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There is No One-to-One Correspondence Between Orthography and Sound in English Term Paper


The alphabetic spelling structure employed by the English language is known as English orthography. Similar to other r alphabetic orthographies, English employs a set of customs to symbolize language sounds in characters. Other languages have regular customs, also known as norms. Nevertheless, in English spelling, almost all sounds are spelt in different manners.

Also, all letters and nearly all spellings may be articulated in many, diverse manners. Hence, English spelling is said to be irregular because it lacks a one-one-correspondence among letters and sounds (Brengelman, 1970). This is partially as a result of the compound account of the English language, also, as no methodical spelling restructuring has been executed in English, different to circumstances in nearly all other speeches.

This paper shall first trace the history of English language, and then show how English lacks a one-one-correspondence among letters and sounds. The paper will end with a conclusion that highlights the key items discussed.

Historical Reasons for the Difference between Spelling and Sound

The English alphabetic writing structure has its roots in the Roman alphabet, which was initiated by church officials and Christian missionaries to the Anglo-Saxon England (Venezky, 1977). The standard of representing verbal sound fragments, particularly those at the height of vowels and consonants, through written characters, preferably one for every sound fragment form the origin of the Alphabetic writing structure.

Vital constituents of the sound flow of a letter are, therefore, arrested by a linear progression of symbols that are capable of being vocalized to evoke the message through its sounds. The whole, sound flow may not be arrested, although a sufficient amount of it offers a stimulus for identification.

Being planned for a speech with an extremely dissimilar phonological structure, the Roman alphabet was not precisely tailored for writing English, although it was initially set to symbolize Anglo-Saxon (Rollings, 1998).

The initial monks who wrote English by means of Roman letters shortly added other characters to cater for the additional sounds. For instance, the vowel /æ/ of Anglo-Saxon was made to symbolize a, and e, creating a written character known as ash.

They too supplemented some runic characters to the alphabet, in order to symbolize consonant sounds lacking in Romance descendents, for instance, eth ð, yogh ȝ, and thorn þ (Venezky, 1977). Afterwards in the medieval era, digraphs, two-letter signs like [th], [gh] and [sh], substituted the runic characters. Letters in the digraphs lack their common values, although they are employed as designates to lone sounds.

Orthography can be described as the standards for writing lexis constantly with an alphabetic character set (Venezky, 1977). Constancy in writing was not whole in Anglo-Saxon, since the entire structure was new and standards for writing terms in a steady manner took eras to grow. It is difficult for writers to keep in mind a lone orthographic symbol, known as spelling.

However, this is essential for consistency, but for an ideal one-to-one correspondence among graphemes and phonemes, which is a hard perfection for alphabetic structures to meet. Though there lacks a superior match amid sounds and written characters, writers appear to desire creating written shapes, which they have perceived earlier for definite terms.

Present orthography symbolizes two chief centers of control, including American and British English (Venezky, 1977). Until lately, when a number of other states began to recognize and instruct American orthography, the British norms control led all over the globe. Articulation options are spread acoustically instead of writing, although the same substitution from British to American standards seems to be taking place.

How English Lacks a One-One-Correspondence among Letters and Sounds

English has twenty vowels and twenty-four consonants, and hence, forty-four phonemes in total (Wijk, 1965). Besides, the English orthography includes just twenty-six letters, which may be employed in symbolizing the forty-four phonemes. Each English phoneme contains broad methods of symbolization.

This implies that, while there lacks adequate letters proportionate to every phoneme that has to be symbolized in the orthography, there exists a noticeable short of cutback in the selection of letter symbols for phonemes in English. Therefore, natives of languages that contain standard orthography turn out to be perplexed when learning English, as English spelling presents a deprived direction as regards its articulation.

English spelling, Similar to several other alphabetic orthographies, never symbolizes sub-phonemic sounds. Although letter ⟨t⟩ is articulated as [tʰ] at the commencement of terms, this is never demonstrated in the spelling (Rollings, 1998).

In fact, this phonetic aspect is possibly not perceptible to persons who have not experienced phonetics training. English orthography, different from several orthographies, normally symbolizes an extremely conceptual underlying depiction of English terms.

The assumed primary forms are methodically linked to the usual orthography and as well as the fundamental forms of an earlier chronological phase of the language. Ever since Middle English, there has been slight alteration in lexical symbol, and, as a result, it varies slightly from one dialect to another in contemporary English (Venezky, 1977).

In such instances, a morpheme is symbolized by use of a lone spelling regardless of the fact that it is articulated in a different way. That is to say, it has diverse surface symbols in varied settings. For instance, the suffix (ed⟩, which denotes past tense, can be articulated differently as /d, /ɨd/ or /t/. Following this explanation, the word dip will be articulated as /dipped /, /dɪp/, or /dɪpt /.

Since these diverse articulations of (ed⟩ may be envisaged by some phonological norms, just a lone spelling may be required in the orthography. However, the spelling structure of English is not entirely irregular (Wijk, 1965). This is because it normally pursues a regular model in relation to articulation and spelling. For instance, in the word set /sɛt/ /ɛ/ is symbolized by e while in the word hit /hɪt/ /ɪ/ is symbolized by i.

In most cases, orthography in English provides to all phoneme of the speech, no less than a single regular, apparent and steady symbolization. Although some English words are inscribed by steady and regular spellings, there remains a substantial deposit of words that have irregular spelling. A majority of spellings are irregular just in the symbolization of one or two of the phonemes included in a word.

For instance, the word choir assumes /k/ for ch, as well as the distinctive spelling of [oir] as /waɪə/ (Brengelman, 1970). Besides, even those spellings, which seem irregular, are never fully unsystematic. To some degree, they belong to some sub-sets that are regular from the inside. These spellings can be referred to as “regular irregularities.” For instance, [oe] and [oa] used for [o], ea and ee used for [i] and others.

For instance, in words such as meant /’mɛnt/ and mean /’mi’n/, the spelling of the vowel ⟨ea⟩ is articulated dissimilarly in the two associated words. Hence, the orthography just employs a lone spelling that matches up to the morphemic structure, in place of the surface phonological structure.

Also, in the inscription of consonants, double consonant letters are usually utilized at the ending of terms, as well as, subsequent to letters of vowel at the center of terms. For instance in, sitting, hatter, till, muff and mitt.

Orthography in English is also seen in silent-letters, for instance, debt /dɛt/ (Carney, 1994). English learners are likely to enunciate this word by following the normal sound they contain in English. In languages with one-one correspondence, the letters z and s stand for the sounds of /z/ and /s/ correspondingly.

However, these letters are pronounced to have both /z/ and /s/ sounds in English (Brengelman, 1970). Although letter ‘s’ is articulated as /s/ when lead by a silent consonant, such as takes /teɪks/, it is as well articulated as /z/ when lead by a voiced consonant, for instance, needs /nidz/.

A different example can be seen in words such as bomb /’bɒm/ and sign /’saɪn/, in which the inert letters ⟨b⟩ and ⟨g⟩, correspondingly, appear as silent letters with no practical function. Nevertheless, in the associated words bombard and signature, the inert letters are articulated as /bɒm’bɑrd/ and /’sɪɡnətʃər/, correspondingly.

Here, it can be asserted that the basic symbolization of bomb and sign is |bɒmb| and |saɪɡn|, whereby |ɡ| and |b| are just articulated in the surface shapes when pursued by suffixes (-⟨ard⟩ and –⟨ature⟩). If not, |b| and |ɡ| cannot be noticed in the surface articulation, especially when pursued by suffixes such as -⟨er⟩ and -⟨ing⟩ (Rollings, 1998).

In these examples, the orthography demonstrates the core consonants that exist in some words but lack in other associated words. Additional cases may encompass the ⟨h⟩ in inherit /ɪn’hɛrɨt/ and heir /’ɛər/, as well as the ⟨t⟩ in fasten /’fɑ’sən/ and fast /’fɑ’st/ (Rollings, 1998).

English orthography lacks in its ability for demonstrating the articulation that a phrase or word is supposed to encompass. Stress includes the vowel disparities of quantity, allotment, quality and beyond all, the associated lyrical patterns of expressions.

Hence, stress is an essential element of word-form in English. Nevertheless, in some languages, for instance Turkish, vowels contain similar quality, quantity, and allotment in both unstressed and stressed syllables.

Learners maybe challenged in varying the English diphthongs and long vowels either by means of/ ɪ / or / ə /, after happening in syllables that are unstressed, though both vowels contain a high rate of incidence in English, / ə / is wholly restricted to syllables that are unstressed (Rollings, 1998).

Besides, as the stress regularly reduces on the final syllable of the term in many languages, learners of English, hence, must pay exacting concentration to the location of stress in English terms, and broad performance is required, since English terms contain diverse forms of stress.

Some aspects of English language, particularly, the incident of high quantities of nonaligned vowels in syllables that are softly stressed and the distinctive character of English stress of words, are never documented in the orthography. There exist weakened articulations of some regularly occurring terms, which have structural roles in the sentence.

Since such terms have to be unstressed, they are usually dependent on weakening powers. Some alterations are features of the manner in which weak forms substitute the strong. These include the exclusion of a consonant or a vowel, substitution of a consonant plus vowel by a syllabic consonant, or the substitution of a strong vowel by a weak one, such as, / ə /, /ɪ /, / ʊ /, the English orthography fails to demonstrate.

However, in orthography with a one-one correspondence, for instance, Turkey, a wholly dissimilar condition exists (Carney, 1994). Here, no neutral vowels exist, and those in softly stressed syllables are identical with the strongly stressed syllables, in terms of quality. These phonemes are constantly and regularly revealed in the spelling.

English language is syllable-timed. Only the unstressed and those stressed syllables, which arise at standard periods of time, are compacted in order that they are articulated more swiftly as compared to their stressed counterparts (Carney, 1994). Hence, English stress- timing can be surmounted through paying intentional and methodical concentration.

In conclusion, English spelling is said to be irregular because it lacks a one-one-correspondence among letters and sounds. This is partially as a result of the compound account of the English language, also, as no methodical spelling restructuring has been executed in English, different to circumstances in nearly all other speeches. English has twenty vowels and twenty-four consonants, and hence, forty-four phonemes in total.

Besides, the English orthography includes just twenty-six letters, which may be employed in symbolizing the forty-four phonemes. Each English phoneme contains broad methods of symbolization.

This implies that, while there lacks adequate letters proportionate to every phoneme that has to be symbolized in the orthography, there exists a noticeable short of cutback in the selection of letter symbols for phonemes in English. Therefore, natives of languages that contain standard orthography turn out to be perplexed when learning English, as English spelling presents a deprived direction as regards its articulation.

English spelling, Similar to several other alphabetic orthographies, never symbolizes sub-phonemic sounds. In most cases, orthography in English provides to all phoneme of the speech, no less than a single regular, apparent and steady symbolization. English orthography lacks in its ability for demonstrating the articulation that a phrase or word is supposed to encompass.

Stress includes the vowel disparities of quantity, allotment, quality and beyond all, the associated lyrical patterns of expressions. Some aspects of English language, particularly, the incident of high quantities of nonaligned vowels in syllables that are softly stressed and the distinctive character of English stress of words, are never documented in the orthography.

There also exist weakened articulations of some regularly occurring terms, which have structural roles in the sentence. Since such terms have to be unstressed, they are usually dependent on weakening powers. However, the spelling structure of English is not entirely irregular. This is because it normally pursues a regular model in relation to articulation and spelling.

For instance, in the word set /sɛt/ /ɛ/ is symbolized by e while in the word hit /hɪt/ /ɪ/ is symbolized by i. In most cases, orthography in English provides to all phoneme of the speech, no less than a single regular, apparent and steady symbolization.

Although some English words are inscribed by steady and regular spellings, there remains a substantial deposit of words that have irregular spelling. A majority of spellings are irregular just in the symbolization of one or two of the phonemes included in a word.

References

Brengelman, F. (1970). Generative phonology and the teaching of spelling. California: Fresno State College

Carney, E. (1994). A survey of English spelling. London: Routledge

Rollings, A. (1998). Marking devices in the spelling of English. Atlantis, 20 (1), 129-143

Venezky, R. (1977). Notes on the history of English spelling. Visible Language, 10, 351-365

Wijk, K. (1965). Finnish and English vowels: a comparison with special reference to the learning problems met by native speakers of Finnish learning English. Turku: Turun Yliopisto

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IvyPanda. (2019, July 2). There is No One-to-One Correspondence Between Orthography and Sound in English. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/there-is-no-one-to-one-correspondence-between-orthography-and-sound-in-english/

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"There is No One-to-One Correspondence Between Orthography and Sound in English." IvyPanda, 2 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/there-is-no-one-to-one-correspondence-between-orthography-and-sound-in-english/.

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IvyPanda. "There is No One-to-One Correspondence Between Orthography and Sound in English." July 2, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/there-is-no-one-to-one-correspondence-between-orthography-and-sound-in-english/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "There is No One-to-One Correspondence Between Orthography and Sound in English." July 2, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/there-is-no-one-to-one-correspondence-between-orthography-and-sound-in-english/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'There is No One-to-One Correspondence Between Orthography and Sound in English'. 2 July.

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