Understanding sound

Stage Three: Understanding Sounds

Stage 3: Sound and Word Exercise

This exercise maps to the following learning outcome:

  • analyze the structural elements of verbal and nonverbal language to explore variations in language,

    communication, and culture

In this exercise, you will examine the some of the sounds and word order of your ancestral language or of your current language. There are three parts to the assignment: phones, phonemes, and syntax. Address each part as presented below in a single document.

I.    Phones 

Select an utterance, i.e., a sentence, either in English or in a language of your ancestors, or another language that you have learned or are learning. The sentence should be at least five words long.

Identify each of the sounds (phones) in the sentence. Place a number above (or beside) each of the separate sounds. How many sounds comprise this utterance?

Select two words in your sentence. Spell out the sounds for this word using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Remember, each sound has its own symbol. Only one symbol is used for each sound.

II.    Phonemes

From your identified language, select two words that are the same except for one sound. This is a minimal pair. Transcribe the two words in IPA. Indicate which sounds are the ones that differ.

Identify the two phonemes for this language and note how these sounds make a difference in meaning.

III.    Syntax

From your select sentence, note the order of the words. Identify the verb and subject and any other parts that may be significant. If your original sentence is in English, compare the order of words with a sentence expressing the same meaning in another language.

If your sentence is in a language other than English, compare that order with a sentence in English expressing the same meaning.

Address the following questions: How are the two orders different? How does their syntax differ? How does syntax affect the meaning of your sentence?

Please submit your work into your Assignments folder by the end of week 4.