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The phonetic aspect of the syllable. Different points of view on syllable formation and syllable division.

рефераты, лингвистика

Объем работы: 11 стр.

Год сдачи: 2010

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Реферат по теоретической фонетике. Тема: "The phonetic aspect of the syllable. Different points of view on syllable formation and syllable division:
а) the expiratory, or chest pulse theory;
b) the relative sonority theory (O.Jespersen);
с) the muscular tension (or the articulatory effort theory (L.Shcherba)
d) the loudness theory (N.Zhinkin)"
Let’s study the definition of syllable. A syllable is a basic unit of written and spoken language. It is a unit consisting of uninterrupted sound that can be used to make up words. They are the smallest pronounceable units; syllables form morphemes, words and phrases. Since the syllable is a complicated unit, the number of theories appeared in the course of time. Among them: the expiratory, or chest pulse theory by R.H. Stetson, the relative sonority theory by O.Jespersen; the muscular tension (or the articulatory effort theory) by L.Shcherba and the loudness theory by N.Zhinkin. These are not all the theories that consider the study of syllables but the main ones which dominated the linguistic discussions in the world.
The expiratory, or chest pulse theory

The chest pulse theory discusses the syllable in the context of muscular activities and lung movements in the process of speech. So that linguists associate the number of syllables with the number of chest pulses. In 1951 Stetson proposed that there should be ballistic chest pulse for each syllable. His proposition was based on the measurements of air pressure in the trachea and lungs as well as rib cage movements. Therefore Stetson came to the conclusion that pulses of respiratory muscle activity might organize the speech stream into syllable-sized units. According to Stetson, syllables correlate with the burst of chest pulse activities. It means that the speaker is emitting one syllable at a time as independent muscular gestures. The later investigation showed that it might be true for French language due to its syllable-timed character but no for English [1;48].

The data and observations of chest wall movements seemed to prove the reliability of the theory. However, the subsequent studies ruled by Draper, Ladefoged and Whitteridge did not support it since they found no relation between muscle activity and syllabic organization. Despite the fact that this theory was strongly criticized by Russian and foreign linguists, it gave rise to the number of researches. The scientists have not given up the idea to find the physiological basis to syllabic organization. For example, Krakow (1989) suggested that syllables could be associated with characteristic patte
s of articulatory organization. So that different intra- and inter-articulatory patte
s are seen as associated with syllable onsets as compared with syllable offsets. The approach suggested by Stetson, though so widely criticized by his opponents and being not entertainable in English phonology, has provided considerable insight into the nature of syllables and the relation between the physiological aspect and the syllable organization and has inspired many further...
The notion of the syllable in mode
phonetics is the problem of syllable formation, syllable division, and the phonological status of the syllable.

No phonetician yet has come to a clear and adequate definition of the syllable. The unit seems to be controversial since there are many possible approaches to it.

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