Speech sounds and language sounds
Speakers in Russian know that in the word a one sound [a]; in the word yes there are two sounds: [q], [a]; in the word ladies - three sounds: [q], [a], [m]. We can easily say these words and learn them in a strange speech. To recognize the words, the speakers must pronounce the sounds from which these words consist, equally: [a], [yes], [ladies].
At the same time, only one word uttered by a person well known to us, without even seeing this person, we recognize him. We can understand if this person is healthy or ill, in good mood or in bad mood. This means that in the same word, each person utters sounds in his own way. And ns is always the same. And since these sounds differ from each other, therefore, these are different sounds. We can say that we can not utter the same word twice exactly the same way. Differences between sounds can be in pitch, duration, strength, and timbre.
Why do we think that the same word pronounced by different people is the same word with the same composition of sounds? Firstly, we do not hear some differences between sounds: they are so hot that they are beyond the limits of human perception (although special devices are capable of marking them). Secondly, in our linguistic consciousness, each sound is represented not by a point, but by a zone, a region of dispersion. All sounds within this zone are identified by the speakers and are perceived as the same sound.
In this regard, distinguish between the sounds of speech and the sounds of the language. The sound of speech is a concrete sound pronounced by a concrete person in a particular case. Usually you can not reproduce exactly the same sound: it will be another sound of speech. You can do this only with the help of an ideal tape recorder or laser player. The sound of speech is a point in the articulatory and acoustic space.
The sound of a language is a set of sounds of speech that are close to each other in articulatory-acoustic terms, defined by speakers as identity. The sound of the language is the sound type, the standard of sound existing in the linguistic consciousness of the speakers. Like any set, the sound of a language is no longer a concrete sound, but an abstraction.
In the future, speaking of sounds, we will most often refer to the sounds of the language. It is the sounds of the language, for example, reflected in the signs of transcription.
The concept of phoneme
We identify not only sounds that are close in articulatory-acoustic terms. The language has a strict law: the sounds are identified, the differences between which are related to the different conditions for their utterance.
For example, the words vo and import are distinguished by the first sound: [c] in the word vo and [c] in the words import . If you say [c] in the word with <100> (ms), and then increase the duration of this sound by half, changing the duration of the remaining sounds, we get the word import. If you say [c] for 200 ms and therefore increase the duration of the remaining sounds, then we get all the same word while The duration of the sound is estimated only by the background of the duration of other sounds. Therefore, a short sound in a word pronounced quickly, and a long
The sound in the same word, pronounced slowly, is perceived as the same sound unit.
Different conditions of pronunciation can exist for the whole word: different duration (as in the example), different loudness, different musical tone (in some basses, in others - tenor, in women, voices are usually higher than for men, for children - higher than adults).
Another case, when different conditions of utterance are connected with the unequal position of sound in the word, with different sound environments. For example, before a voiced consonant, the sound [q] changes to [x]: it is said that the image is spelled, kon [u, ot [u] and in the absence of a pause , kon [ ds] year , house [dz] at home. The sounds [q] and [ds] from the point of view of the speakers, represent a kind of identity. Unanimously pronounced consonants before [a] and [y] - before the ruined [y] consonants are also ruined: ko [a] a - ko [s ° y, but [ [c] scarlet - [c °] clever. Sounds [s] and [s °], [g] and [g], [c] and [c ° ] Are different sounds. Speakers usually do not notice this difference: for them [s] and [s °] - one language unit. It is called a phoneme.
Phonemes exist in our linguistic consciousness as single complexes of sounds. Speakers usually do not pay attention to the difference between sounds belonging to the same phoneme, identify them. What makes a pass like this? Perhaps, in one phoneme the sounds close, similar are united?
In words world, world , world the phoneme/and/is realized by different sounds: percussion [and] longer than the unstressed one and pronounced at the upper position of the tongue: m [i] p , m [and] rock , m [and] each. The same difference between two and in words in [outgoing, [ and] cp [i] m . For Russians this difference is invisible. To find it, you need special efforts. For the English, it's not worth knowing the sounds [i:] and [i] in the words read [ri: d] 'read' and rid [rid] 'liberate' scene [si: n] 'scene' and sin [sin] 'sin', wheel [wi: l] 'wheel' and < i> will [wil] 'will'. In the English language, the sounds [i:] and  are representatives of different phonemes, in the Russian language in the root world - similar sounds [i:] and [and] are combined into one phoneme.
The fact is that different sounds acting in the same position refer to different phonemes. (In English, [i:] and [i] can be stressed under the same consonants.) Different sounds can be combined in one phoneme, acting in different positions. (In Russian [u:] it is only under stress, [and] - only without stress.) Consequently, it does not determine the degree of acoustic or articulatory proximity of sounds, they refer to one or to different phonemes. This is determined by their positional behavior.
The phoneme represents the whole series (all the set) of alternating sounds, conditioned by phonetic positions.
The phonemes in the language have an important purpose - to distinguish between different words, different morphemes. The words house, com, scrap, rom, som, tom differ by the initial sounds [q], [k], [n], [p], [c], [t]. These sounds here are representatives of the phonemes/d /,/k /,/n /,/p /,/c /,/m /. In the words bar , 6o/n bor the sounds [a], [o], [y] are representatives of phonemes/a /,/o /,/y /, distinguishing these words. This function of the phoneme is called significative (
Not all sounds that distinguish words belong to different phonemes. In the words soda and garden two pairs of different sounds: [c °] - [c] and [o] - [a]. But these correspondences between sounds are unequal. Shock [o] and [a] can be the only distinguishers of two words: oda - hell, ohat - ahath, sharp - asters. Therefore, the shock sounds [o] and [a] - representatives of different phonemes -/o/and/a /. The sounds [c] and [c °] are never the only differences of words. The choice of these sounds is always conditioned by the position - the next vowel. Therefore, the sounds [c] and c °] represent one phoneme -/c /. The difference between [c] and [c °] is only the "gleam" The main difference between [a] and [o]. The words discard [sk'yut] and disappear [sr'yunut] are distinguished by the sounds [c] and [s], [k '] and [r']. But the choice of [c] and [s] is entirely due to subsequent sounds. Therefore [c] and [s] refer to the same phoneme. The difference between [c] and [c] is only the "gleam" The main difference between [k '] and [r *], embodying the phonemes/k'/and/r '/.
Another purpose of phonemes is to promote the identification of the same words, and morphemes. This function of the phoneme is called perceptual (& lt; lat. perceptio - perception). Why do we think that in the words climb (from climb) and forest different roots? Because they have completely different meanings. Why do we think that in the words climb and climbed the root is the same? First of all, because it has the same meaning. But this is not enough: climbed a tree means the same thing that climbed a tree, but we do not believe that climbed and climbed - the same word. In the words climb and climbed the roots are pronounced identically, and this allows us to identify them. But why then do we identify the roots in the forms climbed and climb ? After all, they are uttered in different ways: sir [l'es] and for [l * from]. We do this because the alternating sounds of this root refer to the same phonemes.
So, the funome is the shortest linearly allocated language unit represented by the whole series of alternating sounds,
due to phonetic positions, serving to distinguish and identify words and morphemes.
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