Spanish-English Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics

By M. Stanley Whitley | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Introduction to phonology

1.0 Phonology vs. orthography.

Human messages are sent by sound, gesture, written marks, body movement, and electronic impulses, but the usual channels are speech and writing. Some people confuse the two by taking speech to be an imperfect reflection of the "real" language, the written one. But although writing is important, phonology is a distinct system, and the more fundamental one through which we acquire the rest of language as children. Writing is learned later, if at all—billions of people around the world use their languages without the benefit of written marks. Moreover, writing is only a partial rendition of language, ignoring aspects such as intonation (the inflection of the voice) and stress (as in the difference between the noun object and the verb object). We should also note that the rules of language are generally based on pronunciation rather than orthography. For example, Spanish y 'and' is said to change to e before the vowel i. What is actually meant is the sound "i", not the letter i, since the change also occurs before hi: hijos e hijas. But it would still be wrong to state the change as occurring before the spellings i and hi, for it does not apply in agua y hielo (where hi represents a sound that is not the vowel "i" at all).

As Moulton (1970, 117) explained to teachers and students of foreign languages:

No ordinary writing system was ever designed to meet the needs of people who are
learning the language; it was designed only for those who already know the lan-
guage. No one can hope to achieve much success by looking at black marks on
paper (the writing) and then trying to make appropriate noises (the language).
Instead, he must first learn some of the language and then note how what he has
learned happens to be symbolized in writing. Writing is not a set of directions
telling us how a language should be pronounced; it is a method of reminding us on
paper of things that we already know how to say.

For this reason, linguists focus primarily on phonology rather than orthography as the basic signaling system of language.

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Spanish-English Contrasts: A Course in Spanish Linguistics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 388

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.