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Difference Between Phonetics and Phonology

Phonetics vs Phonology

Phonetics and Phonology are two terms that have to be understood with difference. It is important to know that phonetics deal with the study of the production of sounds. On the other hand, phonology deals with the study of the characteristics of sounds and their changes. This is the basic difference between phonetics and phonology.

Phonetics deals with the organs of sound production. The organs of sound production are mouth, tongue, throat, nose, lips and the palate. From these organs or parts in the mouth various sounds are produced. These sounds are called as gutturals, palatals, cerebrals, dentals, and labials. Gutturals are produced in the throat, palatals are produced from palate, cerebrals are produced at the roof of the palate, dentals from teeth, and labials from lips.

Phonology on the other hand, deals with the sounds and their changes due to various factors such as climatic change, race, influence of other languages and the like. There are various sound changes such as diphthongization, palatalization, metathesis, anaptyxis, apocope, syncope, vowel breaking, haplology, assimilation, dissimilation, and the like. It is interesting to note that phonology plays a vital role in the study of languages or linguistics. This is due to the fact that phonology paves the way or lays the foundation for morphology or word building.

On the other hand, it can be said that phonetics is the subset of phonology. This is due to the fact that phonology is based on phonetics. Hence, phonetics forms a very important part in the understanding of the origin of sounds. A philologist pays a great importance to both phonetics and phonology when he compares two or more languages and their characteristics. A linguist accepts various causes for sound or phonetic changes. These are the differences between phonetics and phonology.


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