-2

Do both phonetics and phonology deal with diacritics? Or is studying phonology is necessary for phoneticians and vice versa in the first place?

I understand that phonetics focuses more on phones, which are the realization of phonemes whereas phonology focuses more on phonemes, which are the abstraction of phones.

  • 2
    Neither phonetics nor phonology deal with diacritics... they are purely orthographic features. Unless you're asking about IPA diacritics? In which case you should edit this to clarify. – curiousdannii Jan 11 '16 at 14:00
3

Everybody has to deal with diacritics, be they phoneticians, syntacticians, or politicians, as long as the language involved is one of the majority of languages that uses diacritics. Diacritics are simply little marks put somewhere near a bigger letter which happens to also be useable without the diacritic. For example, the letter usually refers to the sound in English "dog"; whereas <đ> with a diacritic refers to some kind of palatal-ish affricate in some South Slavic languages, a dental fricative in Saami, and [ɗ] in Vietnamese. So diacritics are basically ways of writing speech without inventing a totally new symbol for each sound that isn't found in Latin (at least written Latin, since length in Latin has to be written with a diacritic).

You're really asking 3 questions: the function of diacritics; the logical relationship between phonetics and phonology; plus, you're assuming a specific theory of what phonetics vs. phonology without technically asking whether your characterization is correct (I would say it is not, although it's only yards off, not miles off). I kinda think this question needs to be tightened up.

| improve this answer | |
  • Sorry, I do understand what diacritics are. By "diacritics" I meant the concept of diacritics. I read the explanation on the difference of phonetics and phonology like the one I wrote above and thought that if phonology focuses on phonemes it doesn't involve the concept of diacritics. I don't really know what kind of thing the people in phonology field really studies when they focus on phonemes. – stacko Jan 11 '16 at 6:27
  • 2
    Okay, so I'd urge you to think about what it is about phonology that you don't understand, and frame an answerable question once you've read up on phonology a bit. Start by grabbing an intro phonology textbook, and see if that answers your questions. People in phonology don't really focus on "phonemes" – phoneme is more a pop-sci construct that hasn't played any serious role in phonology for over a half century. – user6726 Jan 11 '16 at 6:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.