Tuesday, January 03, 2006

phonemes and stuff

Most people hate Mondays, but this semester it's Tuesdays that really get to me. Classes here start way too early. And somehow, I ended up with my classes being the first two hours on Tuesday/Thursday. The first class is at 7:15; it's church growth 2. My eight fourth year students meet on our back porch. Apparently, though, one of my students hasn't made it back from Christmas yet. And all the rest of them were late to class. Today, we were discussing how to recruit a team for church planting. I didn't quite finish all I needed to say, so I guess we'll continue talking about team recruiting and developing next time.

As soon as I finish that class, I have to grab my missions stuff and dash across campus to the third year classroom. There, I have 11 BTh students for missions 2. Today, we began our discussion of cultural anthropology, which is one of my favorite topics. It's so fascinating to see the rainbow of cultural diversity on our planet. In this session, we discussed language and communication. When we talked about phonology, I explained that phonemes are the small units of sound that make a difference in a language. For example, l & r are phonemes in English, because "lake" is different than "rake." In some languages, however, they are not phonemes, which is why we always get asked about eating "flied lice" when we go to Chinese restaurants in the US. I was speculating that maybe p and f were not phonemes in Tagalog because they seem to be used interchangeably but the students assured me that they are. Apparently, they're just not very careful about choosing one or the other when speaking English. I told them that I notice this everytime someone talks about "frayer and pasting" (prayer and fasting).

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