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Linguistics Lecture 2Thursday,
September 23, 2010
Phonetics- (phone +etic: “having the property of sound”)
·The scientific study of speech sounds
oArticulatory Phonetics- production of speech sounds
oAcoustic Phonetics- physical properties of speech sounds (not covered)
oAuditory Phonetics- how sounds are heard and perceived (not covered)
When you hear sound, air molecules are being pressed against your eardrums
Speech and Segments
How do we know that we “have” speech segments?
-Evidence of ‘segments’ from speech errors
oSlips of the tongue/SPOONERSISMS
You have hissed my mystery lecture
A lack of pies (a pack of lies)
oSegments as planning units in speech production
We hear things that are not there...
-Acoustic signals do not come with segment boundaries
oYou cannot really isolate ‘b’ from ‘a’ or ‘n’ from ‘a’ in the continuous acoustic
-The aticulatory gestures for different segments are typically produced with a
significant amount of overlap
-Overlap is called –co-articulation (when the sounds of letters blend i.e. “b-a-n)
-English speakers hear segments when they are not necessarily evident in the
We fail to hear things that are there...
-Acoustically or articulatory speaking, no two utterances of the word “ban” are
-There are many different ways of saying “ban”
Edward Sapir (1933) referred to these phenomena as “collective phonetic illusion”
-We hear things that objectively are not there, we fail to notice elements...
How do we standardize the way we describe speech sounds?
Orthography- the actual writing system
-Different letters may represent a single sound (to, too, two, through, threw, clue,
-A single letter can represent many different sounds (dame, dad, father, call,
-A combination of letters may represent a single sound (shoot, Chef, nation,
-Some letters have no sound at all in certain words (regin, ghost, psychology, knot,