Sound Change In English

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English becomes the most popular language nowadays as it is the official language of the world. It is spoken not only in Western country, but also widely spread around the world, such as in Asia, especially in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and other developed countries. According to statistics in ethnologue (2014), the total number of native English speakers is approximately 335 million in about 99 English spoken countries. Historically, English has been affected by a number of other languages over centuries. Latin and German is the two most influence language in English. Another influence language came from French. According to Lawless (2014), French pronunciation contributes to English as well. Meanwhile Old English had the voiceless fricative…show more content…
LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Sound Change Kiparsky (2008) believed that sound change is viewed as exceptionless since The process of phonetically conditioned rooted in the mechanism of speech production. He also argued that there is the existence of exceptionless sound change, which grounded in natural articulatory processes. 2.2. Phonetic and Phonemic Aryapitipun (2003) stated that a phoneme is the smallest unit of sound that makes a difference in a meaning of a language. Roach (1998) added that the complete set of these units is called phonemic system of the language. It is a speech sound as it appears in the mind of the speaker. The actual sound produced is a phone. A phonetic description of a language explains the physical facts of the sounds of the language, while a phonemic description describes the physical facts and the way that the sounds are related to each other for speaker of that particular language. Thus, there are possibilities that two languages have the same physical sounds, but have very different phonemic systems. (Crowley, 1997) 2.3. Types of Changes According to Crowley (1997), the three important subtopics of the Phonetic Change and Phonemic Change include: 1. Phonetic change without phonemic…show more content…
As English was originated from French, the phoneme is spelt differently by the speakers of French which pronounce it as [ʀ]. From the table it is seen that the phoneme /r/ have always been spelt [ʀ]. However, in English the phoneme /r/ was pronounced as [ʳ] phonetically from alveolar, rather than from uvular that French’s speakers always pronounce. Even though this sound has changed phonetically, it does not alter phoneme inventory or the relation between phonemes. The English words that contain /r/ sounds in this study are ‘nature’, ‘memory’, ‘for’, ‘color’, and ‘flower’. The change could be represented as: / ʀ / : [ ʀ ] / ʀ / : [ ʳ ] Another allophonic involves the high front tense vowel phoneme. In some French words, the phoneme [i] undergoes a change in English words which has been more lax in the direction of [ɪ], such as in ‘difficult’ and ‘night’. As same as the previous allophonic, the change from [i] to [ɪ] has not caused any new meaning contrasts to develop. This pure allophonic change can be represented as: /i/ : [i] /i/ : [ɪ] 4.1.2. Phonetic Change with Phonemic
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