Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

(3) Phonetic Features

- statements conc. phonemic categories and allophonic variants made wrt only one variety of one language

- the features stated mainly in articulatory terms, only some of them in auditory or acoustic

- binary feature = a feature with 2 classificatory possibilities (Voice)

- multivalued f. = a feature with more than 2 classificatory possibilities (Stricture)

Contrast versus Neutralisation

- distinctive feature = a phonetic property used to classify sounds

- minimal pairs = pairs of words differing in respect of only one sound segment; the distinctive sound segments stand in contrast (or, opposition)

- complementary distribution = the predictable occurrence of a specific allophone of a phoneme in a particular context or situation (the aspiration of stops when initial in accented syllables, etc.)

- free variation = the occurrence of variant realisations of the same phoneme in the same situation (depends on the speaker)

- neutralisation = the lack of contrast or opposition, the sound may be assigned to either of 2 phonemes with equal validity

- the contrast btw the voiceless /p, t, k/ x the voiced /b, d, g/ > neutralised after /s/ in word-initial position => no contrast btw /sp-, st-, sk-/ x /sb-, sd-, sg-/

- also the neutralisation of the allophones of /m/ and /n/ before /f/ or /v/ > the nasalized [m] in both ‘symphony, infant’; etc.

Distinctive Features

- the feature name conventionally spelled with a capital letter, the classificatory possibilities conventionally presented within square brackets

- the feature Coronal further splits into [+ anterior] = sounds made on or in front of the alveolar ridge x [– anterior] = sounds made behind the alveolar ridge

- the feature Sibilant differs in being an acoustic (as opposed to articulatory) property; [+ sibilant] also the affricates [tʃ, dʒ] if consid. single units

- the feature Syllabic separates vowels from consonants, classifies [i] and [u] as distinct from [j] and [w]

Features Required for Classifying English Segments


- [+ voice]: b, d, g, m, n, v, ð, z, 3, ɹ, l, j (and all vowels)

- [− voice]: p, t, k, f, θ, s, ʃ


- p, b, m, f, v


- [+ anterior]: θ, ð, t, d, n, s, z, l, ɹ

- [− anterior]: ʃ, ʒ, j (and front vowels)


- k, g, w (and back vowels)


- [stop]: p, t, k, b, d, g, m, n

- [fricative]: f, θ, s, ʃ, v, ð, z, ʒ

- [approximant]:w, ɹ , l, j (and all vowels)


- [+ nasal]: m, n

- [− nasal]: (all oth. segments)


- [+ lateral]: l

- [− lateral]: (all oth. segments)


- [+ sibilant]: s, ʃ, z, ʒ

- [− sibilant]: (all oth. segments)


- [maximum]: (all consonants except w, j)

- [4 height]: i, u, w, j

- [3 height]: e, ɪ, o, ʊ

- [2 height]: ε, ɔ

- [1 height]: æ, ɑ


- [+ back]: u, o, ʊ, ɔ, w, k, g

- [− back]: i, e, ɪ, ε, æ (and all oth. consonants)


- [+ syllabic]: (all vowels)

- [− syllabic]: (all consonants, incl. w, j)

Základní údaje

  • Předmět

  • Semestr

    Zimní semestr 2002/03.
  • Vyučující

    Šárka Šimáčková.
  • Status

    Povinný seminář a přednáška.


Cruttenden, Alan, ed. Gimson's Pronunciation of English. London: Edward Arnold, 1998.

Ladefoged, Peter. A Course in Phonetics. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993.


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