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Phonology: Part I

the sacred primal universal sound

                       

Welling up from soulful solar plexus
thro' throat as ahhh to animate
breathing life into the mouth
in acoustics shifting to ohhh
as lips collapse with semi-vowel w
to finalize in touchdown mmm
vibing via nose to trail off
with just a hint of ghostly wispy hhh
before merger with Deep Silence —
back, middle and front of vocal tract:
Ōm just is.
Phonology is the component of Grammar that manages sounds — how they are defined, how they interact, and how they may transform — irrespective of meaning… As soon as meaning comes into play, what we are dealing with is morphology… or perhaps a gray area between phonology and morphology: morphonology.

Phonology has two aspects. On the one hand, phonology is linear — which means it deals with linear segments of sound, like placing one rock after the next to span a brook: English Grammar allows p and s to come together at the end of a word, as in the word 'lips'; but the Grammar doesn't allow the ps cluster word-initially, which is why certain borrowings from Greek, like 'psyche', have a silent p. On the other hand, phonology is prosodic, which is the “rhythm and rhyme” of the person laying the stones — such as stress and accent, which can take on certain forms like the iambic metrical foot holding together the syllables of the word 'begot', with stress on the last syllable, vis-à-vis the trochaic foot of the word 'better', with the stress on the first syllable.

We shall begin with the linear…

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