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Topic 41: English phonetics, phonology, morphophonology

  1. Phonetics of English
    The speech organs and their role in the articulation of English sounds. Classification of sounds on an articulatory basis.
  2. The phonetic characteristics of English and Hungarian
    Compare English and Hungarian with respect to the phonetic characteristics of the two systems.
  3. Transcription and spelling
    Systems of transcription for English and their theoretical and practical problems. The relationship of spelling to sound, and the reasons for their discrepancies.
  4. Structuralist phonology
    The taxonomic model and its shortcomings. Problems with the phonemehood of the velar nasal.
  5. Classical generative phonology
    The SPE model. Underlying vs. surface forms. Rule formalism. Treatment of vowel shift and velar softening in this framework. The ``powerfulness'' vs. ``naturalness'' controversy.
  6. Current phonological theory
    Post-SPE models: lexical, autosegmental, dependency, government phonology, optimality theory. Treatment of an English phenomenon in one of these frameworks (chosen by the candidate).
  7. The English vowel system
    Underlying elements (``phonemes''). Vocalic contrasts. The problem of ``vowel shift''. Quantity or quality (tenseness or length)?
  8. The English syllable
    Its status in phonology. Its buildup. Syllabification, ambisyllabicity. Sonority. Phonotactics: restrictions on onsets and codas, peaks and rhymes.
  9. English word stress
    Stress assignment rules, their relation to morphology and syntactic function (word class). Degrees of stress within the word. Reduction.
  10. English compound stress and phrasal stress
    Distinction of compound and phrase. Prosodic hierarchy. Foot construction. Outlines of metrical phonology.
  11. English intonation
    Tonality, tonicity, tone. Pitch contours and ``intonation phonemes''. Neutral vs. nonneutral, focusing, emphasis, contrast. Relationship with syntax.
  12. The relationship of morphology and phonology
    The ``common underlier'' problem. Irregularity and suppletivism. Free and bound. Lexical storage vs. productive formation, the phonological visibility of morphological domains.

Suggested readings


last edited on Tue Dec 31 23:00:00 CET 2002, by peter.szigetvari@elte.hu