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Definitions of phonetics and phonology Phonetics and phonology are the two fields dedicated to the study of human speech sounds and sound structures. The difference between phonetics and phonology is that phonetics deals with the physical production of these sounds while phonology is the study of sound patterns and their meanings both within and across languages. Definition of phoneme
Any of the perceptually distinct units of sound in a specified language that distinguish one word from another, for example p, b, d, and t in the English words pad, pat, bad, and bat. Definition of Orthography (1) The practice or study of correct spelling according to established usage. (2) The study of letters and how they are used to express sounds and form words. Adjective:orthographic. Difference between spelling and orthography Like Lefteris Gkinis said, orthography comes from the Greek and means "Correct way of writing". It includes also punctuation and spelling. So, rather than a mere activity, it's the part of the Grammar that studies, and is related to, the correct way of writing, whether it is about single words, punctuation, etc. The spelling, like the NOAD says, is "the process or activity of writing or naming the letters of a word." So it's something more specific, since it's only related to how the single words are "made". Definition of IPA The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)[note 1] is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of oral language.[1] The IPA is used by foreign languagestudents and teachers, linguists, Speech-Language Pathologists, singers, actors, lexicographers, constructed language creators, and translators.[2][3] The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are distinctive in oral language: phonemes, intonation, and the separation ofwords and syllables.[1] To represent additional qualities of speech such as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made with a cleft palate, an extended set of symbols called the Extensions to the IPA may be used.[2] IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements of two basic types, letters and diacritics. For example, the sound of the English letter t may be transcribed in IPA with a single letter, [t], or with a letter plus diacritics, [t], depending on how precise one wishes to be.[note 2] Often, slashes are used to signal broad or phonemic transcription; thus, /t/ is less specific than, and could refer to, either [t] or [t] depending on the context and language. Occasionally letters or diacritics are added, removed, or modified by the International Phonetic Association. As of the most recent change in 2005,[4]there are 107 letters, 52

2 diacritics, and four prosodic marks in the IPA. These are shown in the current IPA chart, posted below in this article and at the website of the IPA.[5]

3 Definition of Phonetic Transcript A transcription intended to represent each distinct speech sound with a separate symbol Classified under: Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents Hypernyms ("phonetic transcription" is a kind of...): transcription; written text (something written, especially copied from one medium to another, as a typewritten version of dictation) Meronyms (parts of "phonetic transcription"): phonetic symbol (a written character used in phonetic transcription of represent a particular speech sound) Definition of Allophones

An allophone is a phonetic variant of a phoneme in a particular language. Examples (English)

[p] and [pH] are allophones of the phoneme /p/. [t] and [tH] are allophones of the phoneme /t/.

Examples (Spanish)

[b] and [B] are allophones of the phoneme /b/. [d] and [D] are allophones of the phoneme /d/.

Definition of Diacritics
A mark near or through an orthographic or phonetic character or combination of characters indicating a phonetic value different from that given the unmarked or otherwise marked element.

Definition of Articulators
(phonetics) any vocal organ that takes part in the production of a speech sound. Such organs are of two types: those that can move, such as the tongue, lips, etc (active articulators), and those that remain fixed, such as the teeth, the hard palate, etc (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 place of articulation of a consonant is generally named for the passive articulator. Sometimes the active articulator is also explicitly included in the name of a place of articulation by use of the prefixes "apico-" and "lamino-".


The following links lead to diagrams that illustrate place of articulation in English. These diagrams are applicable to most dialects of English. The possible exception is the diagram for differently in some dialects of English. 1. 2. 3. 4. Oral Stop Articulation Nasal Stop Articulation Fricative Articulation Approximant Articulation

/r/ which may be articulated


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 Tongue Tongue Lip Tip Blade Front Back of of Tongue Tongue *** *** Root of Tongue Vocal Folds

Passive Articulator Upper Lip



--(lamino) dental (lamino) alveolar



Upper Front labio- (apico-) Teeth dental dental





Alveolar Ridge Hard Palate Soft Palate Uvula


(apico-) alveolar







palatopalatal alveolar *** ---
















Pharynx Wall Vocal Folds















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. For example:-

Labiodental articulations cannot be fully specified by just the passive articulator (front upper teeth) as this would fail to distinguish such articulations from dentals. Dentals can be either apico-dentals or lamino-dentals (and in some languages these can contrast). It is essential that the active articulator is specified to separate them. Note that, with the exception of the lower lip and the vocal folds, the majority of active articulators are different parts of the tongue. Refer to this figure from lecture 1 for the location of these different parts of the tongue.

Definition of voiced and voiceless sounds

Voiced and Voiceless Sounds

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, but there are 39 sounds (15 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds) produced by these letters. (see vowel and consonant sections). A vowel is a sound where air coming from the lungs is not blocked by the mouth or throat. All normal English words contain at least one vowel. The vowels are: A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y. 'Y' can also behave as a consonant when it is at the beginning of a word. A consonant is a sound formed by stopping the air flowing through the mouth. The consonants are: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z

All the sounds produced in the English are either voiced or voiceless. Voiced sounds occur when the vocal cords vibrate when the sound is produced. There is no vocal cord vibration when producing voiceless sounds. To test this, place your finger tips hand on your throat as you say the sounds. When saying the voiced sounds, you should be able to feel a vibration. When saying the voiceless sounds you sound not be able to feel a vibration. Sometimes it is very difficult to feel the difference between a voiced and voiceless sound. Another test may help. Put a piece of paper in front of your mouth when saying the sounds- the paper will should move when saying the unvoiced sounds. All vowels in English are voiced. Some of the consonant sounds are voiced and some are voiceless. Some of the consonant sounds produced in English

7 are very similar. Many times the difference between them is because one is voiced and the other is voiceless. Two examples are 'z', which is voiced and 's', which is voiceless. See the chart below for a listing of the voiced and voiceless consonants.

Voiced consonants Sounds b d g v z th sz j l m n ng r w y

Voiceless consonant Sounds p t k f s th sh ch h


Consonant Classification Chart

To understand what a consonant classification chart is, you can see one onlineor in a linguistics textbook. A downloadable consonant classification chart can be found here. For the non-linguist, this chart can be difficult to read and understand. The purpose of the chart is to show where in the mouth different consonant sounds derive and how much air is needed to create the sounds. For this reason, the chart often has the location of the sound (place) across the top and the way the sound is produced (manner) down the side
Place of Articulation

Bilabial - uses both lips to create the sound such as the beginning sounds in pin, bust, well and the ending sound in seem. Labiodental - uses the lower lip and upper teeth; examples include fin and van. Dental/interdental - creates sound between the teeth such as the and thin.

Alveolar - is a sound created with the tongue and the ridge behind the upper teeth; examples include the beginning sounds of tin, dust, sin, zoo, and late and the /n/ in scene. Palatal - uses the tongue and the hard palate to created the following sounds: shin, treasure, cheep, jeep, rate and yell. Velar - makes the sound using the soft palate in the back of the mouth; sounds include kin, gust, and the -ng in sing. Glottal- is a sound made in the throat between the vocal cords such as in the word hit
Manner of Articulation

The manner of articulation means how the sound is made using the different places of articulation, tongue placement, whether the sound is voiced or unvoiced and the amount of air needed. Stops - air coming from the lungs is stopped at some point during the formation of the sound. Some of these sounds are unvoiced, such as pin, tin, and kin; some of these are voiced, such as bust, dust and gust. Fricatives - restricted air flow causes friction but the air flow isnt completely stopped. Unvoiced examples include fin, thin, sin, shin, and hit; voiced examples include van, zoo, the, and treasure. Affricates - are combinations of stops and fricatives. Cheap is an example of an unvoiced affricate and jeep is an example of an voiced. Nasals - as expected, the air is stopped from going through the mouth and is redirected into the nose. Voiced examples include seem, seen, scene, and sing. Liquids - almost no air is stopped; voiced exampled included late and rate. Glides - sometimes referred to as semi-vowels, the air passes through the articulators to create vowel like sounds but the letters are known as consonants. Examples include well and yell.





Place of articulation The active articulator usually moves in order to make the constriction. The passive articulator usually just sits there and gets approached. A sound's place of articulation is usually named by using the Latin ajective for the active articulator (ending with an "o") followed by the Latin adjective for the passive articulator. For example, a sound where the tongue tip (the "apex") approaches or touches the upper teeth is called an "apico-dental". Most of the common combinations of active and passive articulator have abbreviated names (usually leaving out the active half). These are the abbreviated names for the places of articulation used in English: bilabial The articulators are the two lips. (We could say that the lower lip is the active articulator and the upper lip the passive articulator, though the upper lip usually moves too, at least a little.) English bilabial sounds include [p], [b], and [m].



The lower lip is the active articulator and the upper teeth are the passive articulator. English labio-dental sounds include [f] and [v]. dental Dental sounds involve the upper teeth as the passive articulator. The active articulator may be either the tongue tip or (usually) the tongue blade -- diacritic symbols can be used if it matters which. Extreme lamino-dental sounds are often called interdental. English interdental sounds includ e[ ] and [ ].



Alveolar sounds involve the alveolar ridge as the passive articulator. The active articulator may be either the tongue blade or (usually) the tongue tip -diacritic symbols can be used if it matters which. English alveolar sounds include [t], [d], [n], [s], [z], [l]. postalveolar Postalveolar sounds involve the area just behind the alveolar ridge as the passive articulator. The active articulator may be either the tongue tip or (usually) the tongue blade -- diacritic symbols can be used if it matters which. English postalveolars include [ ] and [ ]. Linguists have traditionally used very inconsistent terminology in referring to the postalveolar POA. Some of the terms you may encounter for it include: palato-alveolar, alveo-palatal, alveolo-palatal, and even (especially among English-speakers) palatal. Many insist that palato-alveolar and alveo(lo)-palatal are two different things -though they don't agree which is which. "Postalveolar", the official term used by the International Phonetic Association, is unambiguous, not to mention easier to spell.

retroflex In retroflex sounds, the tongue tip is curled up and back. Retroflexes can be classed as apico-postalveolar, though not all apico-postalveolars need to be curled backward enough to count as retroflex.


The closest sound to a retroflex that English has is [ ]. For most North Americans, the tongue tip is curled back in [ ], though not as much as it is in languages that have true retroflexes. Many other North Americans use what is called a "bunched r" -- instead of curling their tongues back, they bunch the front up and push it forward to form an approximant behind the alveolar ridge. palatal The active articulator is the tongue body and the passive articulator is the hard palate. The English glide [j] is a palatal.

velar The active articulator is the tongue body and the passive articulator is the soft palate. English velars include [k], [g], and [ ].

glottal This isn't strictly a place of articulation, but they had to put it in the chart somewhere. Glottal sounds are made in the larynx. For the glottal stop, the vocal cords close momentarily and cut off all airflow through the vocal tract. English uses the glottal stop in the interjection uh-uh (meaning 'no'). In [h], the vocal cords are open, but close enough together that air passing between them creates friction noise.


Diacritics Chart

Meaning: A mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation Classified under: Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents Synonyms: diacritic; diacritical mark Hypernyms ("diacritical mark" is a kind of...): mark (a written or printed symbol (as for punctuation)) Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "diacritical mark"):

18 accent; accent mark (a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation) breve (a diacritical mark (U-shaped) placed over a vowel to indicate a short sound) cedilla (a diacritical mark (,) placed below the letter c to indicate that it is pronounced as an s) circumflex (a diacritical mark (^) placed above a vowel in some languages to indicate a special phonetic quality) hacek; wedge (a diacritical mark (an inverted circumflex) placed above certain letters (such as the letter c) to indicate pronunciation) macron (a diacritical mark (-) placed above a vowel to indicate a long sound) tilde (a diacritical mark (~) placed over the letter n in Spanish to indicate a palatal nasal sound or over a vowel in Portuguese to indicate nasalization) diaeresis; dieresis; umlaut (a diacritical mark (two dots) placed over a vowel in German to indicate a change in sound)

Practice Materials for Consonants (AmE) These materials can be used as additional phonetic exercises for practicing consonant sounds in short frequently used words. (You can listen to similar words in Listening for Consonants (AmE) and Listening for Consonant Contrast (AmE) in the section Phonetics.) . ( Listening for Consonants (AmE) Listening for Consonant Contrast (AmE) Phonetics.)
Consonant sounds

[p], [b], [t], [d], [k], [g], [f], [v], [], [], [s], [z], [sh], [zh], [h], [ch], [j], [m], [n], [], [l], [r], [w], [y]; pen, be, ten, do, Kate, go, feel, very, thin, this, so, zoo, show, beige, he, cheese, just, me, no, sing, live, red, we, yes;
The sound [p] as in PEN

peel piece peer pick pin pen pair pack palm part pause pour port pond pool pure poor put pull person public pay pain pie pound point pole post; please plenty plan plural plug play split splendid splash splurge;


pretty press practice prune pray price proud prose spring spread spray sprout; speak spin spend span sport spoon space spy spoil spoke; paper pepper happen happy creepy tipping kept napkin apple people staple; tap nap cup lip drop trip keep help soup tape ripe rope grasp crisp;
The sound [b] as in BE

be beat beer big bit best bed bare bad back balm bar bore boss bought boom beauty book burn burst bus bun baby buy bound boy bone; bleed bless black block blue blur blood blame blind blow; breed bring bread brand broad brother brain break bright brown broken; habit rabbit ribbon robber robot absent number able terrible rouble gamble tumble; tab lab stub rub rib rob knob Bob robe bulb;
The sound [t] as in TEN

team tip tell tan task tar tall torn taught top tool tune tour took turn ton take time town toy toe tone; treat trip trend track true trust train trace try street strong struck straight strike stroke; steam stick step stare stand star store stop student stir stun stable style stout stone; city pity kitten total potato writer later better little rattle title twenty mister pizza; set meet rate write part coat short tact draft belt point spent kept last taste roast; looked stopped laughed passed released reached washed;

The sound [d] as in DO

deep deal dear dip den dare Dan dark door dog do duty during dirt dull day die down don't; dream drink drip dress drag draw drop drew drum drain dry drown drone; lady hidden admire edition Edward heading idle riddle cradle handle bundle; kid did read ride made mad add odd cord heard would could send kind wind round; played studied called bored lived turned managed hated started needed ended;
The sound [k] as in KATE

keen keep kill kiss Ken chemistry can cap calm car call corn cool cute cook curse come Kate case kind coast cone; clean clear click class clue clerk club claim climb cloud clown close; cream critical credit crash crawl cruise crush crazy cry crowd scream scratch scrape; fact active action token lecture awkward Arctic mechanics archive miracle; [sk] scan scale scare score school scope escape skate ski skin skirt skunk sky; [k] account accommodate according accumulate accuse occur; [ks] access accent accept succeed; [ks] fix relax maximum axis excellent exceed except excess exchange explain explore; [ksk] exclaim exclude excuse excursion; [kw] question quite quick queen quality equal require request; cake took walk talk dark oak rack pick panic magic unique bank link risk task;

The sound [g] as in GO

give gift get guess gas gap guard gorge gone goose good girl gun gust game guy guide go gold; glimpse glare glance glamor glue gloomy glum glide global glow; green grip grab grasp grew groom great ground grow; begin again ago legal eager beggar regular ignore ugly giggle eagle struggle single anger hungry; [gw] language linguist Guatemala Gwen; [gz] exist exert exam exact exhibit; big bag dog leg egg rug dialogue vague vogue;
The sound [f] as in FEEL

feel feed fear fit finish fell fed fair fast far four form fond food few full foot fur firm fun fame fate final find found phone photo; flick flesh flag floor floss flew flu flirt flame fly flight Floyd flown; free freeze frigid friend fresh fragile fraud frog fruit frame phrase fry frown froze; office offer often suffer effect coffee muffin defend after left drift soft; if life safe loaf half deaf stiff staff cuff rough tough enough laugh;
The sound [v] as in VERY

veal vivid vet very variant vast vault verb vein vague vine vital vouch voice void vote; even evil fever eleven event level lever ever every invest review prevail prevent provoke; leave give live active love move brave groove stove curve;

The sound [] as in THIN

theme thief theater theory thin thick thing think therapy thank thorn thought third thirty thirsty thermometer Thursday thoroughly thumb thunder thousand; three thrifty thrill thread threat throb through threw thrust thrive throw throat throne; method author lethal anything everything nothing diphthong without sympathy; breath bath path booth tooth teeth truth north cloth moth earth birth faith south both growth; health wealth length strength width fifth sixth thirteenth thirtieth with;
The sound [] as in THIS

these this then them their there that than the they those though; other mother father brother leather feather weather whether together gather either neither further; although without southern northern rhythm clothes; breathe bathe soothe smooth clothe with;
The sound [s] as in SO

seem seen sin simple city send center sad sack saw sore song soon suit sir certain sun suck save sail side sign sound sour so soul; lesson listen associate society privacy agency test waste; sleep slope smell smile snake snow speak span split splash spray spring stay stone strain stripe sweet swim; [sk] scale scare escape scatter score school scoundrel screen scrub skate skin sky; [s] scene scent science scissors scythe miscellaneous; [ks] accent access accept except excess explain relax fix mix;


kiss pass advice nice notice release increase reduce use (n.) loose rinse since chance; looks takes asks stops keeps types laughs coughs fits hates tests insists;
The sound [z] as in ZOO

zebra zero zip zigzag zest zap zoo zoom zone; music reason poison present dozen citizen horizon razor resign resist busy crazy lazy puzzle sizzle dazzle realism idealism capitalism socialism; [gz] exist exert exam exact exhibit; lose choose use (v.) rose those wise always advise surprise organize quiz jazz; is does has pays runs teams finds tells rubs lives classes loses changes fixes;
The sound [sh] as in SHOW

she sheep sheer chic ship shed share champagne short shot shoe sure sugar should shook shirt shut shame shake shape shine show; shriek shrimp shrink shrug shrine; special social official financial politician efficient patient delicious suspicious precious cautious discussion expression mission pressure fashion nation section condition; push bush leash fish flash rash cash cache publish foolish;
The sound [zh] as in BEIGE

usual casual visual vision explosion erosion measure pleasure treasure leisure; beige mirage collage sabotage prestige garage rouge;
The sound [h] as in HE

he heat here him history help hair hand have half heart hard horn hot who whose hook her heard hurry hunt hundred hate hide how home hope hold whole;


behind behold inherit inhibit inhabit inhale;

The sound [ch] as in CHEESE

cheese cheap cheer chip chin check chess chair chance chapter charity chart charter chalk chore choose chew church chunk chain China chime chose choke, teacher preacher kitchen matching watching teaching; much such touch search torch teach rich branch lunch batch catch patch pitch watch Dutch;
The sound [j] as in JUST

jeans jeep Jim gin gym jet general gentle jam jazz John journey journal just jump judge June jail Jane giant joint joke; region surgeon agent angel danger stranger engine Egypt tragic energy object subject injection suggest fidget; age page rage large huge emerge package message hostage manage bridge badge porridge change range strange sponge;
The sound [m] as in ME

me mean mere middle mint men man mark more Mommy moon mute murder must mother main make mind my mode most; smell smash smart small smooth smug smile smoke; summer Emma command memory murmur family female mumble ramble; seem some dame time form firm stem plum lamb thumb climb comb;
The sound [n] as in NO

need neat knee never nap nasty normal not noon new nutrition nut name nature knife night nine now noun nose know no; sneeze sniff snack snap snore snob snug snake snail sniper snow;


funny manner inner winner annoy finish internal Nancy kindness signature; lunch bench branch change range find mind bend sound round aunt faint point student sent dance science sense; ban tan kin pin thin sin son sun born sane main sign nine noun known own Indian;
The sound [] as in SING

[] sing singer singing sang sung hang hanger hanging hung lung song king bang slang ring ping thing wrong long young strong tongue going cooking reading; []+[g] finger anger angry hunger hungry linger longer longest younger youngest stronger strongest congress (n.) single angle strangle tangle lingo language linguist; []+[k] bank banker frank spank tank ankle drink think sink link ink pink punk drunk skunk uncle;
The sound [l] as in LIVE

lead leap live let less lack last lark law lord lock lot lost lose loop look learn luck lady late life like light lie loud loyal Lloyd load; blood blow plain plan clear close glide glow split splash; sleep slip slap slash slot sluice slur slum slave slight slide slouch slow slogan; alone alive Elizabeth elect valley lily silly really lonely nicely wisely; cold hold held mild field build fault salt felt melt consult; apple couple table terrible little bottle needle idle miracle vehicle; all fall call tell well will whole role roll soul deal boil mail tale file cool girl;

The sound [r] as in RED

read reap real rear risk wrist red rest rare ran rap raw wrong roof route room run rust rain raise rise right round royal road rope rose wrote; bring proud spread true stripe dry free crow scrape grab throw shrink; around arrange arrive arrogant narrow berry carry sorry hurry during period barbaric murderous careless reference tolerance story salary; carp hard park large carve born form horse porch morgue term earn birth first girl curb curl hurt turf; more tore four car bar far care pair fear hear sir were fur purr fire hire poor tour our power;
The sound [w] as in WE

we week wheel wind will wet west when where wax wall war warm water want wool would word worse won one once way wait wild why white wound won't; sweet swim swift sweat swear swallow twelve twenty twice twinkle twist dwell dwarf; [kw] question quite quick queen quality equal request require; [gw] language linguist Guatemala Gwen;
The sound [y] as in YES

year yield yes yesterday yellow yet yard yawn York yacht yearn young yoga yolk you use unit utility; beyond canyon Tanya Tonya million billion onion union music human few view.