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Phonetics and PhonologyPhonetics and phonology are the names given to the two different areas in the study of linguistic sounds and sound patterns, produced when speaking in ones native tongue or language. Although both areas are similar in that they both study the science of speech, there are differences between the two. While phonetics specifically centres
on how speech is made and heard, phonology is more involved with recognizing and understanding the patterns and the different sound activity produced when speaking. The first believed phonetic forms in speech were thought to have been used as early as 600 B.C where the ancient language of Aramaic was based on similar principles where symbols in the language represented certain sounds. Documented studies or use of phonetics and phonology dating to early times in the human civilisation are rare as most of the information is theory rather than fact. Because of this many think that early civilizations did have forms of phonetic language but without much accuracy. However there is no solid evidence to support this. Most of the documented phonetic studies began to take place in the 17 hundreds onwards as many nations were beginning to mix together and one of the more difficult aspects resulting from this was the language barrier. This along with other problems motivated early pioneers studying phonetics to put their ideas forward. In the 17 hundreds there were a number of men studying phonetics who claimed that people who were born deaf or became deaf at some point in their life could learn to speak. Men like Johan Conrad Amman and Wolfgang Von Kemplen were men who conducted studies in these areas and later became an inspiration to others. In the early 18 hundreds many different scientists who dedicated themselves to studying phonetics began to build machines that measured the curves and the rise and fall of volume in speech, the early machines were not very accurate or helpful but as more time passed the machines grew more complicated and opened a new door in the study of phonetics. As more about phonetics was being discovered the need for an international phonetic alphabet was recognized. People had been making their own symbols for different sounds for some time, one of these men was Benjamin Franklin, in 1768 he wrote and devised his own phonetic alphabet, unfortunately his alphabet was not accepted by a lot of his colleagues so eventually he stopped using his ideas and lost interest. Since then there has been a number of other phonetic alphabets made, two of the more popular ones are the APA or the American-Phonetic-Alphabet and the IPA or the International-Phonetic-Alphabet. Today the most used Phonetic Alphabet is IPA and is taught to almost all students of english. IPA relies on the principle of that for each sound in the english language there is a symbol or a single symbol for a specific sound. The IPA is based on that each symbol coincides with a letter of the Latin alphabet with as few non-Latin symbols as possible. This makes it a very accurate Phonetic Alphabet and is one of the reasons why it is favoured by most. One can see that the process of studying phonetics and phonology has been a long one and not without many problems along the way, many people have helped make the study of phonetics and phonology that it is now and there are still new aspects to the human voice that are being discovered and that will be discovered.
Resources used –
Tesol unit 13 – Teaching pronunciation And Phonology
Tesol unit 20 – The phonetic alphabet02
Wikipedia - History of the International Phonetic Alphabet
Wikipedia – The International Phonetic Alphabet
Wikipedia – History or the International Phonetic Alphabet
Phonetics and Phonology then, and then and now, _BY JOHN J. OHALA
Your Dictionary.com - The Difference between Phonetics and Phonology