Hey, I just wanted to ask what the difference is between a phoneme and a phone? The current definition I have is:
Phone: the smallest structural unit of sound that is produced in an utterance
Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound that can produce contrasts (?)
But with these definitions, I don't really understand the difference...
Thanks in advance
That definition you've got of phonemes being sounds that can produce contrasts
is the most important distinction.
As an example, consider the letter 'p' and the sound it makes. Now, while holding your hand in front of your mouth, say the words 'pin' and 'spin' a couple of times each.
Notice how when you say the word 'pin,' a puff of air hits your hand? That's because the 'p' sound is aspirated
(meaning it's accompanied by an outwards breath of air) - denoted as ph
. But there's no aspiration in 'spin.'
are our way of classifying all the different types of sounds, so 'p'
are two different phones.
This is true no matter what language you're talking about - these will always be two distinct types of sounds.
However, in English, we don't make a distinction in meaning between aspirated and non-aspirated sounds. If you pronounced 'spin' with an aspirated 'p', people would still know what you were saying. This means that 'p' and 'ph
' are the same phoneme in English.
Contrast that with something like voicing
(i.e. the vibration in your throat when you produce certain sounds). If you already know about this, then you can skip the explanatory bit, but if you hold two fingers to your throat and say the words 'pat' and 'bat' you'll notice a vibration feeling when you produce the 'b' sound. We know 'p' and 'b' are different phones because there is this difference between them (i.e. 'p' is unvoiced, 'b' is voiced) but they're also different phonemes
because there is a difference in meaning between 'pat' and 'bat' BUT there is no difference in meaning between 'spin' and 'sph
= the smallest unit of sound that we can isolate
= sound units that produce contrasts in a language.
Hopefully that makes sense!
In regards to finding quotes for section C, are there any recommended linguistic books to read? I've heard of Mother Tongue, Mastering Advanced English Language, etc., but are they really worth it? If so, which ones are the best resource? Moreover, what are the alternative methods for finding quotes?
Thanks in Advance
I'd recommend trying to narrow down your search first - if you want some very general material, then just googling 'books about language' or 'quotes about English language' should give you a starting point...
But it'd probably be more efficient to come up with a list of key themes or sub-ideas within Englang and then brainstorm quotes for each one. For example:
- quotes about formality/informality in English
- quotes about taboo language
- quotes about language change
- quotes about political correctness
- quotes about language identity
- quotes about language learning
...and so on.