PDF | On Jan 1, , Piotr Gąsiorowski and others published Review of Katamba, Francis. An introduction to phonology. An Introduction to Phonology has 29 ratings and 3 reviews. This is a practical introduction to generative phonology for the novice, reflecting the trends. An introduction to phonological theory placed within the framework of recent mainstream generative phonology. The book is divided into two.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. An Introduction to Phonology Francis Katamba. Grammar, Comparative and general – Phonology. I Introduction i 1.

An Introduction to Phonology

Probably the best way to learn about phonology, i. With this in mind, this book has been frxncis not only with exercises at the end of each chapter, but also with in- text problems and tasks which are separated from the discussion by a line drawn across the page. You should always attempt these problems before reading on.

They are an integral part of the discussion. Suggested answers are included within each chapter. Answers to end of chapter exercises will be found at the end of the book. Some remarks on presentation: The common convention of using an asterisk to indicate impossible or wrong forms is also observed e. Examples discussed in the text are written in italics.

It was frahcis its first full and authoritative statement in Chomsky and Halle’s book The Sound Pattern of English. As we shall see, since then it has moved on in various directions. In the next few paragraphs the objectives of this theory are explained. The basic goal of generative grammar is to explore and understand the nature of linguistic knowledge.

It seeks answers to questions like: How is linguistic knowledge acquired by infants? Are there any properties of language that are universal, i. Chomsky believes that the answer to the last question, which he thinks holds the key to the other questions, is ‘yes’ and goes on to argue that Universal Grammar has a biological basis.

Biologically determined characteristics of the brain pre-dispose humans to acquire grammars with certain properties. But this raises further questions: In attempting to answer this question, generative linguists have developed principles and posited rules of the kind we shall explore.

They form part of their model of Universal Grammar. Like other linguists, generative linguists know that some aspects of language introductin not universal. But still they raise the question whether some non-universal properties of language fall into certain well defined parameters.

Are there any pre-set limits within which differences between languages occur? If the answer is ‘yes’ what are these limits and why do they exist? These are some of the main issues which this book addresses. Besides being concerned with general patterns of language structure, linguistic theory must provide us with the tools for describing those idiosyncratic properties which are peculiar to a particular language.

We need to distinguish between the knowledge speakers have and the manner in which they put that knowledge to use in concrete situations as, sometimes, there is a difference between what one knows to be correct and what one actually says. Linguistics is primarily concerned with linguistic competence knowledge rather than performance use. Interestingly, knowing a language, say English, is not merely a matter of learning by rote a very large number of sentences.

In this section:

Native speakers of a language can always produce and understand completely new sentences which they have ti previously encountered. No list, however long, could contain all the introdudtion sentences of a language.

Therefore ro grammar of a language cannot be simply a list of words and sentences of that language. In view of this, Chomsky proposes that a grammar of a language should be a gener- ative algebraic system of formal, explicit rules that enum- erates a non-finite number of well-formed sentences and assigns to each one of them a correct analysis of its structure.


The motivation for using rules to account for the fact that there is no limit to the number of possible sentences that a language can contain is obvious: They do not merely memorise long lists of sentences. However, the reasons for assuming that there are rules which underlie speakers’ knowledge of the sound system of their language are perhaps less obvious, given the fact that a language only uses a finite set of sounds to form words.

Just a little reflection is enough to show that the sound system is also rule governed. Determine which of the following nonsense words which you are probably seeing for the first time is a possible English word: You no doubt have chosen bintlement as the only potential English word. This is because you know that the consonant sequences tp, Is and fraancis which occur in the other ‘words’ are not permitted phoology the begin- ning of an English word.

On the other hand, all phonklogy sequences of sounds in bintlement are allowed by the rules of English phonology. You might indeed be tempted to look up bintlement in a good English dictionary – but not the other nonsense words. The implicit knowledge of linguistic rules that speakers have is probably modular. O v e r the years, various proposals have been made regarding the precise organisation phnology content of a gener- ative grammar.

You are not expected to have any prior knowledge of these theories. Essential aspects of the theory will be introduced, where necessary. The diagram below shows the place of phonology in the general theory phonllogy language which we shall be using: The initial phrase marker enters the transformational component where it may be modified by various transformational rules which move around constituents.

This is done to relate sentences like Money is what I need and What I need is money. The rules of logical form explain, kaatmba example, why to pay in the sentence Jane ordered Nitroduction to pay is understood to mean that Bill is the one that was expected phonoloy pay while in Jane prom- ised Bill to pay it is Jane w h o is expected to pay.

Rules of semantic interpretation are used, for instance to account for logical relations like entailment. A sentence like ‘ The Mayor of Lancaster switched on the Christmas lights last year’ entails that there w e r e Christmas lights last year. It would be contradictory to utter that sentence and continue ‘but there were no Christmas lights last year because of budget cuts’.

It is this final aspect of the g r a m m a r that we are mainly concerned with in this book. This book is a simple, practical introduction to phon- frajcis within the model of generative phonology as it has evolved during the last twenty years or so. While in the early years the emphasis was on making explicit the relationship between underlying and surface phonological representations by investigating the nature of formal p h o n o – logical rules, the ways in which rules interact and the distance between underlying and surface representations in phonology, lately the focus introductiin shifted to scrutinising the nature of phonological representations themselves and the relationship between phonology and other components of the grammar.

This shift in focus is reflected in the contents of this book.

These were the main issues explored in the s and s. However, the latter part of the book is devoted to topics of current interest. One major trend in generative phonology today involves several ‘non-linear’ approaches to the nature of phonological tl.

It is being developed through an examination of the nature of sound ‘segments’, syllable, introdution, stress, and intonation introducttion numerous languages. The other major current trend focuses on the relationship between phonology and other components of the grammar such as the lexicon, morphology and syntax.


These two trends are complementary. The exclusive concentration on generative phonology should not be taken as evidence of a belief on my part that nothing kafamba value has been said about phonology in the other frameworks.

Occassionally the contributions of other schools are mentioned in a footnote. But I have restricted the exposition to generative phonology for two reasons. In my experience, for the beginning student it is more bewil- dering than enlightening fraancis be presented with several competing theoretical positions, with their different the- oretical concepts, analytical techniques and nomenclature.

There is virtue in introducing students initially to one coherent theoretical’ approach. The question that then arises is: I have chosen tq. Much of it is written in some version of this framework. However, should you wish to survey other past and present trends in phonology there are many books which you can turn to.

An Introduction to Phonology Francis Katamba | Hikmat Ahmed –

If you wish to acquaint yourself with the history of phonology you can read excellent historical studies like Fischer-Jorgensen i and the more recent Anderson If you want an eclectic, ‘unbiased’ intro- duction to phonological concepts and their philosophical underpinnings you can turn to Lass I am grateful to the generations of students who were subjected to earlier drafts of the book for the feedback I got from them.

In writing this book I have benefited immensely from the help of Professor Geoffrey Sampson. Very special thanks also go to my editors and colleagues Mr. Mick Short and Professor Geoffrey Leech whose critical comments and suggestions have made this a better book than it would otherwise have been. Those others who over the years have taught me directly or indirectly something about phonology deserve a special mention.

Their scholarship is reflected in the theory presented here as well as in the data from the dozens of languages cited. And finally, I am grateful for the encouragement of my wife Janet during the long gestation of this book. Hyman for an adaptation of pp — ‘Noun tonology in Kombe’ by B. International Phonetic Association for a table from p. Phonology is the branch of linguistics which investigates the ways in which sounds are used systematically in different languages to form words and utterances.

The term speech sound has been used advisedly since not all noises which we are capable of producing with our vocal apparatus are employed in speech: However, no linguist, has yet discovered a community that has a language in which noises produced by any one of these mechanisms are used to form words. It is almost certain that no such speech community exists. One reason for this is the fact that there are obvious disadvantages in letting communication depend on involuntary noises like hiccups which speakers cannot start and stop at will.

Other methods like the gnashing of teeth may be easy to control, but have their drawbacks – the wear and tear which gnashing of teeth would entail must have ruled out that method.

I am using these examples to underscore the point that speech sounds form a small subset of all the noises which humans can produce with their vocal apparatus. It is this subset that phoneticians focus on. These are reflected by the three major branches of phonetics: It is important to describe how the air is set in motion and the direction in which it travels because that makes a difference in the sound produced.