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Lecture 3

Vowels - Week 3

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Chandan Narayan

Vowels Phonetics: The Sounds of Language - produced by body of your tongue (either raised or lowered) - produced w/ no major obstruction (closure, block) in the vocal tract (that means air can flow freely thru. mouth) - either tense or lax (diff. is the vocal tract constriction) - tense: longer, greater constriction (VT together) - lax: less constriction (VT apart) - lowering velum makes nasal vowel - sounds make vocal tract open more Criteria of Vowel Classification 1) Change in vowel quality (monophthongs vs diphthongs) 2) Tongue body height 3) Tongue body backness/frontness* 4) Lip rounding * how retracted or pulled front when making sound vowel 1) Change in Vowel Quality - Whether vowel quality remains stable throughout vowel or not (noticeable change in sound) - Two types: Monophthong Diphthong Vowels produced w/ one No stable vowel quality stable vowel quality (change) (no change) Minor Major start of vowel articulation is extreme change in diff from the end art. articulation - Diphthong: consists of a vowel and glide (together) Eg. say  [sej] ej  vowel [ e ] + glide [ j ] 2) Tongue Body Height - height of tongue body - can be: high or low - Eg. low: had hot hide mid: head boy arrest hoe high: heed hid who’d hood Vowels Phonetics: The Sounds of Language 3) Backness of the Tongue Body - Backness of the highest point of the tongue body - Front: heed hid hey head hat - Central: hud arrest - Back: who’d hood hoe boy hot Front Vowels - high front unrounded: tense [ i ] beat see these lax [ ɪ ] bit myth ring - mid front unrounded: tense [ ej ] pay made break lax [ε] bet bread said - low front unrounded: tense NONE lax [ æ ]  bat land Central Vowels - no high central vowels in English - high central: No tense or lax - mid central: tense NONE lax [ ʌ ] love lung [ ə ] ago open enough receive - low central: tense [aj] and [aw] lax NONE Back Vowels - high back rounded: tense [u] lax [ʊ] - mid back rounded: tense [ow] and [ oj ] lax NONE - low back unrounded: tense [ ɑ ] lax NONE 4) Lip Rounding - High Back or High Mid - Rounded: [u] [ow] [oj] [ʊ] *bolded = lax, rest = tense - Unrounded: all other vowels Tenseness Vowels Phonetics: The Sounds of Language - produced sounds more extreme than how you’d pronounce it - can occur word-finally in English but lax vowels can’t **except for a schwa [ə] b/c it’s a natural vowel - only accept tense vowels at the end of words, lax ≠ at the end Syllables how to find syllables: - amplitude peaks: the # of syllables corresponds to the # of distinct amplitude peaks in acoustic signal Evidence of Syllables - setting words to music - native speaker intuition (ability to naturally understand immediately) Syllabic and Non-syllabic Sounds - Onset: before nucleus (consonant) - Nucleus: centre (vowel or vowel-like sound) - Coda: after nucleus (consonant) - when consonant occupy nucleus position = syllabic consonant - place [ ͺ ] (line) under the consonant taking over
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