Phonetics And Phonology

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1. Introduction 1.1 Aim of the essay Both phonetics and phonology derive from the Greek word phone. Phonetics is the study of how humans produce and perceive speech sounds. It is concerned with the actual physical properties and production of speech sounds. Phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language and is the studies of sound systems. This essay aims to explore the relationship and differences between phonetics and phonology Phonetics 2.1 Definition English has numerous speech sounds which function as the building blocks to the words and phrases that make up language. Phonetics is the study of how humans produce speech sounds. It is concerned with describing physical properties and production of speech sounds. In Rowe…show more content…
Phonetics study examines the individual sounds that from the string of sounds produced during speech. The phonetic alphabet was created to represent sounds by letters in a uniform way. (O’Grady 2005, p17) Acoustic phonetics is the study of physical characteristics of sound waves which carry speech sounds between ear and mouth. Auditory phonetics is the study of the perception and interpretation of sound. The branch that this essay concerns itself with is articulatory phonetics. Articulatory phonetics is concerned with physical apparatus used to produce speech sounds. Various methods and concepts are used in order to study speech sounds. These include the phonetic alphabet, speech structures, breathing and speech, voice/voiceless sounds and suprasegmentals. The phonetic alphabet gives visual representation of sounds we make when language is used. The positioning of where and how the sound if formed is used as a basis for writing sounds. Phonetics requires a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology of human speech. Humans have more complex tongue and lip muscles than apes. They also have a voice box allowing for greater changes in pitch and frequency. 2.3…show more content…
Differences Phonetics deals with production of speech sounds. This concerns the physical aspects of phone production. Phonetics describe all speech sounds used in any language, and can be used with no need for prior exposure to be used in the analysis of a language. Phonology on the other hand is not about what the brain hears, but what the brain understands from the speech sounds. It analyses the sound pattern of a language in question. This highlights the first difference, phonetics is concerned with the speech, while phonology is concerned language systems. Phonetics is universal and can apply to speech sounds in all languages, phonology on the other hand is language specific. The universal aspect of phonetics is also applied to its alphabet. Phonemic symbols on the other hand are a type of shorthand. A phonetic symbol stands for one sound regardless of the language. Phonemic symbols on the other hand can stand for several sounds, they are more abstract term. To highlight the above concept, we use the word “lit”. Phonetics is purely concerned about the sounds physical production. On the other hand, in phonology the word “lit” would be seen as close to “let” separate in meaning by a small change in
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