Phonemes and the International Phonetic Alphabet

Before you begin this assignment it will be necessary to have read the section of the chapter covering language (Chapter Nine) concerning Descriptive Linguistics.  You will also want to consult your notes from the lecture on Descriptive Linguistics, as I will cover all of the information necessary to successfully complete this assignment.  If you missed the class during which I covered this information you will need to borrow the notes of a friend or come see me during office hours.


Part One:  Phonemes and the International Phonetic Alphabet

the first portion of the assignment you will need to translate the first 20 words of your paragraph into the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet.  You may need to do a bit of research to find the symbols you need to express this.  This link ( will take you to the Wikipedea page for the IPA symbols used by the various English dialects.  To assist you in entering this for submission you can use the following website to type your answers:  Then simply paste your results into a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file.  You should also include the text you are translating so we can compare the two easily when we grade your assignment.


Example for part one:  The two sentences below have been translated into IPA so that you can see how your own efforts should look.


The text to be translated:      My name is Christian Petersen.  I am a college instructor.

After translation:                  maɪ neɪm ɪz kɹɪstt͡ʃʌn pʰitʰɹsʌɴ. aɪ æm eɪ kʰɑlɪd͡ʒ ɪɴstɹʌktoɹ.

Part Two: Morphemes, Bound & Free

For the second part of the assignment, you will need to identify the morphemes for the first 40 words of the first complete paragraph on the page you were assigned. Keep in mind that free morphemes must be related to the original word.  For example the word “firetruck” consists of two free morphemes “fire” and “truck,” but “some” is a single morpheme despite the fact that “so” and “me” could be considered individual free morphemes.  This is because the meaning of “some” is not based on the morphemes “so” and “me.”  You should also include the text you are translating so we can compare the two easily when we grade your assignment.


Example for Part Two:  Here is an example to help you format your assignment.

The capture would be performed robotically, and the relocated asteroid would become a destination for astronauts to explore—and, possibly, for space entrepreneurs to mine.

TheF captureF wouldF beF performF/edB robotF/icB/allyB, andF theF reB/locateF/dB asteroidF wouldF becomeF aF destinationF forF astronautF/sB toF exploreF—andF, possiblyF, forF spaceF entrepreneurF/sB toF mineF.


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