5.1 Phonetic & Phonological Analysis: Are you able to explain the relationship between the phonetic and phonological forms?

Chapter  5

5.1 Outline the relationship that exists between the phonetic and phonological forms.

Phonological and phonetic forms

 The relationship between the phonetic and phonological forms

Phonetic forms have much in common with the phonological forms. From a generative

point of view the phonetic form is the output of the input of the phonological forms.

Image result for morphological addition of morphemes


Segments and processes

A distinction is made between segments and processes.


Segments are the unique, single sounds produced during an articulation. The articulation can be a single, co-articulation, or homorganic.


Processes are articulatory and they determine the syllable structure


 Phonetic analysis of speech

Phonetic analysis of speech is essential for the following reasons:-

The comprehensive description of speech production.

Such description is in terms of

  •  initiation
  •  phonation
  •  articulation

The three features were presented in AEN 200 and in this Unit they are discussed further in relation to the analyses of human speech sounds.

Classificatory labels

Phonetic analyses provides the classifications labels that enable the distinction of unique human speech sounds as:-

  • phones
  • allophones
  • phonemes

 Transcriptional symbols

The transcriptional symbols are associated with the speech production and they classify that production as follows:-

  •  phonetic (narrow)
  •  phonological (broad)

 Phonological analysis

Phonology relates the phonetic events of speech to grammatical units operating at the morphological, lexical, syntactic and semantic levels of language. In such analyses, phonology explains the way the phonemes are influenced by varied linguistic phenomena as illustrated here below:

What would influence the  phoneme level?

  • morphological addition of morphemes
  • lexical stress placement in words
  • syntactic stress placement in sentences.
  • semantic tone/ intonation

Phonological analyses is thus essential for the following reasons:

a) The comprehension of the contrastive function or opposition of speech sounds, for example, ten/ den, tin/ din, tip/ did that have a commutative relationship

b) The classificatory labels, bilateral opposition, multilateral, privative, gradual.

c) Transcriptional symbols that state the phonetic manifestation of phonological elements.


Two /tu:/ [twu:] where the arrow stands for the relation “is pronounced as” or “is manifested phonetically as” or “is realized phonetically as”….



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