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    Macalester College
  Dec 11, 2017
College Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LING 205 - Phonology

Although all humans are born with the capacity to learn the sounds of any language, part of learning our native language is learning to categorize sounds into groups specific to that language, thereby filtering out many of the actual phonetic distinctions and concentrating only on those that are important. Just as we, as English speakers, may have trouble hearing the difference between the voiced and voiceless click consonants in Zulu, so speakers of other languages may not hear the difference between the vowels in “beat” and “bit,” because this small distinction isn’t important in their language. Phonology is the study of how different languages organize sounds into perceptual categories. In this class we will look at data from a wide variety of different languages, as well as from several dialects of English, including children’s acquisition of a phonological system. Emphasis will be on practical skills in solving problem sets. Prerequisite(s): LING 104  (4 Credits)