University of Asia Pacific Presentation on Organs of Speech Submitted To: Arjumand Ara Associate Professor University of Asia Pacific Submitted By: 1) 2) 3) 4) Boby Rani(12216003) Mita Roy(12216005) Nafis Kamal (12216009) Tashnim Sazzad(12216012) Course Title: Phonetics and Phonology Course Code: ENG (107) Date of Submission: 8 th June, 2013 Introductory Speech You might think that speaking comes naturally like seeing and hearing. Yet it is not something you can do soon after you are born. Speech is not one of the five senses, and it has to be learned during the first few years of life. All babies cry in the first few seconds or minutes after birth. Crying is the first use of the vocal organs and the first step towards speaking. Very soon babies start to coo, gurgle and babble. Definition of Organs of Speech Organs of speech or articulators are part of the study of articulatory phonetics. Articulator or speech organs are those organs of our body which help us to produce speech sounds. Interesting characteristics of theses articulators is that though they are helping to produces speech sounds, their primary job is to do something else for our body than articulate speech sounds. Different linguist defines speech organs in different ways. Famous linguist David Crystal in his Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, defines articulator as: “…any specific part of the vocal apparatus involved in the production of a sound is called an articulator” How it works Unlike most animals that have the ability to communicate through nonverbal means, most humans produce distinct words to communicate with one another. Speech is delivered with much speed; typically, a person who wants to speak does not need to think too much about what to say. When a person speaks, his or her thoughts are immediately converted into a spoken form as soon as the speech organs receive a signal or instruction from the brain. Therefore, speech occurs when a person’s brain and speech organs work together, although the organs of the respiratory system also play an important role in this process, as the vocal. David Crystal divides the articulators into two different ways according to its mobility. They are: Active Articulators Passive Articulators An active articulator is the articulator that does all or most of the moving during a speech gesture. The active articulator is usually the lower lip or some part of the tongue. These active articulators are attached to the jaw which is relatively free to move when compared to parts of the vocal tract connected directly to the greater mass of the skull. A passive articulator is the articulator that makes little or no movement during a speech gesture. The active articulator moves towards the relatively immobile passive articulator. Passive articulators are often directly connected to the skull. Passive articulators include the upper lip, the upper teeth, the various parts of the upper surface of the oral cavity, and the back wall of the pharynx. The Articulators The Lungs The airflow is by far the most vital requirement for producing speech sound, since all speech sounds are made with some movement of air. The lungs provide the energy source for the airflow. The lungs are the spongy respiratory organs situated inside the rib cage. They expand and contract as we breathe in and out air. The amount of air accumulated inside our lungs controls the pressure of the airflow. The Larynx & the Vocal Folds The larynx is colloquially known as the voice box. It is a box-like small structure situated in the front of the throat where there is a protuberance. For this reason the larynx is popularly called the Adam’s apple. This casing is formed of cartilages and muscles. It protects as well as houses the trachea and the vocal folds .The vocal folds are like a pair of lips placed horizontally from front to back. They are joined in the front but can be separated at the back. The opening between them is called glottis. The glottis is considered to be in open state when the folds are apart, and when the folds are pressed together the glottis is considered to be in close state. The opening of the vocal folds takes different positions: Wide Apart: When the folds are wide apart they do not vibrate. The sounds produced in such position are called breathed or voiceless sounds. For example: /p/f/θ/s/. Narrow Glottis: If the air is passed through the glottis when it is narrowed then there is an audible friction. Such sounds are also voiceless since the vocal folds do not vibrate. For example, in English /h/ is a voiceless glottal fricative sound. Tightly Closed: The vocal folds can be firmly pressed together so that the air cannot pass between them. Such a position produces a glottal stop / ʔ / (also known as glottal catch, glottal plosive). Touched or Nearly Touched: The major role of the vocal folds is that of a vibrator in the production of speech. The folds vibrate when these two are touching each other or nearly touching.. In English all the vowel sounds and the consonants /v/z/m/n/are voiced. Touched or Nearly Touched The major role of the vocal folds is that of a vibrator in the production of speech. The folds vibrate when these two are touching each other or nearly touching. The pressure of the air coming from the lungs makes them vibrate. This vibration of the folds produces a musical note called voice. And sounds produced in such manner are called voiced sounds. In English all the vowel sounds and the consonants /v/z/m/n/are voiced. The Pharynx: The pharynx lies between the mouth and the food passage, that is, just above the larynx. It is just about 7cm long in the case of women and 8cm long in the case of men. The Roof of the Mouth: The roof of the mouth is considered as a major speech organ. It is divided into three parts: The Alveolar Ridge/Teeth Ridge: The alveolar ridge is situated immediately after the upper front teeth. Some alveolar sounds in English include: /t/d/. The Hard Palate: The hard palate is the concave part of the roof of the mouth. It is situated on the middle part of the roof. The Velum or Soft Palate: The lower part of the roof of the mouth is called soft palate.. When it is lowered, the air stream from the lungs has access to the nasal cavity. When it is raised the passage to the nasal cavity is blocked. For example: /k/g/. The Lips: The lips also play an important role in the matter of articulation. They can be pressed together or brought into contact with the teeth. The consonant sounds which are articulated by touching two lips each other are called bilabial sounds. For example, /p/ and /b/ are bilabial sounds in English. Whereas, the sounds which are produced with lip to teeth contact are called labiodental sounds. In English there are two labiodental sounds: /f/ and /v/. Another important thing about the lips is that they can take different shapes and positions. Therefore, lip-rounding is considered as a major criterion for describing vowel sounds. The lips may have the following positions: Rounded: When we pronounce a vowel, our lips can be rounded, a position where the corners of the lips are brought towards each other and the lips are pushed forwards. And the resulting vowel from this position is a rounded one. For example, /ə ʊ/. Spread: The lips can be spread. In this position the lips are moved away from each other (i.e. when we smile). For example, in English /i: /is a long vowel with slightly spread lips. Neutral: Again, the lips can be neutral, a position where the lips are not noticeably rounded or spread. For example, in English /ɑ: / is a long vowel with neutral lips. . The Teeth: The teeth are also very much helpful in producing various speech sounds. The sounds which are made with the tongue touching the teeth are called dental sounds. Some examples of dental sounds in English include: /θ/ð/. The Tongue: The tongue is divided into five parts: a. The tip: It is the extreme end of the tongue. b. The blade: It lies opposite to the alveolar ridge. c. The front: It lies opposite to the hard palate. d. The back: It lies opposite to the soft palate or velum. e. The root : It lies at the end of the tongue. The Jaws: Some phoneticians consider the jaws as articulators, since we move the lower jaw a lot at the time of speaking. But it should be noted that the jaws are not articulators in the same way as the others. The main reason is that they are incapable of making contact with other articulators by themselves. The Nose and the Nasal Cavity: The nose and its cavity may also be considered as speech organs. The sounds which are produced with the nose are called nasal sounds. Some nasal sounds in English include: /m/n/ŋ/. The Uvula: At the end of the soft palate there is a piece of fresh that dangles over the pharyngeal passage. It is called the Uvula. It can be vibrated to produce uvular sounds. Table of Possible and Impossible Articulations The following table makes a distinction between articulations that are actually used contrastively in the world's languages, articulations that are not used but are possible, and articulations that are impossible. In some cases, articulations marked with "***" are actually physically impossible and in some cases "***" marks articulations that are too difficult to be considered serious possibilities for linguistic use. Active Articulator Lower Lip Tongue Tip Tongue Blade Front of Tongue Back of Tongue Root of Tongue Vocal Folds Upper Lip bilabial --- --- *** *** *** *** Upper Front Teeth labiodental (apico-) dental (lamino-) dental --- *** *** *** Alveolar Ridge --- (apico-) alveolar (lamino-) alveolar --- *** *** *** Hard Palate *** retroflex palatoalveolar Palatal *** *** *** Soft Palate *** *** *** --- velar *** *** *** *** *** *** uvular *** *** Pharynx Wall *** *** *** *** *** pharyngeal *** Vocal Folds *** *** *** *** *** *** glottal Passive Articulator Uvula In the above table:*** means not a possible articulation --- means not found in any language (so far) From the above table, it can be seen that places of articulation are completely specified by both the active and the passive articulator. Some common articulatory distinctions are not completely captured by specification of the passive articulator alone. Note that, with the exception of the lower lip and the vocal folds, the majority of active articulators are different parts of the tongue. Importance of Organs of Speech Speech organs are one of the most important subject in the study of phonetics. The scope of organs of speech is as important as the scope of phonetics. It helps us to understand the articulators which are involved in the production of sounds or phones. A clear conception about articulators can change the style of any individual’s pronunciation. The knowledge helps a native more accurate in his first language (mother tongue). Moreover, it helps a person to be more native like in his or her second language. Overall, a well rounded knowledge of organs of speech is not only necessary for the students of linguistics but also for the general people. Conclusion Producing different speech sounds depends on the movement of speech organs. It is essential to know the movement and the placement of each organ to produce particular sounds. The above descriptions and functions of the organs of speech help a person to produce the consonants and vowels in a right way. Any Question???