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Lecture Summary (11/28/2006)

Topic: "Types of Lexical Information: Pronunciation"

As a first step we took a look at the surface structure which can be divided into the lingusitic description (metalanguage) and the units of language themselves (object language). In a dictionary the metalanguage is represented for example by the typography and layout, the object language can be found in the information on spelling and pronunciation of the words.

There are two ways of rendering information: pronunciation and spelling. The rendering of structures consists of three different versions: the acoustic modality (pronunciation rules), the visual modality (spelling) and the inter-modality conversion (sound-spelling rules). In the case of dictionaries the sound is represented by phonemes and syllables in a prosodic hierarchy. The basic syllable structure of the english language can be described as CCCVVCCC (c = consonant, v = vowel). In this respect has to be considered that affricates count as one phoneme. The definition of phoneme depends on the sign component it is focussed on so there are four different ways of defining the term.

The description of sounds in dictionaries contains just enough phonetic detail to distinguish words. If you are looking for a more detailed way of representing pronunciation you have to use phonetic transcription based on articulatory phonetics.

At the end of this session we dealt with spelling-to-sound rules such as "i before e except after c" (-> ceiling).

24.1.07 20:50

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