Phonetics

Report
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Phonetics: The physical manifestation of
language in sound waves.
◦ How sounds are articulated (articulatory phonetics)
◦ How sounds are perceived (auditory phonetics)
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Phonology: The mental representation of
sounds.
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English orthography (writing system) is not
accurate in representing sounds:
Did he believe that Caesar could see the people
seize the seas?
The silly amoeba stole the key to the machine
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We need a more accurate representation of
sounds: IPA
(Fromkin, Rodman, Hyams p.223)
The smallest units of language.
 Every language has its own inventory of
linguistic sounds.
 Phonemes can be divided into 2 types:
1. Consonants
2. Vowels
 Keep in mind: We are not talking about letters
here!
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How are phonemes produced?
Consonants are produced by obstructing the
flow of air as it passes from the lungs
through the vocal tract.
When we describe a consonant, one of the
features we use is its place of articulation.
The other feature is the manner of
articulation.
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Examples of obstructing airflow to produce a
consonant:
To form the initial [p] sound in “pill”, we put
our lips together to shut off the flow of air
before releasing it.
Sounds that are created by obstructing the
flow of air with both lips are called bilabial
Compare the [p] sound with the [f] in “fill”.
How is it produced?
Sounds like [f] are called labiodental
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Going further back in the mouth:
Pronounce the “th” sound as in “thin”. How is
it produced?
The [θ] sound is called interdental (inter=
between, dental= teeth)
Consider the [s] sound as in “soup”. How is it
produced?
By putting the tip of the tongue right behind
the upper front teeth. This part of the mouth
is called alveolar ridge. Sounds like /s/ are
called alveolar.
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Compare the [s] sound to the [ʃ] sound in
“shell”. Where does the tongue move?
Sounds produced in this area are called
palatal sounds.
The soft area further back is called velum.
Sounds produced in this area are called velar
sounds. Sounds in this area are produced by
touching the heel of the tongue on the velum.
Examples of these sounds are: [g] and [k]
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Finally, we arrive at the glottis –the end of the
vocal tract and beginning of your throat.
There is only one glottal sound: /h/
Place of Articulation
Consonant
Bilabial
[p] [b] [m]
Labiodental
[f] [v]
Interdental
[θ] [ð]
Alveolar
[t] [d] [n] [s] [z] [l] [r]
Palatal
[ʃ] [ʒ] [tʃ] [dʒ]
Velar
[k] [g] [ŋ]
Glottal
[h]
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Describing the features of Consonants.
What distinguishes [p] from [b] or [b] from
[m]? All three are bilabial sounds…
Speech sounds vary in the way the airstream
is affected as it flows from the lungs up and
out of the mouth and nose.
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Voiced and voiceless sounds
◦ When the vocal cords are apart when speaking, air
flows freely through the glottis. Sounds produced in
this way are voiceless.
◦ If the vocal cords are together, the airstream forces
its way through and causes them to vibrate
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Try it out: put your hand to
your throat and produce a [z]
sound as in “buzz”. Now do the
same with [s] as in “bus”.
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The distinction is very important in English as
it may change the meaning of the word:
rope/robe
choke/joke
fate/fade rack/rag
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Quick exercise:
Of the sounds discussed so far, which are
voiced and which are voiceless. Pronounce
them with your hand at your throat.
[p]
[s]
[m]
[tʃ]
[h]
[z]
[ʃ]
[ʒ]
[dʒ] [b]
[θ]
[l]
[t]
[d]
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[b] and [p] sounds are distinguished as
voiced/voiceless. But how is [b] different from [m]?
When the uvular blocks the airway through the nose,
the sound is oral. When the uvular is not raised, air
escapes through the nose and the mouth. This is
called a nasal sound.
If [m] is a nasal, what other nasals can you identify?
 [m]
ew
[n] [ŋ]
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To produce the [t] sound, you place the
tongue on the alveolar ridge and obstruct the
flow of air. The [s] sound is produced at the
same place of articulation. What is different
about them?
Test for yourself: produce the sounds and
observe what is happening to the airflow.
When the airflow is completely stopped, the
sound is a stop.
When the airflow is only partially stopped, it’s
a fricative.
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Quick exercise:
Of the sounds discussed so far, which are
stops and which are fricatives? Pronounce
each and decide.
[p]
[s]
[θ]
[t]
[d]
[z]
[ʃ]
[ʒ]
[k]
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Affricates are produced by a stop which is
followed immediately by gradual release of air.
Stop + fricative = affricate
◦ There are only two: [tʃ] and [dʒ]
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Liquids
◦ During the production of the sounds [l] and [r], there is
no real obstruction of the airflow that causes friction.
Hence, these sounds are not stops, fricatives or
affricates. They are called liquids
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Glides
◦ Are not causing significant obstruction and are always
followed by vowels.
◦ [j] and [w]
Consonants
[p] pit
[b] bite
[m] man
[t] tool
[d] dance
[n] nice
[k] cat
[g] girl
[ŋ]singer
[f] foul
[v]vote
[s] side
[z] buzz
[θ] thigh
[ð] father
[ʃ] shoe
[dʒ] judge
[l] loud
[r] rooster [j] yes
[ʒ] measure
[tʃ] choke
[w] witch
[h] hat
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Vowel Qualities
The placement of the body of the
tongue:
◦ Vertical: high – mid – low
◦ Horizontal: front – central – back
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The shape of the lips:
◦ Rounded – Unrounded
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The degree of the vocal tract
contraction:
◦ Tense – Lax
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Experiment:
Say the words “meet” and “mat”. What
happens to your jaw?
Now say the word “mate” in between.
High
[i] meet
Mid
[e] mate
Low
[æ] mat
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Frontness is determining where the tongue is
positioned horizontally.
Say the words hack [hæk] and hah in
sequence: “hack, hah, hack, hah, hack, hah.
You should be able to observe the tongue
movement.
front vowels:
[i] [ɪ] [e] [ɛ] [æ]
Central vowels:
[ə] [ʌ]
back vowels:
[u] [o] [ɔ] [a] [ʊ]
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Vowels differ in roundness of the lips.
a
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In English, there are tense and lax vowels
Compare “beat” and “bit”. Both sounds are
high, front vowels, but they differ in
tenseness of muscles in the vocal tract.
Tense
Lax
[i] beat
[ɪ] bit
[e] bait
[ɛ] bet
[u]boot
[ʊ] put
[o]boat
[ɔ] bore
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The previously discussed vowels are also
called monophthongs
Diphthongs are a combination of 2 vowel
sounds.
In English, there are 3 (main) diphthongs.
Consider following words:
kite
bout
boy
[aj]
[aw]
[ɔj]
Consonants
[p] pit
[b] bite
[m] man
[t] tool
[d] dance
[n] nice
[k] cat
[g] girl
[ŋ]singer
[f] foul
[v]vote
[s] side
[z] buzz
[θ] thigh
[ð] father
[ʃ] shoe
[dʒ] judge
[l] loud
[r] rooster [j] yes
[ʒ] measure
[tʃ] choke
[w] witch
[h] hat
Diphthongs
Vowels
[i] beat
[ɪ] hit
[e] gate
[aj] kite
[ɛ] bed
[æ] pan
[u] boot
[aw] bout
[ʊ] put
[ʌ] cut
[o] go
[ɔj] boy
[ɔ] talk
[a] father
[ə] alone
Quick exercise:
Answer following questions in IPA
1. /wær du dɒktərs wərk?/
2. /wʌt kʌlər ɪz ðə skai?/
3. /wʌt ɪz θri taɪmz θri?/
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1.
2.
3.
/hɔspɪtəl/ or /haspətəl/
/blu/
/najn/
The mental representation of sounds
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Phonology is concerned with the sound
structure/patterns of languages.
What syntax is for grammar, phonology is for
phonetics.
Knowledge of phonology determines how we
pronounce morphemes depending on their
context. Just as morphology has rules,
phonology has its own rules.
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Most English nouns have a plural form:
cat/cats, dog/dogs, fox/foxes
You might think an “-s” makes nouns plural,
but when you listen carefully, you’ll here a
different pronunciation of that “-s”.
A
B
C
D
cab
cap
bus
child
cad
cat
bush
ox
bag
back
buzz
love
cuff
garage
mouse
criterion
The final sound of the plurals in A is a [z] a
voiced alveolar fricative.
For column B, the plural ending is an [s] –
a voiceless alveolar fricative.
Column C is [əz]
Column D are irregular endings.
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Do you think the variance of plural
pronunciation is random?
There’s a phonological rule behind it. To
understand it, we must analyze the
surrounding sounds. To understand the
surrounding sounds, we need to look at
minimal pairs.
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Minimal pairs are words that only differ in
one sound segment. For example
ship/sheep
cat/mat
Minimal pairs from the previous examples are
cap/cab
bag/back
bag/badge
These minimal pairs differ in the final sound
segment, so the final sound must determine
the pronunciation of the plural ending.
Allomorph
Environment
[z]
After [b], [d], [g], [v], [ð], [m], [n], [ŋ], [l], [r], [a], [ɔj]
[s]
After [p], [t], [k], [f], [θ]
[əz]
After [s], [ʃ], [z], [ʒt], [ʃ], [dʒ]
Allomorph
Environment
[z]
After voiced nonsibilant segments
[s]
After voiceless nonsibilant segments
[əz]
After sibilant segments

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