Varying the Phonemes - Introduction to Linguistics

Varying the phonemes

§ 38. As has been repeatedly noted, in a speech (in a speech stream) phonemes can mutate, i.e. used in the form of different sounds. The modification of phonemes in speech is called variation, and the specific sounds representing a particular phoneme in the speech stream are variants of this phoneme, backgrounds, allophones, sometimes - shades of phonemes (by L. V. Shcherbe).

In linguistic literature, the variants of phonemes (backgrounds, allophones, allophonemes) are usually defined as "different sounds combined as varieties of one phoneme", "a series of physically different sounds", i.e. articulation and acoustically different sounds within the same phoneme, as the sounds realizing this phoneme, different sound implementations of the same unit - phonemes, "or" varieties, specific manifestations of the phoneme " and the like.

It should be noted that the above-mentioned external names, "physical" varieties of phonemes are sometimes used ambiguously. In particular, the term allophone (allophone) Some linguists are used as the name of the speech modifications of phonemes, which differ depending on the position of the phoneme in the word, ie. positional options, which will be discussed below. In a number of works, the variants of phonemes and their variations are delineated. Variants of the phoneme are considered to be its modifications, which in their sound coincide with some other phoneme of the given language, for example, the final consonant in the word gen [r ° ot] (compare noun mouth - cavity between jaws ); all other modifications of phonemes are called variations.

Each phoneme is characterized by its special set of speech modifications, or variants (in the broad sense of the term). The aggregate of all variants of the same phoneme in one or another language is called a phonemic series, or, more precisely, a number of phonemic varieties, variants of phonemes . Thus, in the United States language the phonemic series representing the vowel phoneme a, includes the following variants: (a) - in the stressed syllable at the beginning, end or middle of the word in the neighborhood of the solid consonants, except nasal, for example in words : arch [agk], river [z'e'ka], start [start]; [a1] - in the stressed syllable between the solid and soft consonants: give [da't ']; |' a] - in the stressed syllable between soft and hard consonants: fifth [p''atbij]; [' a '] - in the stressed syllable between two soft consonants: five [p''a't']; [a11] - in the stressed syllable before the nasal consonant: ladies [ da m]; [ e '] - in the first pre-syllable syllable after a soft consonant: fivefold [p'e'ta: k]; [b] - in unstressed syllables, except the first pre-war, after a soft consonant: The phonemic series representing the consonant phoneme with [s |, consists of such variants: [s] - in the position before the delocalized vowels of the immediate series a, u and before solid deaf or sonorous voiced consonants, and also at the absolute end of the word before a pause, for example: garden [sat], cheese [eig], steel [stal'J, glory [slav-b], kvass [kvas]; [z] - before ringing noisy hard consonants: pass [zda't ']; [s'] - before soft noisy deaf or sonorous consonants: cut [s'p'il'it '], merge [s'l'it']; [z '] - before soft voiced noisy consonants: knock down [z'b'it']; [s'] - before the soft hissing consonant h [c ']: count [s'c'is'l'it']; [s °] - in front of the labial vowel: dry [s ° 6xnu't '], dry [s ° usbi't'], etc.

In each phonemic row one option is identified as the main, dominant, which is sometimes regarded as an invariant of the corresponding phoneme. The main variant is that variant of the phoneme (a member of the phonemic series), which preserves all its differential signs, as a result of which it is most clearly contrasted with all other phonemes (in their basic variants). This is a variant of the phoneme, in which the latter acts under conditions of a strong position or close to the conditions of a strong position, in particular when the corresponding phoneme is isolated. For the two phonemic series listed above, the variants of the considered phonemes, indicated in the first place, are the main ones, namely: the variant [a], i.e. sound, pronounced in the United States language in the stressed syllable at the beginning, at the end or inside the word next to the solid consonants, except for the nasal (as, for example, in words: arch, river, start), and option [s ], i.e. sound pronounced in the position in front of the non-verbalized vowels of the forward row and in front of solid, deaf or sonorous voiced consonants, and also in the absolute end of the word before the pause (as in the words: garden, cheese, steel, fame, kvass , etc. .).

§ 39. Variants of phonemes are very diverse in nature. They differ and can be classified according to different signs. Depending on the phonetic conditions for the manifestation of phoneme variants, one should distinguish between them, first of all, the optional and optional variants, or, in other terminology, phonetic and non-phonetic.

Required (phonetic, or positional in a broad sense) phoneme options - these are their variants that are pronounced in strictly defined phonetic positions, differ depending on the phonetic conditions of use phonemes and, consequently, are impossible in the same sound environment. They are strictly required for all speakers of the language.

Mandatory versions of phonemes are subdivided into positional positional, or positional variants in a narrow sense, and combinatorial.

Positional (phonetic) variants of phonemes are considered as positional positional , which differ depending on the place in the word in relation to the absolute beginning or end of the word and to the stressed syllable and do not depend on the articulation of neighboring sounds. In the United States language, for example, various variants of vowel phonemes of the upper (lower and middle) rise, pronounced in unstressed syllables, variants of sonorous noisy consonant phonemes in the absolute end of the word (for details see § 68).

Combinatorial are the mandatory variants of phonemes, differing depending on the articulation of neighboring sounds, for example variants of vowel phonemes, depending on hardness - softness, deafness - voices of neighboring consonants, variants of consonant phonemes, differing depending on hardness or the softness of neighboring consonants, the presence or absence of neighboring vowels' nests (for more details, see § 69).

Optional (non-phonetic) phoneme options - these are their variations that differ regardless of the phonetic conditions of use, are pronounced in the same sound environment, i.e. can be replaced by each other in the same phonetic position.

The optional variants of phonemes include, first of all, variants that are allowed by the norms of literary pronunciation. They can be called regulatory options. In the United States language, various variants (variants [a] and [eh]) of the vowel phoneme a in the position after solid sibilant consonants in the nerve pre-syllable syllable (for example, in the words heat, tent, stepping ), variants of the vowel phoneme o in unstressed syllables of many words of foreign origin (poet, poetry, project, highway, necklace , etc.), hard and soft variants of front-language consonant phonemes before the vowel of the front row of e [e] in words of foreign origin ( congress, progress, session, strategy, energy , etc.), back-lingual consonants r fg], k [k], x at the end of the stem of the adjectives in the form of a nominative trust of the masculine singular and in the form of an imperfective verb before the suffix -va - (in words like soft, quiet, elastic ; jump, emphasize, swing) and some others. In Polish, in various normative versions, a solid consonant l [I] is used, which in the same position can be pronounced as a posterior-lingual and labial-labial. In German, French, the phoneme p [r] is pronounced in any position both as a front-language sound and as a lingual, uvular sound.

§ 40. Since phonemes in speech are used in the form of various variants (backgrounds, allophones), the number of specific sounds that represent the phonemes of a particular language is much higher than the number of phonemes used in a given language.

The number of phonemes in the world's languages ​​is strictly limited. In each language, phonemes can be counted, and their quantitative composition differs significantly in different languages. In most languages, the number of phonemes does not exceed several dozen. According to the data provided by AY Shaikevich, for example, there are 13 phonemes in the Havana (5 vowels and 8 consonants), in Romanian - 27 (7 and 20, respectively), in Uzbek - 29 (6 and 23), in Persian - 31 (8 and 23), in Georgian - 33 (5 and 28), in Chinese - 33 (10 and 23), in Armenian - 36 (6 and 30), in Italian - 42 (7 and 35), in the Zulu - 47 (7 and 40), in Khmer 48 (30 and 18), in Bengali - 49 (14 and 35), in Estonian - 51 (27 and 24), in Thai - 55 (35 and 20), in Abkhaz - 60 (2 and 58), etc.

In United States, different scientists have a different number of phonemes. Most often indicated 39 phonemes - 5 vowels and 34 consonants. Some other sources indicate a different number of phonemes in the United States language, namely: 38, 40, 41, 42, 43.

According to some information, there are separate languages ​​in which over one hundred phonemes are used, for example in the Burmese language there are 112 of them.

As can be seen from the data given, in most languages ​​the consonant phonemes predominate above the vowels. The exception is made up of such languages ​​as Khmer, Estonian, Thai, in which the number of vowel phonemes exceeds the number of consonants.

There are also languages ​​in which the phonetic system is represented only by consonant phonemes, and vowel phonemes as such are absent. It is a question of languages ​​in which there is only one vowel sound, which, being the only one in the phonetic system of language, can not perform a destructive function and, therefore, is not a phoneme. Some linguists have established that the language of the arant applies to such languages. It is suggested that they belonged to the Indo-European proto-language in the most ancient era of existence.

If the number of phonemes in languages ​​usually varies within a few dozen, then their sound variants are calculated, but at least by hundreds. A detailed experimental-phonetic analysis would show in any language hundreds of different sounds & quot ;. It is impossible to accurately determine the quantitative composition of sounds in a particular language. It depends not only on the number of phonemes in the studied language, on the possible conditions for their variation in a given language, but also on the accuracy with which differences are established between the variants of a particular phoneme, to what extent these differences are taken into account in describing the phonetic system of language. >

It is quite obvious that the phonetic systems of different languages ​​differ not only in the number of phonemes and their possible variants, but also in their qualitative composition. There are some examples of such differences. It has just been said that in most languages ​​the consonant phonemes predominate over the vowels, while in some languages, on the contrary, the number of vowels exceeds the number of consonants. Many languages ​​differ markedly in quality, articulatory-acoustic signs of phonemes-vowels or consonants; so, according to some linguists, "in English, for example, there is almost no vowel common to vowels French". In a number of languages, polyphthongs (diphthongs, triphthongs, tetraphotons) are used along with monophthonic sounds, which are absent in other languages, etc. and the like.

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