Anthropology 1027A/B Lecture 2: Phonetics
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Lecture 2: Phonetics
Our Physiological Capacity
Human beings can produce many sounds but, only a subset of them are part of human
languages. Some sounds are more common than others.
Common sounds: vowels (i,e,u), m (babies say m’s ﬁrst).
Study of minimal units (speech sounds):
-Auditory phonetics studies how the incoming signal is processed to detect the
sound sequences originally intended.
-Acoustic phonetics studies waveforms by which the sound is transmitted through
-Articulatory phonetics studies how the vocal tract produces the sounds of the
Transcription of sounds, not letters.
IPA - International Phonetic Alphabet, proposed in 1888 by French and British
Language teachers. One sound = One symbol.
Speech Production Anatomy
Vocal Tract: All portions of the body through which the air ﬂows during speech
** Speech Organs and their function chart in powerpoint **
Segments of Sound
Segment: discrete unit of speech sound
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