Concept of English Phonology

Concept of English Phonology

              Phonology is the study of the sound system of language. It is the study of the wide variety of sounds in all languages, of the basic units of sound in a particular language, and of the regularities and rules that govern pronunciation of speech.

              Cohn & Huffman (2013: 1) The study of sound structure is commonly divided into phonology and phonetics.  An understanding of the interface between them is thus dependent on how we delineate the two areas. Most theorizing about the relationship between phonology and phonetics acknowledges that there are both conceptual and physical aspects of sounds of human language.  Phonology is often defined as the cognitive aspects of sound structures and sound patterns, while phonetics is understood to be the physical implementation of these structures and patterns.  Under this view, phonology is what the speaker/hearer knows about the sound patterns of his/her language, and thus is uncontroversial part of the linguistic grammar.

              The goal of phonology is to study the properties of the sound systems which speakers must learn or internalize in order to use their language for the purpose of communication.  Thus, when  approaching the  sound system  of a language,  it  is  necessary  to  study  not  only  the  physical  properties  of the attested sounds (that is, how they are made and what their acoustic correlates are),  but also  the grammatical properties of these  sounds.


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