Contrastive Linguistics

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Contrastive linguistics is a branch of general linguistics that aims to compare from a descriptive point of view two different languages noting their similarities and differences. It can be said that two languages are socio-culturally linked when they are used by a considerable number of bi- or multilingual speakers, and/or a substantial amount of ‘linguistic output’ (text, oral discourse) is translated from one language into the other. In general terms, mention can be made of a theoretical contrastive linguistics and of an applied contrastive linguistics. The first one has as main objective to develop the intrinsic concepts for comparison, such as the notion of comparison in general, the idea of contextual equivalence and formal equivalence,…show more content…
Not only because of their geographical proximity but also historical, there are lexical coincidences; up to 40% of the English vocabulary consists of words of French origin (product of the period when the Normans occupied the island). And both the French and Spanish are Latin languages; this indicates that we will find a significant overlap between the lexicons of both languages. On the other hand, English does not exactly belong to the same family as Spanish; while Spanish is a romance language (as French, Portuguese, Italian and Catalan), English is a Germanic language, thus kindred to German, Swedish or Danish. Thereby, it will also be easy to find differences between the two…show more content…
a) Spanish phonemes that do not exist in English - The phoneme /ɲ/ corresponding to ñ (niño), nasal palatal. - The phoneme /x/ corresponding to j (ojo), voiceless velar fricative. - The phoneme /rr/ corresponding to rr (perro), lateral multiple trill. These three sounds (especially the last one) are of great difficulty for English speakers. a) English phonemes that do not exist in Spanish: - The phoneme /ʃ/ as in sh of she, palatal alveolar fricative. - The phoneme /θ/ as in the, voiced dental fricative. This sound does exist in Spanish (corresponds to the second “d” of dedo), but as allophone, and not as an independent phoneme. - The phoneme /z/, as in in the first “s” of houses; voiced dental fricative. As in the previous case, this sound exists only in Spanish as allophone, and not as phoneme. - The phoneme /v/, as in very, voiceless mouth dental fricative. This phoneme is often a source of errors, since the distinction v/b has been neutralized in Spanish, and both spellings correspond to the phoneme /b/ (occlusive bilabial sound); Spaniards often applied in English the phoneme /b/ to the spellings “v”. - The phoneme /ŋ/, corresponding to the ending “ng” of parking, nasal

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