X2NLA chapter7 .pdf


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LEA X2NLA – Programme amménagé 2009
7

FURTHER CONCEPTS IN PHONOLOGY

Throughout this course we have carried out phonemic transcriptions of spoken Standard
Southern British English. A phoneme is usually defined as a contrastive sound segment which
can be used to change meaning, for example, if we replace /p/ by /b/ in the word pig, a
different word results. Note: the phoneme has to be understood as an abstract, mental
category. The actual pronunciations of a phoneme will never be totally identical (rather like in
hand-writing, where every instance of a hand-written a or A will be slightly different from
every other instance, even if produced by the same person). Phonemes are one of the
fundamental concepts in phonology, which is the sub-discipline of linguistics which is
interested in the abstract patterning and use of sounds in particular languages.

Exercise 7.1 Homophones
Homophones are words which are spelt differently and have different meanings, but are
pronounced identically.
Find two different words corresponding to each of the transcriptions below.
1. / 'weə /
2. / 'led /
3. / 'aɪ/
4. / 'həʊl /
5. / 'nɒt /

where, ware
led, lead
I, eye
whole, hole
knot, not

6. / 'hi:l /
7. / 'raɪt/
8. / 'pɪə /
9. / 'nəʊ /
10. / 'peə /

heal, heel
right, write, rite
pier, peer
know, no
pear, pair

Exercise 7.2 Homographs
Homographs are words with the same spelling, but different meanings and different
pronunciations.
Give the transcription of the underlined words.
1a. Peter lives near London. / 'lɪvz /
1b. Several lives were lost. / 'laɪvz /

4a. Lead is a soft greyish metal. / 'led /
4b. You lead and we’ll follow. / 'li:d /

2a. Why did you tear that cloth? / 'teǝ /
2b. A tear is a drop of salty water. / 'tɪǝ /

5a. Stop making such a row. / 'raʊ /
5b. Who’s that in the front row. / 'rǝʊ /

3a. I’d love to read it. / 'ri:d /
3b. I don’t think he’s read it. / 'red /

6a. The wind has dropped. / 'wɪnd /
6b. Wind the window down. / 'waɪnd /

Note: the remaining of chapter 7 is no longer part of the program !!


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