Phonology Essay

2726 Words Jul 31st, 2014 11 Pages
1 Introduction:
 Phonology is the study of how sounds function within a given language. The study of English phonology for our purposes can be divided into two broad approaches: segmental and suprasegmental. 
Segmental phonology is a bottom up view of phonology which deals with the individual sounds which make a difference to meaning. These are called phonemes and their effect can be seen clearly in the following example: * Red (colour). * Read (past tense of the verb to read). * Read (present tense of the verb to read). 
 The pronunciation of 1 and 2 is the same; they are homophones. The spelling of 2 and 3 is the same; they are homographs. All three examples are made of 3 distinct phonemes /r/ …show more content…
Why? What are the pros and cons? How often do you use it in your teaching?
The sound journey
As all actors know, the journey made by sound begins in the lungs as air and travels through the articulators before being released as sound. The articulators are the points at which the sound can be affected. The articulators are as follows:
 Hard Palate Tongue
Upper Teeth Upper Lip Uvula
Alveolar Ridge Lower Lip Pharynx
Soft Palate (Velum) Lower Teeth
 Vocal Chords
Knowledge of where sounds are made and which articulator affects sound production can help us to identify and correct pronunciation problems. By understanding the physical effects of the articulators (especially voicing which is vibration in the vocal chords – think of the difference between the “ph” in
“phoneme” /f/ and the “v” in “voicing” /v/), students are able to work out for themselves how a sound is produced. For some learners this is extremely useful and this approach is particularly appropriate for certain learner styles (notably visual learners or more scientific learners); for some people it is almost impossible to reproduce a sound without being shown what the body does physically. Task 2: Which are the articulators which cause problems for learners in your teaching context? Can you exemplify?

Consonant sounds are made when the air flow is restricted by one (or more) of the articulators. Vowel sounds occur when the air flow is not restricted; the sound is affected

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