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Lecture 2

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Chandan Narayan

LINA01 Sept. 20 Words makes sentences, speech sounds make words.  Speech sounds are phonetics  Phone + -etic: having the property of sound  A scientific study of speech sounds. Articulatory Phonetics: production of speech sounds Acoustic Phonetics: physical properties of speech sounds  Not studied in this course Auditory Phonetics: How sounds are heard and perceived  Not studied in this course Speech and Segments We don’t really hear consonants. We hear vowel sounds. Native speakers of English can:  identify the beginning sound ‘ban’ as the same beginning sound of ‘bun’, ‘brick’ etc.  identify the ending sound of ‘ban’ as the same ‘ton’, ‘thin’ etc.  identify that it rhymes with ‘tan’, ‘can’ etc. How do we know that we have speech sounds? From the evidence of ‘segments’ in speech errors.  Slips of the tongue/Spoonerisms (named after a priest who documented slips of the tongue) o Example: You have tasted my whole worm. Is really: you have wasted my whole term.  Segments work as planning units in speech production.  We identify these segments well enough that our brain flips them. We hear things that aren’t there Acoustic signals do not come with segment boundaries:  You cannot really isolate ‘b’ from ‘a’ or ‘n’ from ‘a’ in the continuous acoustic signal. LINA01 Sept. 20  The articulatory gestures for different segments are typically produced with a significant amount of overlap. o While your mouth is closed for ‘b’, your tongue is already in position ‘a’.  Our mouths find shortcuts for speech. Collective Phonetic Illusion Edward Sapir (1933) referred to these (and other phenomena) as collective Phonetic Illusion.  We hear things that are objectively not there.  We don’t hear things that are there.  We judge sounds to be identical when they are different. Talking parrots may be able to imitate humans’ vocalization but they do not dissect the independent speech segments. English Orthography Different letters of the alphabet may represent a single sound:  two, too, to through, threw A single letter may represent a different sound:  dame, dad, falter, village, many A combination of letters may represent a single sound:  Shoot, chef, nation Some letters have no sound at all in certain cases:  Resign, ghost, psychology LINA01 Sept. 20 Phonetic Alphabet These alphabets were developed by scholars interested in methods by which speech sounds can be described and symbolised. International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)  Any speech sound made by a human can be described by IPA  It’s constantly being updated.  Is most widely used system.  Relies on major vocal orga
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