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Linguistics 1A03: Phonetics

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Anna Moro

Phonetics: The Sounds of Language Definition: inventory and structure of the sounds of speech Articulatory phonetics: physiological mechanisms of speech production Acoustic phonetics: measuring and analyzing the physical properties of the sound waves we produce when measured by machines. Auditory phonetics: perception of sound (ear to brain) International Phonetic Alphabet attempts to represent each sound of human speech with a single symbol.  In spectrogram, greater amplitude sections are louder and more energy  Blue areas are least energy  Need for a universally agreed-upon system for transcribing sounds of world’s languages Writing systems:  Alphabetic: one symbol = one sound o A graph = sound o Not all systems place equal value on consonants and vowels o Some alphabets are more consonantal:  Abugida system: vowels are represented (Thai)  Abjad system: vowels are absent/optional (Arabic and Hebrew) o Syllabic: one symbol = one syllable o Logographic (word-writing) o In Cree, symbols represent vowels and consonants together o Chinese is logographic. Each character represents a word or words English orthography: correspondence between sounds and symbols in English – highly problematic  Ex. To, two, too  Enough, through, though  On, one, son, alone  New, lose, two, loop, soup, rude, true All same vowel, different ways of representing them. Spelling system corresponds to pronunciation of hundreds of years ago (right). Ex: ghoti = fish because gh = f, women = I, nation = sh International Phonetic Association-International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)  In development since 1886  Enables linguists to describe sounds accurately and consistently  Enables linguists to share information  2005 – latest revision (addition) English is an opaque writing system. Segments  Individual phones like [p], [s], or [m]  Produced by coordinating number of individual articulatory gestures including jaw movement, lip shape, and tongue placement Sound producing system Lungs  Air pressure needed to keep speech mechanism functioning steadily  Primary muscles are intercostals (between ribs) and diaphragm (separating chest from abdomen) Trachea  Windpipe Larynx  Air passing up trachea goes through box of cartilage and muscle called larynx  Main portion formed by thyroid cartilage, spreading outward. Oral and Nasal filters  Modify sound, airflow Glottis: space in between vocal cords in larynx, what you do with airflow Glottal States Voiceless  When vocal folds are pulled apart, air passes directly through glottis without much interference o Ex. Initial sounds of fish, sing, house  Whispering is voiceless but vocal folds anterior portions pulled close and back portions apart Voiced  Vocal folds brought close together, but not tightly closed  Murmurs (breathy voice) are voiced Glottal articulation: hotel, butt(h)on Nasal vs. Oral articulation: Oral is only through the mouth, flap (velum) closes (lowers) between mouth and nasal passage forcing air only through mouth, nasal include air going through the nasal passage Sound Classes Vowels, Consonants, and Glides  Consonants can be voiced or voiceless, made with either complete closure or narrowing of vocal tract, some or total obstruction  Vowels more acoustically powerful than consonants, so we perceive them as louder and longer-lasting, little or no obstruction  Glides cannot function as syllable peaks (main part of syllable) Syllabic and non-syllabic sounds  Greater sonority of vowels allow them to form basis of syllables, vowels louder than consonants  Most consanants, due to obstruction, cannot be syllabic  Vowel is said to form nucleus of syllable Syllabic liquids and nasals:  more sonorous than other consonants  can function as main part of syllable (nucleus 
of a syllable), like vowels : syllabic  syllabic [ l ] in “bottle”: [l] or [b l]  syllabic [ n ] in “chicken”: ʧɪk n] or [ʧɪkn]  syllabic [ m ] in “bottom”: [b m] or [b m]  syllabic [ r ]: [ r] or [r] or [ɚ]  butter [bʌ r] or [bʌ r] or [bʌ ɚ]  inconsistency in representation of syllabic liquids and nasals Glides (semiconsonants/semivowels)  Properties of both consonants and vowels, assumed to be voiced  Labiovelar (rounding lips): some speakers of English have voiceless counterpart in some contexts – which, where  Move quickly to another articulation o Ex. See you later o Who would do that  English glides: o Yes, coin = IPA [ j ] o Wonder, found = IPA [ w ] Consonant Articulation  Airflow modified in vocal tract by placement of tongue and positioning of the lips  Primary articulating organ is the tongue, which can be raised, lowered, thrust forward, or rolled back  Bilabial sounds involve touching of both lips for sounds (m, b, p)  Labiodental: touching lower lip to upper teeth (f, v)  Interdental: placing tongue in between teeth (thin, then) Manner of Articulation  How sounds are produced Stops: complete closure either in oral cavity or at glottis.  Bilabial stops (block airflow in mouth: p, b, m)  Alveolar stops (block airflow with tip of tongue in alveolar ridge: t, d, n)  Velar stops (stop airflow using back of tongue: k, g, ng) Pie spy Pin spin Pace space  First column heavier p, second column not as much air  Word-intial voiceless stop before vowel  In aspiration, delay in voicing of vowel that follows voiceless stop (positive VOT-voice onset time)  Only voiceless oral stops participate in aspiration  Initial voicelessness of V appears to release ‘puff of air’ = aspiration  Phonetic representation = [ʰ]  No delay in voicing of following vowel – as in stalk  Delay in voicing of following vowel – as in talk Pie = [pʰaj] Top = [tʰap] Cope = [kʰowp] Oral cavity: airflow modified by position of lips and placement of tongue Nasal cavity: if nasal sound is produced air is allowed to escape through nasal cavity (Velum lowered) Fricatives  Consonants produced with continuous airflow through the mouth, accompanied by continuous audible noise because air used in production passes through narrow opening either at glottis or in vocal tract  Belong to large class of continuants  English fricatives: beginning of fat and vat, thin and those, etc. o Labiodental (f, v) o Interdental (thin, then) o Alveolar (flow continuously by holding tip of tongue towards alveolar ridge: s, z) o Alveopalatal (air flow with tongue close to alveolar palate: shoe, beige) o Glottal (h) Phones in other languages: Consonants Fricatives
  [ɸ] voiceless bilabial fricative o Japanese “Fuji”  [β] voiced bilabial fricative o Spanish “deber”, “Cuba”  [x] voiceless velar fricative o German “Bach”  [ɣ] voiced velar fricative o Spanish “agua”  [ç] voiceless palatal fricative o German “ich” Affricates
  [ts] voiceless dental affricate o Japanese “tsunami”  [dz] voiced dental affricate o Italian “zero” Lateral
  [ʎ] voiced palatal lateral o Italian “figlio” ‘son’ = [ʎʎ] Trills
  [r] voiced alveolar trill = IP [r] o Spanish “perro” ‘dog’, Italian “Roma”  [ʀ] voiced uvular trill o French “Paris, rue” ‘road’ Nasal
  [ ɲ ] voiced palatal nasal (nj) o Dinka “nyot” ‘very’ [ɲɔt] o French agneau ‘labm’ – [aɲo] Consonants: A Couple of Notes A note on stops  [t] [d] [n] = Dental/alveolar based on language  If distinction is needed: [ ] [d] [n] (diacritic) shows it is dental, not diacritic A note on liquids and nasals  [ l ] [ r ] [ n ] etc.
  If distinction needed: [l] [m] [n] [r] shows voiceless Phones in other languages: vowels Front rounded vowels
  [ y ] high front tense rounded V  [ ø ] mid front tense rounded V  [ Y ] high front lax rounded V  [ œ ] mid front lax rounded V Vowel Length  In English, vowel length is not contrastive like in some other languages (different lengths make different words)  In some languages it is (Arabic) Consonant Length  English: cons length not contrastive  Other languages are (Italian) Representation of Length: Nasalization of Vowels  Nasalization of vowels is not contrastive in English  Ex: ‘band’ o [bænd] or[b nd]  French: contrastive nasalization Natural Classes  Identify similarities between sounds  Important for phonological analysis  Natural classes (groupings) of sounds allow us to see relationships between sounds: shared features  Defined by fewer features than any sound within that class [ p t k s ʃ ] = voiceless Cs [bdgzʒ] = voiced Cs A natural class can be based on: o point of articulation
 o manner of articulation
 o acoustic properties Examples: [ p t k ] = voiceless stops [ p t k b d g ] = stops [ʧ ʤ ts dz]
= affricates [ ɸ β f v θ ð ʃ ʒ ] = fricatives [ p t k f θ ɸ s ʃ h ʧ ] = voiceless obstruents (affricates, fricatives, stops added) [ p b β ɸ m] = bilabials [p b f v β ɸ m] = labials [j w] = glides [l r] = liquids [m n ɲ ŋ] = nasals [l r j w] = approximants (liquids and glides added) [ l r j w m n a ɛ ɪ o u ] = sonorants (more resonance – liquids, nasals, glides, vowels) [ s z ʃ ʒ ʧ ʤ ]
= sibilants (strident C’s – sssss) [ f v s z l r j w i ɛ e æ o u ] = continuants produced with open vocal tract (fricatives, liquids, glides, vowels) Vowels
  can be classified by any criterion  [ i ɪ ɛ e æ ] = front vowels  [ I ɪ y ʏ u ] = high vowels  [ y ʏ u o ɔ ]
= rounded vowels  [ æ a ]
= low vowels  [I ɛ e æ o u m n] = syllabic segments (can function like vowel) o special m and n have diacritic underneath  English speakers automatically add small glide to mid and high vowels Affricates  When stop articulation is released, tongue moves rapidly from place of articulation, but some non-continuant consonants show slow release of closure, called affricates  Closure + release of air, then continued - stop-fricative sequence (reflected in IPA symbols)  English only has two: church, jump Louder fricatives and affricates known as stridents, and quiter ones are considered non-strident. Stridents also known as sibilants. Voice lag and aspiration  Lag before voicing of following vowel o Ex. Spat, stub, scope Unreleased stops  Pave, Tom, King vs. cap, pot, back  For cap, pot, back, it is quite common not to release word-final stops at all Liquids  Letter l and r form special class of consonants known as liquids  Laterals are generally voiced, but voiceless is called diacritic. o Diacritic ex. Please and clear  English r = retroflex (e.g. ride) – tongue curled up/bunched up as sound is produced  Retroflex heard in ride and car  Flap – produced when tongue tip strikes alveolar ridge and passes through o Ex. Bitter, butter, t, d, s, z, l, n  Palatal (j)  Alveopalatal (shoe, sugar, pleasure, measure, church, judge  Velar – k, g, sing (raise tongue towards velum)  Labiovelar: rounding lips in velar area (w) Simple vowels and diphthongs  Simple vowels do not show noticeable change in quality during articulation o Ex. Pit, set, cat, dog, but, put  Diphthongs: vowels that exhibit change in quality within single syllable o Ex. Buy, boy, now  Vowels for which the tongue is neither raised nor lowered are called mid vowels o Ex. Made, fame  Tense vowels are produced with greater vocal tract c
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