Phonology is a branch science of linguistics, the study of
language in general. “Phonological
rules are part of communication through language, whether spoken or written,
and knowing what they are and why they exist can help us better understand our
world” (Smith 1995). There are two common types of phonological rules,
these are universal and non-universal rules.
“Assimilation is a rule that makes two or more neighboring segments more
similar by making the segments share some feature” (Jun, 1995). While,
dissimilation is a rule that change feature values to make two phonemes in a
string more dissimilar. “Deletion
in English Language is the dropping of sound that takes place especially
because morphemes are put close to each other and also because of their occurrences
in unstressed syllables or in rapid speech” (Ramelan,1977, p. 174). Finally,
“dissimilation is when a sound changes one of its features to become less
similar to an adjacent sound, usually to make the two sounds more
distinguishable”. Consequently, studying the way that a particular phonological
rule operates in a spoken language, linguists are able to determine the
physiological and neurological mechanisms that translate mental language into
v A voiceless stop is
inserted between in front of a voiceless fricative and a nasal
example- /bowls/ – / b?lz
/ replacing a glide (w) with a liquid
Gliding- First example – /rusting/ – /??sl???/ replacing a consonant
(t) with a liquid
British speaker – In fast speech, the words /rusting/ and /bowls/ can be
pronounced as / ??sl???/ and /b?lz/
Rationale: One sound is substituted for another sound in
a systematic way.
(based on passage)
Table 3 below displays the results of dissimilation
in English Language.
Based on the recording:
An example is the
instead of b?r?z?rk
for the word berserk
is when a sound changes one of its features to become less similar to an
adjacent sound, usually to make the two sounds more distinguishable” (Chang,
2004). This type of rule is often seen among people speaking a language
that is not their native language where the sound contrasts may be difficult so
the rule is applied for ease of production and perception (Chang, 2004, p.6). In other words, a phonological process that
changes feature values of segments to make them less similar.
production of clusters is a complex procedure. It requires rapid movements
of the vocal apparatus to ensure smooth transitions from one consonant to
another. The voiceless stop /p/ is inserted for smooth transition during the
pronunciation between the two segments of words- /?am/ – /?akl/
Rationale: The effect of this insertion is to ease the
pressure on the vital rapidity of movement.
Table 2 below displays the results of
insertion in English Language.
on the recording:
(See passage and transcription in Apendices)
Prove that Epenthesis is present in English
Nathan (2008) asserts that “not only can
segments be deleted, sometimes they can be inserted instead. There seem to be
two basic reasons for insertion: preventing clusters of consonants that violate
syllable structure constraints in the language, and easing transitions between
segments that have multiple incompatibilities” (pg. 82). A
particularly strange, but well-known kind of insertion is the famous
‘intrusive/linking r’ of British and some dialects of American English. He adds that “there are two types of
insertion: prothesis and epenthesis, the
former refers to the insertion of a segment at the beginning while the latter
refers to the insertion inside a word.
Snoopy + /e/ ?
/esnupi/ ( prothesis) glass + plural /s/
? /glæs?z/ (epenthesis)? ? ? +stop / +nasal __ +fricative
? ? ? / s __ z”. “There is a special kind of epenthesis which
involves inserting a schwa between a liquid and another consonant. This occurs
in nonstandard English between ? and /r/ or /l/ in words such as the
following: arthritis a???raInIs athlete a??lit”.
are many examples of apocope in British English. Two of them are Final
/?/-Deletion and Medial /r/- Deletion. Thus, in words ending in /??/, the final
/?/ is elided: /s???/ > s??, /br???/ > br??, etc. And /r/ at the end
of words is deleted, e.g. /fa:r/ fa: ‘far’, /r?v?r/ r?v? ‘river’, etc.
In rapid speech,
sounds may be left out, or elided, especially when they occur as part of a
cluster of consonants. In English, alveolar consonants are commonly lost,
especially at the ends of words, e.g., the final alveolar plosive would
normally be dropped in the words above. Also, in normal conversation, words
that express grammatical relationship are often produced with less force, in
contrasts with the form in isolation or in a position which needs to put more
researcher noticed that the speaker left off the ending letters off the words
/lined, pot, sand, paved/, this was not deliberate. It might have been
unconscious and also the letters in front are stressed more than those letters.
There are two reasons why this happened; 1.
The participant was relaxed and spoke causally or; 2. the loss of a final element as /t/ and /d/
are low stress consonant.
and /d/ are deleted in unstressed syllables
Pronunciation (British speaker)
(See appendices for transcription)
. Table 1 below displays the results of
apocope (deletion) in English Language.
After the data were collected, the
researcher listened to each recording carefully a few times and transcribed the
problematic consonant clusters, based on his phonetic training and teaching
The researcher first created a friendly
rapport with the participants, then explained the recording will be used only
for research purpose and participant’s identity will remain anonymous. Next,
the researcher asked the participant to view the passage and read it aloud
while being audio-recorded. The recording was done in a friendly atmosphere.
A female who speaks the British version of the
Prove that deletion exist in English
“Deletion in English Language is the dropping
of sound that takes place especially because morphemes are put close to each
other and also because of their occurances in unstressed syllables or in rapid speech”
(Ramelan, 1977, p. 174). According to Roach (1983) “under
certain circumstances sounds disappear, or in certain circumstances a phoneme
may be realized as zero, or have zero realisation; elision is typical of rapid,
casual speech; the process of change in phoneme realisations produced by
changing the speed and casualness of speech, which is sometimes called gradation.
In other words, deletion is the elimination of a sound, this applies more
frequently to unstressed syllables and in causal speech” (p. 108). Also, “Apocope is a form of deletion which is
the cutting off or loss of one or more sounds from the end of a word, and
especially the loss of unstressed vowels” (Roach, 1983).
Phonological rules are classified into two
groups; assimilation and dissimilation. “Assimilation
is a rule that makes two or more neighboring segments more similar by making
the segments share some feature” (Jun, 1995). While, “dissimilation is a rule
that change feature values to make two phonemes in a string more dissimilar. A classic example of dissimilation
occurs in Latin, and the results of this process show up in modern day English.
Example of this in English is Noun and Adjective pairs” (Jun, 1995). Notably, the
purpose of this research is to explain deletion, epenthesis and dissimilation, three
forms of non – universal rules of English language which speakers apply when
speaking without being aware of it.
phonemics, are concerned with the rules of combining speech sounds of language.
There are rules of combining speech sounds of language, and some rules which
are applicable to certain language might not be applicable to another language.
Phonological rules are part of communication through language, whether spoken
or written, and knowing what they are and why they exist can help us better
understand our world. In order to
understand the purpose of phonological rules, we need to understand what a
phoneme is. According to the traditional phonological theories “a phoneme is
the minimal unit in the sound system of a language” ( Crystal,1997, p. 287) .
Phonological rules are the rules whether written or spoken that control how
sounds change during vocal communication. Also, these rules describe how
phonemes are realized as their allophones in a given environment. Environment
in phonology typically refers to neighboring phonemes
As it is mentioned before, the study of speech sound
structure of language is called phonology. Phonology is a branch science of
linguistics, the study of language in general. Odden (2005) states that “phonology
is one of the core fields that composes the discipline of linguistics, which is
defined as the scientific study of language structure”. The speech sounds of
language that we study in phonology are symblolic sounds that represent the
physical sounds of language. Odden (2005) says that “the point which is most
important to appreciate at this moment is that the “sounds” which phonology is
concerned with are symbolic sounds – they are cognitive abstractions, which
represent but are not the same as physical sounds” (p. 2).
we speak, we do not utter a series of individual units of sound. Rather, we
speak in a continuous flow of sounds. In other words, “the exact realization of
the pronunciation is different from the adding-up of the individual units”
(Sapir, 2002, p. 90). But why are they not pronounced in accordance with its
spelling and what are their underlying forms like? To a great extent, all these
have to be specified by phonological rules. One of the aspects of language is speech sound. The study of
speech sound in language is called phonology. Each language has its own speech
sound structure which differ from one language to another language. By learning
the speech sound structure of language, not only can we recognize and understand
how to pronounce a word of a language correctly, but can also produce the word
using correct pronunciation. Furthermore, we will be able to explain why we
should pronounce it that way. In his
book ‘English Phonetics,’ Ramelan (1994) says “when a student wants to learn a
foreign language, in this case, English, he will have to learn to speak it” (p.
2). He has to try to speak in the way the native speakers speak the language.
This can be achieve by closely imitating and mimicking them untirelessly until
his pronunciation is satisfactory and acceptable to them. Ramelan (1994) also
said that “above all, the student has to be able to discriminate the contastive
sound units that distinguish one utterance from another, both on the production
level and on the recognition level” (p. 3).