28. 11. 2006 Types of lexical information: Pronunciation


28. 11. 2006 Types of lexical information: Pronunciation

Surface structure

  • Two levels

  • linguistic description ( -> Metalanguage)

  • units of language ( -> Objectlanguage)


Surface structure of ...

  • Dictionaries

  • metalanguage : the typography and layout of a book, hypertext, ...

  • Words in dictionaries

  • object language: spelling, pronunciation

Types of lexical information: Pronunciation

[Model of types of lexical information]

Redering structures

  • Pronunciation rules -> acoustic modality

  • Spelling -> visual modality

  • Sound- Spelling rules -> Inter- modality- conversion

Representation of sounds- prosodic hierarchy

  • phonemes

  • function: „smallest word – distinguishing segment“

  • internal structure: “configuations of distinctive phonetic features”

  • external structure (see syllables)

  • rendering: “contextual variants”, “allophones”

  • syllables

  • function: “word distinguishing phoneme configurations”

  • internal structure: “configurations of sequential features (consonantal, vocalic; voiced, unvoiced; ...) and simultaneous features (tone, accent)

  • external structure (word)

  • rendering: a function of the rendering of phonemes

Basics of English Syllable Structure

  • Basic syllable structure

  • CCCVVCCC, e.g. /streIndZ/ - but affricates /dZ/, count as 1 phoneme, though phonetically they have 2 parts.

  • More detailed syllable structure as a map

  • this kind of map is sometimes called a transition network or a state diagramme - each transition from one circle/node/state describes the correct position of one phoneme.


  • There are several ways of defining phonemes, depending on which of the four sign components is focussed

  1. the minimal word-distinguishing sound segment (based on the contrastive function of phonemes)

  2. The smallest unit of a syllable (based on external sound structure)

  3. Consists of distinctive features (based on the internal sound structure)

  4. Consists of a set of allophones (based on the rendering of phonemes)

Description of sounds

  • For general pronunciation representation in the lexicon -> phonemic transcription

  • just enough phonetic detail to distinguish words

  • For detailed representation of speech pronunciation -> phonetic transcription

  • based on articulatory phonetics (about speech production)

  • remember the other dimensions of speech description:

  • acoustic phonetics (about speech wave transmission)

  • auditory phonetics (about speech perception)

Swallowing“ Characters

  • chbimmim“ -> „Ich bin mit dem“ Auto gefahren

  • you actually don't swallow characters, your tongue moves faster and has no time to pronounce some letters, therefore the sentence is reduced and some characters are left out


Spelling- to- Sound rules

  • Spelling: VISUAL modality

  • ghoti ... /fish/ -> „gh“ = „f“ in „tough“ , „o“ = „i“ like in „women“ and „ti“ = „sh“ like in „nation“

  • i before e except after c”, consonant doubling

  • Graphemes:

  • character combination corresponding to a phoneme

  • Transcribe phonemically (without stress marks):

  • If the bread dough is tough, knead it roughly, even though when you’re through you’ll have had enough and will throw it at the ceiling.

  • /If D@ brEd d@U: Iz tVf ni:d It rVfli: i:v@n D@U: wEn ju@ Tru: ju:l @v h{d InVf @nd wIl Tr@U It {t D@ si:lIN/

  • Task

  • make a list of 5 spelling rules


  • make a list of 5 main spelling problems

      Basic Rules

Remember this poem to decide if a word should be spelled ie or ei.

Put i before e

Except after c

Or when it sounds like a

As in neighbor or neigh.


Examples for line 1:






Examples for line 2:





Examples for line 3:





Some Exceptions:









      Follow these steps to decide if a final consonant needs to be doubled when a suffix

    1. or verb ending is added.

      • If the word is one syllable or is stressed on the last syllable (Say the word out loud

      • to determine stress.)

      • And has a single final consonant

      • And that single final consonant is preceded by a single vowel

      • And the suffix begins with a vowel

      • Then double the final consonant.

      • Example: Control + able

      • The stress is on the last syllable – trol

      • There is a single final consonant - l

      • The final consonant has a vowel before it - o

      • The suffix, able, begins with a vowel
        Therefore, you double the l before adding the suffix.

      • Write controllable


      • Example: enter + ing

      • The stress is on the first syllable - en - not the last

      • Therefore, you do not double the final consonant.

      • Write entering.


      • How to handle a final e when adding a suffix or verb ending.

      • If the suffix or verb ending begins with a vowel, drop the final e.



amuse + ing = amusing



creative + ity = creativity






        If the suffix or verb ending begins with a consonant, keep the final e.



measure + ment = measurement



definite + ly = definitely






belief = beliefs



half = halves

      • Most nouns ending in o add s. However, some add es.

        There is no rule to follow here.



studio = studios



cargo = cargoes


( http://www.mc3.edu/aa/lal/workshops/wksp_spelling/spellingrules.html )

4.12.06 21:15

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