Phonetics and Phonology of the English Language

Phonetics and phonology are English language concepts used to study sounding and articulation characteristics entailed in the study of English language.

In isolation, Phonology is the typical study of the sound system entailed in majority of languages, while phonetics is the typical study of the sound properties and key acoustic perspectives of language. The understanding of English language phonology involves analyzing key factors responsible for its development as a mode of communication. Two main lines of inquiry have been used to understand the key transfer and developmental factors: L1 and L2 hypotheses (Jenkins 2000, p.105). These have essentially been used to classify English learners progressively subject to the dynamics involved in each class.

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The word groups in English language are ordinarily bounded by pauses, which indicate the occurrence of nuclear syllables bearing the speaker’s pronunciation (Jenkins 2000, p.45). This is important in bringing into focus the respective articulating elements of different word group formations. Moreover, it has been observed that majority of word groups tend to coincide along syntactic boundaries such that any failure to accurately divide occurring speech streams into these specific units may result in the occurrence of grammatical mistakes (Jenkins 2000, p.45). English language reveals the occurrence of distinct speech patterns, used to identify the pronunciation elements.

These mainly depend upon the derivation of the vowel and constant arrangements influencing a particular pronunciation in English language. For instance, English tends to show more application of vowel duration compared to other LIs, which show reliance on element of pitch change (Jenkins 2000, p.40). There are some key variations associated with certain word formations with regard to the occurrence of short vowels, long vowels and diphthongs. For instance, “the loss of the diphthong /oa/ as in the word ‘poor’, which is now more likely to share the vowel sound b:l of the word ‘core” (Jenkins 2000, p.15).

It is important that cultural interactions between different societal settings have a great impact on the variations in English language.Furthermore, orthographic words, lexical nouns, and distinct word forms play a critical role in the understanding of conversational reporting. For instance, reporting verbs have been used to enhance the importance of historical presence through use of the present tense form (McCarthy 1998, p.158). Hence, through the combinations of words based on tense, it is possible to produce the desired narrative pattern and phonetic variations. Consider the example: “She wanted to bake then herself and she never really knew how and her gran always used to bake cakes and she’d go and watch” (McCarthy 1998, p.

96). In this case, the narrator is to phonetically express the desired meaning entailed in the phrase without significant difficulty. It also reveals that the range of verbs being used in reporting a conversation can be expressed pragmatically and syntactically (McCarthy 1998, p.164).The sounding and word articulating characteristics in English language can also be shown in terms of idiomatic nominal compounds, distinctive phrasal verbs, frozen similes, clausal idioms, and frozen similes.

An illustration of idioms includes: prepositional expressions, for instance, ‘in two shake’s of a lamb’s tail’, binomials and trinomials, for instance, ‘black and white film’ or ‘rough and ready’ (McCarthy 1998, p.130). In this sense, the expression needs to be uttered with the specific word order, especially those words with a single tone-unit as seen in ‘rough’ and ‘ready each of which expresses primary stress and secondary stress respectively (McCarthy 1998, p.130). In essence, the phonology and phonetics entailed in English language reveals the occurrence of special word formations leading to the development of distinct sounding and articulation.