difference between phonemic and phonetic transcription

Status
Not open for further replies.
A

Anonymous

Guest
What is the difference between the use of square brackets and solidi in enclosing a transcription?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
What's a transcription?

:?:
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
dmt_mst said:
What is the difference between the use of square brackets and solidi in enclosing a transcription?

In linguistics, the brackets <...> are used to represent written letters (e.g. <cat>); the brackets [...] are used to represent sounds (e.g. [k], [ae], [t] or [kaet]); the brackets /.../ are used to represent phonemes (e.g. /k/, /a/, /e/, /t/ or /kaet/).

Written letters: <cat>
Sounds: [kaet]
Phonemes: /kaet/

Here's the difference between phonetic representation and phonemic representation:

Japanaese
kon-ban-wa (meaning, Good evening)
Phonetic representation: [kombaenwa]
Phonemic representation: /konbaenwa/

Notice the difference in representation between [m] and /n/. When linguists transcribe Japanese (i.e. write down the sound of a language), they hear [kombanwa] "Good evening", so they write down that [k] and [o] and [m] and so on as sounds of Japanese. Then, once enough sounds are transcribed, linguists start looking at the distribution of each sound (i.e. where they occur in words). The reason they do that is because sounds change depending on their environment. That they change has to do with the physiology of the mouth and the throat. The more sounds share similar pronunciation features, the easier their articulation.

In the case of Japanese, linguists notice that [m] always occurs before , and, moreover, if is deleted, then [n] appears, like this,

kon-ban-wa => [kombaenwa]
kon => [kon]

The sound change rule or phonological rule is that dental /n/ is pronounced as labial [m] before a labial sound .

/n/ is the true sound; [m] is its variant. The brackets slanted brackets /.../ tell us the true nature of the sound. The square brackets [...] tell us how the sound is pronounced.

Phonemes (/.../) are not sounds. They represent the true natural of a sound ([..]) before it is spoken.

All the best,
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top