Difference Between Phonetics and Phonology Essay

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Speech sounds are studies by both phonetics and phonology. What is the difference between the two areas of study? Phonetics and phonology both utilize speech sounds; however there are some differences between the two areas. Phonetics is the study of the physical properties of speech sounds whereas phonology studies how speech sounds are integrated to form words and the impact of these words with respect to grammar and meaning. Speech sounds are the basic elements of any language. Phoneticians study how speech sounds are pronounced (articulatory), how the vocal sounds are released (acoustic) and how we make sense of the sounds (auditory). Phoneticians are more concerned with the physiological aspects of sounds and therefore make use of many diagrams that illustrate the three areas of phonetics. For example they used cross-sections of the body to show the place of articulation, of the mouth to show the position of the teeth, tongue, lips, etc. to show place and manner of articulation, as well as detailed charts that describe the manner of articulation and whether sounds are voiced, voiceless, aspirated or no aspiration. Based on all these distinctions they have developed symbols to represent a particular sound. Sounds or phones are represented with square brackets and are the basic units that are studied in phonetics. Phoneticians have used subtle differences to distinguish sounds and have created a comprehensive chart to show symbols for different sounds known as the IPA. Phonology on the other hand studies the abstract aspect of sounds. Phonologists study phonemes which are represented by slashes. Phonemes consist of phones and the rules to describe how the sounds are distributed in a language. For example if we refer to the voiced palatal affricate [d3] without a context we are only referring to the phone, whereas in phonology we refer to

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