What is phonology?
Phonology is the study of the sound patterns of the language. It is the system of rules underlying the sound patterns in a specific language. There are many ways to discover the unconsciousness system underlying our speeches. Phonology tries to explore that.
In a sound system, all the rules are governed by a systematic rule, phonology studies it by introducing the phonological rules. In Phonology, the following things are discussed.
- Phonemes and allophones
- The rule of assimilation
- Insertion and deletion
- Phonological rules
The Theories Of Phonology
There are some theories of phonology that describe how the sounds are produced. They are—
- The Assimilation rules
- Dissimilation rules
- Insertion rules
- Deletion rules
- Exchanging rules
1. The Assimilation Rules:
Assimilation is the most commonly used rules for all the languages of the world. It is a process where we make one sound more similar to another one with respect to some features. Assimilation varies from speaker to speaker and in their style of conversations. It can occur as three ways like—
- Assimilation of place
- Assimilation of manner
- Assimilation in voicing
We can say, consonants change into three ways, so assimilation occurs in these three ways.
Here are some examples of assimilation in the English language that is referring to the three types of the assimilation process.
A. Nasal Assimilation
We can find an example of nasal assimilation /n/ when /n/ can assimilate to the place of articulation of the following consonants.
|Sentence using nasals||Assimilation|
|He can be present||Can be either / Kan be / or /Kam be/|
|I can go||Can go/Kan go/ or / Kang go/|
B. Alveolar Assimilation:
In a casual speech in English, this type of assimilation is found. Here the assimilation of the place occurs. It is done by the children who are not that much care about their speeches. For example, when they pronounce ‘landlord’ as ‘lanlord’.
e.g. ‘Cinderella’ becomes “cinrella”. Here alveolar /d/ is assimilated to approximant /r/. It is somehow also an example of assimilation of voicing too.
C. Assimilation in voicing
It occurs very often in English speakers. It makes the voiced sound into a voiceless. For example.
|Actual Pronunciation||Assimilated Pronunciation|
|Have to||Haf to|
Voicing assimilation is very common in English regular plurals ending with /s/, for example,
Fig – Figs
Bat – Bats
2. The dissimilation rules:
When two neighboring sounds become less similar to each other this causes dissimilation in phonology. It usually occurs in laterals fricatives and nasals in English.
Here, the /d/ is absent in the second case.
3. Insertion rules:
Insertion process occurs when a segment is not presented at the phonemic level but is added to the phonetic form of a word. This process is also called ‘epenthesis’ in linguistics.
Insertions are found in some of the cases like—
|Types Of Insertion||Examples|
|Insertion of vowels||Thorow to ‘Thorough’|
|Insertion of voiceless stop||Something to ‘something’|
|Insertion of /y/||Tuesday to ‘tyuzday’|
4. Rules For Deletion:
It occurs when a segment or a phoneme is presented at the phonemic level but is deleted at the phonetic level in a word.
A common example is given when the /r/ is deleted after the vowel used in American English.
For example, Car is pronounced as /ka:/. More examples are shown below.
|Actual Word||Example of deletion|
Another occurrence of deletion is found in fricative pronunciation as in the /sixths/ is deleted to /sikz/ or /siks/.
Deletion of vowel sounds is also found when the short vowel /shoa/ is followed by bilabial /b/ as in about as /baut/.
5. Exchange Rules:
It is a process of re-ordering of sounds or syllables that can be resulted for speech errors sometimes.
It is also termed as ‘mathathesis’ in English.
Exchange can occur in many ways in English, like.
|Types of exchange||Example|
|Exchange of /s/||Ask as /aks/|
|Exchange of /r/||Brid (Old English) as Bird (Modern English)|
Suprasegmentals are aspects of phonological rules that include the stress, intonation, and syllables.
There are some phonetic sounds that cannot be analyzed as distinct sounds. That time it includes some of the extended vocal effects as intonation, level of pitch, stress, etc.