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LIN100 Phonetics I 2013-09-17 11:04 PM

1. Phonetics
2. Transcription
3. Vocal organs
4. Segments and sound classes
5. Consonant articulation
6. Summary: English consonants

Introduction Cedric Ludlow
How speech sounds are produced, realized, acoustically, and perceived
How speech sounds can be placed into words, occurrence of speech sounds
Defn: The study of and classification of speech sounds.
Language competence involves creating and comprehending speech.
Speech Production (the creation of sound and speech from the image of
what is being described to the creation of the individual phonemes)

Acoustic Signal (the release of the sound as a sound wave, ready to be
comprehended by a listener)

Speech Comprehension (understanding of the speech that has been
produced using aural organs)
The result of the speech production is a sound wave or acoustic signal travelling
through the air.
Phonetics studies how speech sounds are created/produced

Transcription Cedric Ludlow
To study speech, we need to transcribe it in a systematic manner consistently within a
language and across languages.
Transcription is not orthography.
Orthography can be problematic when representing sounds within a language:
No one-to-one correspondence between the sound and the symbol
The same sound is spelt in more than one way
o Ex. English [k]: <c>, <k>, <ck>, <ch>, <q>
o English [tu]: to, too, two
o English<ough>: tough, though, trough, through, cough
o [u] in other orthographies
! English o, oo, u, ou
! French ou
! Japanese
! Russian !
The solution would be to use a standardized alphabet that uses symbols that can
transcribe any language.
For phonetic transcription, square brackets are used.
Individual speech sounds are called segments.
Paths to Mastering Transcription
Learn the IPA, the sounds and corresponding symbols
Introspect articulation
Practise, practise, practise
Understand the anatomy used
Vocal Organs Cedric Ludlow
The vocal organs are primarily associated with the pulmonic/breathing system
Lungs: source of the air
Larynx/Glottis: Source of sound
Vocal Tract
o Pharynx, oral cavity, nasal cavity: Filtering and colouring of sound
Larynx can have several states/configuration of the vocal folds
o Glottis widely apart
o Glottis semi-closed, able to vibrate to create vocalization
Vocal Tract
Air passages that sound passes through and gets chaged based on
Articulators are parts of the vocal tract that can be used to form speech
o A lower articulator articulates against an upper articulator
o Active articulators/lower articulators
o Stationary articulators/upper articulators
o Nasal cavity is another filter
! Used when the velum is lowered and the uvula is blocking the
nasal passage
Speech is a continuum, reflecting continuous movements of articulators
Electropalatography phonetic technique that tracts contact of the tongue
with the palate
o Tracks contact with different parts of the tongue to the palate
o Tongue touching occurs differently in different languages.
Segments and Sound Classes Cedric Ludlow
Speech is a continuum, reflecting continuous movements of articulatory gestures
However, it can be segmented into smaller units, segments or individual
o Segments are psychologically real as proven by speech errors.
! Segments can be erroneously shuffled
Two classes of segments:
Articulatory Difference
o Consonants have major vocal tract obstruction (complete close or
narrow close of tract)
o Vowels have relatively little obstruction
o Glides or semivowels have minimal obstruction
Acoustic Differences
o Consonants are less sonorant than vowels, which are louder or more
o Low intensity for consonants. Primarily because of a lot of restriction of
the vocal tract.
o High intensity vowels because of an open, free-flowing vocal tract.
Structural differences
o Vowels usually form the peak of a syllable
! CVC syllables are fairly standard.
! Syllabic consonants exist, such as [n] in <button>.
o Every English word is consisted out of syllables
DIVA Model, Boston University (from neural imaging, &c)

Consonant Articulation Cedric Ludlow
Consonants are classified according to three dimensions:
Place of articulation
o Where is the constriction?
Manner of articulation
Place of Articulation:
`Labial (bilabial or labiodental)
o Lip with lip or teeth
Dental or Interdental
o Tip of the tongue touching or being close to the teeth
Alveopalatal or palatal
o Constriction with lips and constriction at back of throat
o [w], [w^h]
o Not in English, further back than velar consonants
o Tongue towards pharyngeal wall
o [h]
Manner of Articulation
Refers to way the constriction is to its degree
More constricted and less sonorous
o Plosives
o Fricatives
o Affricates
o Nasals
o Liquids
! Laterals
! Rhotics
o Glides
o Vowels
Less constricted and more sonourous
Other sounds:
o Produce a hissing or hushing sound
o Fricatives, glides, and vowels
Syllabic liquids and nasals
o Function as syllabic nuclei
English Consonants Cedric Ludlow
Descriptions of consonants.
Three parameters
o Voiceless or voice
o Place of articulation
o Manner of articulation