Phonetics and Phonology

Authored by: Susan Maingay

The Routledge Companion to English Studies

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415676182
eBook ISBN: 9781315852515
Adobe ISBN: 9781317918929


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Phonetics and phonology both involve the study of the sounds used in speech. The relationship between the two fields is complex, but it is generally agreed that they differ in focus and approach. Phonetics is the study of the physical aspects of speech sounds. As such, it is concerned both with the physiological details of speech production and perception and with the underlying physics of these processes. Phonology, on the other hand, is the study of speech sounds as abstract units. It is concerned with how these units of sound relate to each other within a given language (or languages) and how they function as a system.

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