An Interactive Quick Write!

Report
Phonetics Around the World
October 22, 2012
Most of the sound files for this lecture can be found online at:
http://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/index/sounds.html
Fun Stuff
1. Voiceless [w] and Cool Whip.
2. Some sound inventories: Piraha and Jhu|hoasi.
3. Burmese voiceless nasals.
Pirahã
• Pirahã is a rather exotic language spoken in the
Amazon basin, in Brazil.
• It has either 10 or 11 phonemes, depending on
who’s counting.
• Pirahã is a controversial language because so many wild
claims have been made about it…
• And it is hard to verify them, due to a lack of research.
Jhu|’hoansi
• Jhu|’hoansi is a Khoisan language spoken by about
30,000 people in southwestern Africa.
• Mostly in Namibia and Botswana.
• Jhu|’hoansi has only five vowels: [i], [e], [u], [o], [a].
• But it has a lot of consonants!
Jhu|’hoansi
• Jhu|’hoansi was (famously) featured in a movie called
The Gods Must Be Crazy.
• My friend Amanda Miller learned the language during a
stint with the Peace Corps back in the ‘90s.
• She currently does research on the phonetics of the
language…
• She just appeared on the show “Daily Planet” last
week!
• http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/dailyplanet/october-2012/daily-planet---october-182012/#clip787438
Phonetics Review
•
Last time, we discussed how vowels are articulated
along four different dimensions:
1. Height (of tongue)
high, mid, low
2. Front/backness (of tongue)
front, central, back
3. Rounding (of lips)
rounded, unrounded
4. Tenseness
tense vs. lax
Consonants
•
Consonants are produced with more obstruction of the
airflow through the vocal tract than vowels
•
They are characterized by a different set of attributes:
1. Voicing
•
vocal fold position and movement
2. Place of Articulation
•
location of constriction in the vocal tract
3. Manner of Articulation
•
type of constriction made in the vocal tract
Moving on…
• The big picture point for today is:
• languages can combine a relatively small number of
articulatory gestures to make a very large number of
different sounds.
English Consonant Chart
Yes and No
• Here’s the complete chart of consonants:
• Some combinations are unattested
• Some combinations are impossible
• Many of these combinations are not found in English
Meanwhile…
note: close = high, open = low, etc...
• There are also combinations of gestures for vowels that
English doesn’t use
Front + Round
• Dutch has vowels that are both front and rounded
Back + Unrounded
• Vietnamese has vowels that are back and unrounded.
Nasalized Vowels
• Air can flow through the nose during a vowel, too.
• Examples from French:
Different Consonant Combos
• English has bilabial stops, but not bilabial fricatives.
• Bilabial fricatives exist in languages like Spanish and
Ewe, which is spoken in West Africa.
Different Consonant Combos
• Fricative sounds can also be made at the palate and the
velum.
• Examples from Greek:
English Velar Fricatives
• There is no velar fricative in English...
• but there used to be.
• Examples:
German
• night
[naɪt]
Nacht
[naxt]
• light
[laɪt]
Licht
[lɪçt]
• high
[haɪ]
hoch
[hɔx]
dachte
[daxtə]
• thought [θat]
• tough
[tʌf]
Uvular
Pharyngeal
Other Places of Articulation
• One dialect of Hebrew has uvular and pharyngeal
fricatives
Voiceless Nasals
• Nasalization is disastrous for fricatives.
• There are no (uncontroversial) nasal fricatives in the
languages of the world.
• There are, however, voiceless nasals in a few languages.
• Examples from Burmese:
Another Manner: Trills
• Trills are made when the flow of air through the mouth
rapidly forces two articulators to open and close against
each other.
• Kele has both bilabial and alveolar trills. Kele is spoken on
the island of Manus, which is north of New Guinea.
Other Airstream Mechanisms
• Some sounds are made without air flowing out of the
lungs.
• For example, hold your breath and try making the stop
sounds [p], [t], and [k].
• You can force air out of your mouth with your closed
glottis.
• These sounds are called ejectives.
• They are symbolized with a ‘ after a stop: [p’], [t’], [k’]
Quechua Ejectives
• Quechua is spoken in South America
Implosives
• Sounds can also be made when air rushes into the
mouth.
• One way to do this involves dropping a closed glottis
while making a stop.
• Sounds made in this way are called implosives.
• Examples from Sindhi (spoken in India):
Velaric Ingressive Sounds
• A very interesting effect can occur when certain
articulations are combined with a velar stop closure
• Can you differentiate between these sounds?
•These “click” sounds are from the language Xhosa, which
is spoken in southwestern Africa.
What’s going on here?
• Click sounds are by made by the sound of air rushing into
the mouth.
• How to make a click (step 1):
• Make a velar stop and another stop in front of the velum.
Air will get trapped in between the two closures.
What’s going on here?
• How to make a click (part 2):
• Drop the tongue down to expand the chamber of air
trapped in the mouth. The air pressure in the chamber will
decrease.
What’s going on here?
• How to make a click (part 3):
• Release the forward closure. Air rushes into the low
pressure area, from outside the mouth.
What’s going on here?
• How to make a click (part 4):
• Release the velar closure to make a velar stop sound.
Clicks in connected speech
• Listen to clicks as they are produced in a long sequence of
connected speech. You may experience a phenomenon
known as perceptual streaming.
Sound file source: http://www.rdg.ac.uk/%7Ellsroach/fue/

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