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phonology and speech organs

1. Mention the focus of Phonology and the phonetic on!
Phonetics focus on the study of the physical properties of speech (or signed) production and perception. When we study sounds as sounds without regard for function as signaling unit language the science is called Phonetics. But phonology focuses the study of sounds (or signs) as discrete, abstract elements in the speaker's mind that distinguish meaning.
According to Andrew Spencer in his book "Phonology": "phonology is the study of the sounds used in languages: the way they pattern with respect to each other, the way they are use to make up words and phrases, and the changes they undergo"

Phonetics is essentially the study of the physical aspects of speech. This means the physiological bases of speech. Thus, phonetics research might investigate the collection of frequencies of sounds observed in the production of particular types of vowels, or it might examine the precise movements of the tongue in producing the sound’s’, for example.

Introductory Phonology (Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics)Phonology is not specifically concerned with aspects of speech production or perception which are purely the result of the physical properties of the system. For instance, it is often said that the articulation of the 'k' sounds in the words 'cara' and a'key' differ from each other slightly. In the 'k' of 'key' the tongue is brought slightly towards the front of the mouth in comparison with the 'k' sound in 'car'. The reason for this is that the 'ey' vowel of 'key' drags the tongue foward slightly, because of that a vowel is produced with the tongue slightly further foward in the mouth than the 'a' vowel of 'car'. In fact, it is more or less impossible to pronounce a clear and pure 'ey' type vowel immediately after the kind of 'k' sound found in 'car'. In other words, ait would appear that some degree of fronting in these circumstances is physiologically inevitable.
To make it clear let’s look the following table.
phonetics phonology
sounds as such sounds as parts of a sound system
language use (parole) language system (langue)
language-independent language-dependent
substance function
concrete abstract
phone [ ] phoneme / /
2. Mention the relationship between linguistics and phonology!
Phonology is part of linguistics. While Linguistic is generally of study language, which subdivided into phonology and grammar and phonology is the study of phones or speech sounds.

3. Mention the contribution of each speech organ in producing sounds!
The organs, which take part in the production of speech sounds, are called speech organs. When we speak, air comes out through the lungs and it is interfered at various places for the production of sounds. Sounds cannot occur without air. The following diagram shows the main organs of speech.

Important organs

1. Lips
2. Teeth
3. Alveolar ridge
4. Tongue
5. Larynx
6. Vocal cords
7. Epiglottis
8. Pharynx
9. Soft palate
10. Uvula
11. Hard palate

Descriptions and functions of some important organs of speech

The vocal cords
The larynx contains two small bands of elastic tissues. They are called vocal cords. The opening between the vocal cords is called epiglottis. When we breath in or out, the glottis is open. This is the position of the production of voiceless sounds. e.g. /f/, /s/, /h/, etc are voiceless sounds in English. The sounds produced when the glottis comes together are called voiced sounds. So the main function of the vocal cords is to produce voiced and voiceless sounds.

The soft palate
The soft palate is also called velum. It is the roof of the mouth. It separates the oral and nasal cavity. The last part of the soft palate is called uvula. When it is lowered, the nasal sounds (/m, n, ŋ/) are produced. When it is raised, the air passes out through the oral cavity and the oral sounds (/p, t, k, s, etc/) are produced.

The tongue
The tongue is an important organ of speech. It has the greatest variety of movement. It is divided into four parts: the tip, the blade, the front and the back. The number of vowels is produced with the help of the tongue. Vowels differ from each other because of the position of the tongue.
The tip of the tongue helps to produce /t, d, z, etc/. The blade of the tongue helps to produce /t∫, d, ∫, etc/. The front of the tongue helps to produce palatal sound /j/ and the back of the tongue helps to produce /k, g/ sounds.
The lips
The upper lip and lower lip help to produce bilabial sounds /p, b, m/. If they are held together, the sounds produced in that position are bilabial stops : / p, b/. If the lips are held together, they produce different vowels.
The teeth
The teeth take part in the production of consonant sounds. The upper teeth only take part in the production of speech sounds. The lower teeth don't take part for the production of sounds. The sound produced with the help of the upper teeth are called dental sound (, r)

The alveolar ridge
The alveolar ridge is the part between the upper teeth and the hard palate. The sound produced with the tongue touching the alveolar ridge is called alveolar sounds, e.g. /s/, /t/, /d/, etc.
Producing different speech sounds depends on the movement of speech organs. It is essential to know the movement and the placement of each organ to produce particular sounds. The above descriptions and functions of the organ of speech help you to guide students to produce the consonants and vowels in a right way.
Manner of Articulation
The term manner of articulation is generally used to explain how a sound is produced. Place, manner and voicing are usually named together, allowing us to describe /z/ as a voiced alveolar fricative.
These sounds (also referred to as stops) occur when there is an initial blockage of both the oral and nasal cavities of the vocal tract (and therefore no air flow), which is then suddenly released.
Sounds: /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/
When articulating a nasal the air flow completely bypasses the oral cavity, instead flowing through the nose. The precise position of the tongue during articulation determines the resulting sound.
Sounds: /m/, /n/
Fricatives are produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulatory organs closely together (for example, upper lip and lower teeth in /f/).
Sounds: /f/, /v/, /θ/, /ð/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /h/

Africatives combine plosive with fricative qualities, first blocking the air stream and then slowly releasing it (in contrast to normal plosives, which release pressure suddenly).
Sounds: /tʃ/, /dʒ/
The articulation of these speech sounds involves only very slight obstruction of the air flow, which is why some approximants are considered to be relatively close to vowels (so-called half-vowels). The exact realization of the approximant /r/ (as either /ɹ/ or /ɻ/) is one of the characteristic differences between British and American English dialects.
Sounds: /l/ (lateral-alveolar approximant), /j/ (palatal approximant), /w/ (labial-velar approximant), /ɹ/ (lateral approximant in British RP), /ɻ/ (retroflex approximant in American English)

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