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Phonology Week Post (Essay Sample)


THE order was a phonology reflection question. The student had learned about different aspects of language and they were asked to name a situation where a particular language and communication medium was challenging. The post talks about preparation to visiting south africa where the xhosa language is common. the post explains the experience


Phonology Week Post
During the summer of two years ago, my family decided to take a trip to South Africa. To create more authentic experiences, I tried learning the Xhosa language to communicate with the natives. While English has forty-four phonomes, Xhosa has over one hundred. The additional phonomes arise from click consonants of c, k, q, x, g, and others. As a result, over sixty percent of its allophones are glottalized nasal sounds with slack and aspirated voices that imitate click sounds. Pitches and tones are also emphasized to create the unique Xhosa accent. All these combinations should co-occur. For instance, I still remember learning the word Xela which means to tell. The pronunciation of the X combines the letters k, q, and x with a high pitch and a click immediately after. Compare these rules with the simple Xenon in English. The English I am used to speaking has only three nasal sounds with simpler rules, but almost all the words in Xhosa are nasal and complicated. Pronunciation has never been as challenging in my life as it was during this short period of learning the Xhosa language.

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