must look at a phone s environment o Remember the Superman/Clark Kent analogy: the way we know Superman and Clark Kent are the same person (allophones of the same phoneme), we observed that they never occur in the same place at the same time o Same environment (complementary distribution) means we infer that they are allophones of different phonemes o Different environment (contrastive distribution) means we infer that they are allophones of the same phoneme The clearest example (but not only example) of contrastive distribution is when we find relevant minimal pairs Format of a formal rule:

5 II. Some questions Fill in the following statements: o A mental sound category is a. o A physical pronunciation of a mental sound category is a or. o One may have more than one. For the following data set, draw two T-charts: one for [i] and one for [e] Hint: You should have 6 entries for i, and 8 for e bileli selie eble biele bi abiel English has the minimal pairs [su] Sue and [zu] zoo. What does this tell us about the status of [s] and [z] for English speakers? What is the purpose of a T-chart? Transcribe the word superstitious, then draw a syllable tree above the transcription Spanish phonology problem Using ONLY the data below and no outside knowledge, look at the data for Spanish and answer the questions below. ɣ = voiced oral velar fricative mizmo same dezde from este this izla island aspiɾas you seek fosko irritable riezɣo risk o Are [s] and [z] in contrastive or complementary distribution? o Are [s] and [z] allophones of different phonemes or the same phoneme? o If you answered contrastive, describe why you think [s] and [z] are in contrastive distribution. If you answered complementary, write a rule in formal rule notation describing the distribution of [s] and [z]. o Based on the data given, write the phonemic and phonetic transcriptions of the Spanish words meaning same and this. Be sure to sue square brackets and slash brackets appropriately Phonemic transcription of same : Phonetic transcription of same : Phonemic transcription of this : Phonetic transcription of this : Write the natural class necessary to describe the set of phones on the left to the exclusion of the phones on the right. Note that you may need to write more than one property [ p t k b d g ] to the exclusion of [ m i f s ] [ v ʒ z ] to the exclusion of [ p h s i l b ] [ ɑ ɔ u ʊ ] to the exclusion of [ t i e ɛ z ]

6 III. Some terms to know Environment, complementary distribution, contrastive distribution Natural class Phoneme, allophone/phone, lexicon T-chart Minimal pairs Formal rule notation Syllable, rhyme, nucleus, onset

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