/feuh nol"euh jee, foh-/, n., pl. phonologies.1. the study of the distribution and patterning of speech sounds in a language and of the tacit rules governing pronunciation.2. the phonological system or the body of phonological facts of a language.[1790-1800; PHONO- + -LOGY]
* * *Study of sound patterns within languages.Diachronic (historical) phonology traces and analyzes changes in speech sounds and sound systems over time (e.g., the process by which sea and see, once pronounced with different vowel sounds, have come to be pronounced alike). Synchronic (descriptive) phonology investigates sound patterns at a single stage in a language's development, to identify which ones can occur and in what position (in English, for example, nt and rk appear within or at the end of words but not at the beginning).
* * *study of the sound patterns that occur within languages. Some linguists include phonetics, the study of the production and description of speech sounds, within the study of phonology.Diachronic (historical) phonology examines and constructs theories about the changes and modifications in speech sounds and sound systems over a period of time. For example, it is concerned with the process by which the English words “sea” and “see,” once pronounced with different vowel sounds (as indicated by the spelling), have come to be pronounced alike today. Synchronic (descriptive) phonology investigates sounds at a single stage in the development of a language, to discover the sound patterns that can occur. For example, in English, nt and dm can appear within or at the end of words (“rent,” “admit”) but not at the beginning.
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