Applied English Phonology
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Applied English Phonology

Mehmet Yavas

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eBook - ePub

Applied English Phonology

Mehmet Yavas

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About This Book

The new edition of the leading textbook for English applied phonetics and phonology

A leading textbook for English Phonetics and Phonology, the fourth edition of Applied English Phonology is an accessible, authoritative introduction to the English sound system. Providing clear explanations and numerous illustrative examples, this new edition has been fully updated with the latest research and references. Detailed discussions of fundamental concepts of applied English phonology cover phonetic elements, phonemics, English consonants and vowels, stress and intonation, structural factors in second language phonology, and much more.

Designed for students and professionals in both theoretical and applied linguistics, education, and communication sciences and disorders, this textbook contains new material throughout, including a new chapter introducing typical phonological development, patterns of simplification, and disordered phonology. Expanded sections explore topics such as contracted forms, issues in consonant and voweltranscription conventions, and regional dialects of American English. The essential introduction to phonetics and phonology, this textbook:

  • Presents new and revised exercises, references, and recommended readings
  • Covers developmental disorders relevant to the field of speech pathology
  • Includes end-of-chapter passages that help students check their phonetic transcriptions
  • Features an enhanced companion website which contains instructor resources and sound files for transcription exercises

Written by an internationally recognized scholar and educator, Applied English Phonology, Fourth Edition is essential reading for anyone in applied phonetics and phonology courses, as well as students and practitioners in areas of language and linguistics, TESOL, and communication sciences and disorders.

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1.1 Introduction

Our aim in this book is to study the sound patterns of English. The understanding of phonological patterns cannot be done without the raw material: phonetics. In order to be able to come up with reliable phonological descriptions, we need to have accurate phonetic data. Thus, students and professionals who deal with the patterns of spoken language in various groups of speakers (linguists, speech therapists, and language teachers) need a basic knowledge of phonetics.
Phonetics, which may be described as the study of the sounds of human language, can be approached from three different perspectives. Articulatory phonetics deals with the physiological mechanisms of speech production. Acoustic phonetics studies the physical properties of sound waves in the message. Auditory phonetics is concerned with the perception of speech by the hearer. The coverage in this book will be limited to the first two of these approaches. The exclusion of auditory phonetics is basically due to the practical concerns of the primary readership as well as the little information available about the workings of the brain and speech perception. In this chapter, we will look at the basics of speech production. Acoustic properties, in a limited form of spectrographic analysis and waveform analysis, will be the subject of Chapter 5.

1.2 Phonetic Transcription

Because we are constantly involved with reading and writing in our daily lives, we tend to be influenced by the orthography when making judgments about the sounds of words. After all, from kindergarten on, the written language has been an integral part of our lives. Thus, it is very common to think that the number of orthographic letters in a word is an accurate reflection of the number of sounds. Indeed, this is the case for many words. If we look at the words pan, form, print, and spirit, for example, we can see the match in the number of letters (graphemes) with the number of sounds: three, four, five, and six, respectively. However, this match in number of graphemes and sounds is violated in so many other words. For example, both should and choose have six graphemes but only three sounds. Awesome has seven graphemes and four sounds, while knowledge has nine graphemes and five sounds. This list of non‐matches can easily be extended to thousands of other words. These violations, which may be due to “silent letters” or a sound being represented by a combination of letters, are not the only problems with respect to the inadequacies of orthography in its ability to represent the spoken language. Problems exist even if the number of letters and sounds match. We can outline the discrepancies that exist between the spelling and sounds in the following:
  1. The same sound is represented by different letters. ...

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