There are few, if any, phonemes in any language
that do not have positional variants, or allophones. That is, the
phonemes are pronounced in different ways in different places.
The differences in sound alternate systematically in a relation
known as "complementary distribution." (See O'Grady
3:§2.1 and §2.2 [pp. 6770].) Pinker refers to them as
- Which of the nine groups below you should
do is determined by your given name--the one you use on
the exercises you submit: 1. A-B, 2. C-I, 3. Ja-Ji, 4. Jo-Ju,
5. Ka-Ke, 6. Ki-L, 7. M-N, 8. O-S, 9. T-Z. That is, for example,
if your name is Alice or Albert, you should do No. 1
- Describe the allophones you find for
it/them and their distribution, giving examples. Your
sources can include your own pronuciation or that of
a(nother) native speaker, an introductory textbook, or
any other work on English phonetics or phonology. A
number are discussed in O'Grady, for example; a few are
discussed in Pinker.
- One language's allophones are often
another language's phonemes. Can you find a language in
which your distinction is phonemic? Give your source.
- Submit your report by the date due. Be
sure to give all your sources.
- Be prepared to give a brief report in
Phonemes and phoneme groups showing allophonic
- diphthongs /ay/ and /aw/: raising
- glides: voicelessness
- lateral: velarization ("dark"
- liquids: voicelessness
- sonorants (except engma): syllabification
- stops, velar: place of articulation
- stops, voiceless: aspiration
- vowels: length
- vowels: nasalization