Posted by: gdevi | October 27, 2011

English 280 Phonology Extra Credit

Dr. G. Devi

Phonetics/ Phonology Extra Credit

Available Points: 10 points

Due Date: Nov 4, 2011 class time, typed or written clearly

1. Review your notes about syllable constraints in English. For instance, what kinds of consonant clusters are possible in English to start words. For this question, study all the consonants in English and identify for yourself which among these phonemes – /f/, /p/, /s/, /m/, /l/, /ʃ/,  /tʃ/ — allows for the greatest number of consonant phonemes to follow it in order to start a syllable in English. I have listed seven phonemes here–pick any five you like for your analysis.

For instance, /f/ can be followed by /l/. Example “floor.” Can any other consonant follow /f/ and /l/ in the same cluster? Or is this a CCV cluster – 2 consonants plus a vowel? What other consonant can follow /f/ to start a meaningful morpheme in English? Another example: /s/ can be followed by /t/ and /r/. Example “strike.” This is a CCCV cluster – 3 consonants plus a vowel. What other consonant(s) can follow /s/ in order to start a meaningful morpheme in English? Your objective is to find the general “rule” about the “class” of sounds that are allowed to follow the above phonemes. Describe this class with their phonological features such as bilabial, stop etc.

The way to solve this problem is to approach it systematically plugging in one consonant at a time to work out the phonological constraints and thus the rules. There are no short-cuts.

2. Show the syllabic structure of the following words. Transcribe the word into notation before dividing into syllables. Do not be confused by spelling. Describe each syllable with O (onset), N (nucleus), and C (coda). Not all syllables will have all three.

mango, pineapple, dates, kiwi, sugarcane


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