“Phonology is a branch of linguistics. It’s the study of how sounds within spoken language are organized and given meaning.”
This level of English phonology is a little too difficult for most students who are eager to learn the basics, but it might be interesting for those who already have some knowledge in this field and fancy gaining further knowledge into the science behind their own languages.
One thing that people often forget when they begin to learn English as a second language is that it is not an easy language. It is very difficult to learn and even more difficult to master, so it’s important that students spend a lot of time working on their pronunciation and phrasing. It will not only help them with their accent, but also with their fluency.
“Phonology is the study of the sound system of a given language. The study focuses on the inventory of sounds (phones) in a language, how sounds function within a given phonological system, how sounds relate to other aspects of linguistic meaning within a given language.”
Articulation is the production of speech sounds (or phones) from the vocal tract by moving positions in different parts such as the tongue, palate and lips. This is the first step in the vocal production of speech and is a very important aspect of a phonology course. There are five main places where articulation can occur:
The tongue is an important area for articulation, and it has several parts that can change position during speech. For example, the tongue tip (the very front part), the tongue blade (the middle part), and the lateral (the sides). Allowing different parts of the tongue to move will produce a variety of new sounds for a language. For example, all vowels have front, middle and back variants. In addition to their position with respect to other consonants, vowels also vary in their height (high or low) and backness (front or back).
The lips, teeth and jaw also play an important role in articulation. The lips can be separated from the teeth, allowing for consonants and vowels to be produced. The jaw can also open and close, allowing for different sounds and combinations of sounds to take place.
The palate is another important part of speech production. It allows for different sounds to occur by changing the position of the tongue. In addition it is used to support the air we breathe during speech. When the tongue and palate move in different directions, they can produce a wide range of sounds such as /b/ as in “bite”, /d/ as in “daddy”, and /k/ as in “kick”.