You are on page 1of 33

Introduction to VOWELS

Review from last time

What is an example of a word initial bilabial plosive?
 

fat top

or or

cat? stop?

What is the technical term for the initial sound in the word „then‟?

how about in the word ‘thin’

What is the difference between a stop (or plosive) and a fricative? Rule of thumb… Cs  VPM, MVP…
LING3330 2

Review: Sounds need to have a…

Source …

The larynx/vocal cords/glottis

Source/filter idea

Energy source …

Lungs Most sounds produced with WEPA
air To propagate vibrations… Vocal Tract: throat, mouth, sinus cavities, etc. Like a flexible tube. Resonating chamber to amplify sound.
The airstream can be constricted (i.e., impeded or obstructed) • Partially as in the sounds that begin the words „fie‟ „vie‟ „sigh‟ and „shy‟ /f,v,s,ʃ/ or • completely obstructed as in the sounds that begin the word „pie‟ „tie‟ kite‟ „bye‟ „die‟ „guy‟ /p,t,k,b,d,g/. We’ll talk more of these things shortly.
LING3330 3

Medium …
 

Filter …

 

are the Vs in thee & think the same?) do they sound the same? where is your tongue? Do you perceive these as the same vowel or two different ones? Do they sound the same to you? Pay attention to where your tongue is when you say the vowel. where exactly are they made in the mouth).Differences from Consonants  Unlike Consonants (Cs) Vs are much more difficult to describe in terms of their place of articulation.g.e. Are they different? LING3330 4 .  (i. Vs form a continuum of sounds rather than being neatly divisible pin-pointable units. The degree of impedance is very minimal making it difficult to determine the articulators Cs near the V may also affect the tongue position     This is true for several reasons:    (e.

central. • Jaw drops and tongue also  nature of obstruction (manner) •What happens when you say [i] [u] several times? •Tongue moves back and forth across top of mouth  state of vocal cords (±voice) and back at IPA chart…  Look lips are rounded for [u]. Consonants: What‟s the difference? •Try [i] – [æ] slowly. mid.Review/Preview Vowels vs. low)  Relative  horizontal position of articulation (front. What‟s happening in your  Consonants are identified by: mouth?  location of obstruction (place) gets lower. •Try the same for [e] [o]  Vowels are identified by: tongue position  vertical position of articulation (high. back)  Relative  also the state of the lips (rounding) LING3330 and velum (nasalized) 5 .

Sounds like „m and n‟. The next class of sounds are those that greatly impede the airstream. Vowel sounds the articulators do not come as close together. LING3330 6 . k‟ have the highest impedance. Rather. These are called nasals. Then come „l‟ like sounds (aka liquids). Vowels exhibit the least amount of impedance of the airstream. There is a hierarchy of impedance of the airstream we can talk about. s. ʃ‟ known as fricatives Then: sounds where the airstream is blocked in the oral cavity but can nonetheless escape through the nose. it is not impeded. the airstream is only shaped.      Sounds that completely block the airstream.Defining Vowels    Consonants (specifically fricatives and stops) involve placing the articulators very close together so that the airstream is greatly or completely impeded. They are called stops. t. like „f. like „p.

  What types of sounds are non-sonorants?  Stops & Fricatives. wh/ together are known as obstruents b/c they obstruct the airflow. LING3330 7 .  Non-sonorants involve stricture of the airstream and relatively impeded airflow. relatively unimpeded airflow in the vocal tract.1. Sonorant  Vs have 3 important characteristics All speech sounds are either sonorants or nonsonorants Sonorants involve no closure or stricture (restricting) of the airstream but instead.

nasal (those with air only through the nose). or nasalized (those with air in both the oral and nasal cavities) Airflow must also happen through the oral cavity for a sonorant to be classified as a vowel Otherwise it‟s a consonant like __________________  [n m ŋ] etc. LING3330 8 . Oral    Some sonorants are oral.Formal Characteristics of Vs 2.

Central     Some oral sonorants are NOT vowels For an oral sonorant to be a vowel. the airflow must go over the central part of the tongue. Which consonant do you think it would most likely be?  probably an [l] LING3330 9 . If the airflow goes over the sides of the tongue thin it is a consonant.Formal Characteristics of Vs 3.

 “spread vs.edu/courses/Fall_2003/ling001/English.  “fronter vs. rounded lips”  indicated by adjacent pairs of symbols adapted from http://www.ling.IPA Vowel “Space”   It represents a sort of 3D space: degree of opening of the vocal tract  top to bottom.html LING3330 10 .upenn. backer” position of the tongue  left to right.

   Theoretical vowel qualities. Thus V qualities heard by a trained phonetician could be recorded in terms of how close it sounded to a cardinal V quality. he focused on perception and thus developed the “Cardinal Vowel System” (based on the cardinal points of a compass). Ball & Rahilly 1999 LING3330 11 . Instead of production. Daniel Jones addressed the difficult problem of being as precise as possible in labeling Vs by articulation.Idealized “Cardinal” Vowels  Around 1917 a leading phonetician of the British School.

html http://www. General American English http://www.com/vowels/chapter3/amengvowels.html Review adapted from Ashby & Maidment 2005 LING3330 12 . 14 or 15 (Am Eng) or even up to 20 (BBC Eng) or as few as 3 (Some Indigenous Australian Lgs).edu/courses/linguistics/resources/phonetics/vowel map/index.ladefogeds.Vowel Systems      Vowel systems Probably the most common is the 5V system (Spanish)  There are 5-V systems in all parts of the world Can include over 10 (French).utexas.

V dispersion Principle   We generally view the vowel quadrilateral (or trapezoid) as a “Perceptual space” in which Vs are located. The vast majority of vowels systems conform to the so-called Vowel Dispersion Principle.   The idea that vowels tend to be evenly distributed in the perceptual space and or at least that they are widely distributed w/i the limitations of a particular system For instance a system with [i e u] is quite unlikely Ashby & Maidment 2005 LING3330 13 .

Vowel Height  Height    one variable in which Vs are typically measured This means the height of the tongue‟s highest point in the oral cavity For instance as you go down the chart from i  to e  to ɛ  to æ  to a   your tongue‟s highest point will get lower LING3330 14 .1.

2. Vowel Frontness & Backness  A second variable for measuring vowels is their amount of variation from tongue‟s front most position to it‟s back most position  so as you move from i  to ɨ  to ɯ (unrounded back vowel)   your tongue‟s position should shift backwards in your mouth LING3330 15 .

12 LING3330 16 . Ladefoged  Probable Articulation points for Vs Approximate articulator positioning for vowel space Ladefoged 2007 fig 1.

Another Example   Front Vs Back Picket 1999 LING3330 17 .

one more example  compare V space in mouth with V space in trapezoid Ladefoged 2005 Vs & Cs LING3330 18 .And yet.

edu/vow els/chapter11/chapter11.html Ladefoged 2005 LING3330 19 .phonetics.Let‟s watch some “vowels in action”  Movement of the tongue Movement of the Larynx Movement of the Jaw/Mandible   (note to see the videos after ppt is posted online go to: http://www.ucla.

Notice that both front and back vowels as well as high and low vowels can be rounded However.3. it is generally more common for low and back vowels to be rounded Catford 2001 LING3330 20 . Vowel – Lip Rounding    The 3rd dimension of vowel quality is the amount of rounding of the lips.

(a [ə] would be at the junction of the two. ± round (or Lip Position)  Refers to the amount of rounding of the lips and can be applied to all heights and locations Review adapted from Ashby & Maidment 2005 LING3330 21 . [i] is toward the hard palate.Review  Vowels are measured in what 3 dimensions?    height  Refers to the relationship between the highest point of the tongue and the roof of the oral cavity ± front/back (also considered “location”)  Refers to the part of the tongue wh/ is highest in the production of the vowel. while [u] is toward the soft palate.

where the air column is pushed upward by the glottis. adapted from en. Such consonants are called ejectives. where the air column is rarefied as the glottis moves downward.org/wiki/Airstream_mechanism LING3330 22  egressive glottalic. and many.   where the air is pushed out of the lungs by the ribs and diaphragm. such as English.wikipedia. all human languages employ such sounds (such as vowels). Such consonants are called implosives. These are the clicks.   ingressive glottalic.  . AKA ingressive velaric. where the air in the mouth is rarefied by a downward movement of the tongue.   ingressive lingual. use them exclusively.Quick intro/review to/of Airstream  Vs &Cs P104-105 egressive pulmonic.

One where either there is no open vowel and/or for mid and high regions there is at least one vowel that is not matched by a vowel on the opposite side of the space.  Ashby & Maidment 2005 LING3330 23 .V dispersion Principle  The vast majority of vowels systems conform to the so-called Vowel Dispersion Principle.   For instance a system with [i e u] is quite unlikely However there do seem to be systems known as “Defective vowel systems” in existence.  Approximately14% of languages may have systems that count as defective.

  The “quality” of the vowels is acoustically equal length is not   Choctaw is a modern example where this is true.   Over time the English Long vowels shifted up with high vs changing into into diphthongs.Long and Short Vowels  In some systems there are also contrast in vowel length. For instance: time of Chaucer  Shakespeare  „moon‟ „house‟  [mo:n] o:  u: [mu:] [hu:s] u:  ou [hous] example from Ashby & Maidment 2005 p. Old English is another example. 81 LING3330 24 .

Lip Rounding .

Ball and Rahilly ‟99 p107 LING3330 26 .  one reason is the belief that there are some Vs that are inherently longer or shorter by definition.Long and Short Vowels   Length is generally a phonological term Duration is generally a phonetic term  consider the terms “wooed” and “wood”  However. it is usually the case that length is not systematically indicated in transcription.

„witty‟ – long short  number of syllables in the word   the syllable coda stray vs. sight – long. med. strayed vs. med. short  Ladefoged ‟05 p73 LING3330 27 . short  also sigh. [ɪ] in „hid‟ – long short  whether the V is stressed or not  PERsonal vs. straight – long. side.Long and Short Vowels  Length of a vowel depends on a number of things  its own natural length  [i] in „heed‟ vs. perSONify – long short „wit‟ vs.

Long and Short Vowels  Another example  Maori (New Zealand)  [a] vs. [a:]  [taha] „side‟ [a:] „calabash‟ [hoko] ‟20 times‟ [ki] „at‟ [hoko:] „to buy‟  [o] / [o:]   [i] / [i:]  [ki:] „to say‟ Ashby & Maidment 2005 p. 75 LING3330 28 .

  indicated as [a] –nas & [ã] +nas Adding the resonance of the nasal cavity to the rest of the vocal tract as in [fo] „faux‟ & [fõ] „(they) do‟  French is known for this   Choctaw also makes a distinction in meaning between nasal and non nasal vowels Ashby & Maidment 2005 (cf Ladefoged ACiP p226) LING3330 29 . so there is no airflow through the nasal passage A Nasalized V is produced with a lowered velum allowing airflow through both cavities simultaneously.Oral and Nasalized  In other cases there is a contrasts between oral & nasal vowels   An oral V is produced with the soft palate (or velum) in a raised position.

g. English) the vowel quality can change within a single syllable Sometimes Diphthongs are called “vowelglides”  examples tie  toy  town  Ashby & Maidment 2005 p.vs Di. 82 LING3330 30 .phthong   In some languages (e.Mono.

e. tense Vs occur in words with final “silent e”  e. Yallop. kite. Other distinctions can be made based on syllable formation … closed (for more see Lad. kit.Tense /Lax   The notion of a tense/lax distinction is controversial Tenseness is generally described as   an overall tightening of vocal tract musculature combining with “definite or forceful” articulatory action.g. are due to historic processes    i. mate. To some extent the difference b/t them. & Fletcher 2007 & Ladafoged 2006 ACiP LING3330 31 . Table 4.   There are phonetic differences between the two groups.2) Clark. cut. lax Vs occur in mat. cute etc. in English.

etc. Those with “r-coloring” like  sir. cur. Ladafoged p 225 for more details) Ladafoged 2006 ACiP p224 LING3330 32  .Rhotacized   As we‟ve discussed many varieties of American English use rhotacized Vs. bird. (we‟ll discuss this in more detail when we talk about laterals and approximants see.  Rhotacization is an auditory quality which like height and backness is best defined in acoustic terms.

Questions? LING3330 33 .