English - Phonetics Phonology

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Phonolgy looks at the sound system, whereas phonetics deals with the actual sounds of speech, considering how souds are physically articulated and language phenomena such as accents.

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Phonemes are the basic units of sound from which language is constructed. They can be represented using a variety of transcription systems, but symbols representing sounds are usually written between slashes like: /c/, /a/, /t/

The main consonant groups: consonant sounds are often used by a text producer for a particular effect. Plosive sounds such as /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/ tend to have a harsh or abrupt feel when they're foregrounded in a text.

Different consonant groups:

  • Plosives - b,p,t,d,k,g
  • Fricatives - f,v,s,z,sh
  • Africates -ch, dj (judge)
  • Nasal - m,n,ng
  • Approximant - r,j,w
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Sound patterns and effects

Sound symbolism describes how sounds are used to represent actual events and mirror the actions they describe. It covers both the features of sound patterning and the way sound patterning is structured.

Onomatopeia = can occur in lexical and non lexical forms. Lexical onomatopeia are words like 'bang' and 'crash'. Non lexical onomatopeia equally draws a similarities between a sound and the real world, although this relies on a sound or cluster of sounds that aren't lexical items, such as 'vroom' or 'grrr.'

Foregrounding sounds - Common phonological patterns can be achieved by structurally foregrounding particular groups of sounds. This is often done by using alliteration, asosonance and consonance.

(Alliteration - a sequence of words beginning with the same sound

Assonance - the repetition of vowel sounds for effect

Consonance - the repetition of consonants for effect)

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Phonology and Humour

Language can be manipulated to create a comic effect. The jokes that can be found inside Christmas crackers use phonological manipulation, eg:

Q what did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it?

A Nothing, it just gave out a little wine

This relies on homophones (word that sounds the same as another word/words) 'whine' and 'wine,' with the same pronunciation but different spellings.

This relies on phonemic subsitution (the replacing of one phoneme by another for desired effect) with /au/ replacing /u/ fior comic effect.

Sometimes homophones are used in conjunction with a stress on two lexical items rather than one, and rely on the reader's understanding that they will produce a conhert semantic field.

Eg: books and their authors - 'The laser by Ray Gunn' 'Bricks and Mortar by Bill Ding.'

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