Anthropology 1027A– Claire Marin – Lecture 002
Tuesday, September 17 th
Phonetics is the study of the characteristics of human speech sounds to provide methods for their
description, classification, and transcription.
Segment/phone – is an individual sound.
There are three branches of phonetics
Articulatory phonetics – the physiology of speech production.
Acoustics phonetics – the physical characteristics of the sound wave produced by speaking.
Auditory phonetics – the perception of speech sounds as mediated by the ear, the auditory nerve and
The International PhoneticAlphabet
Like any technical field of study, a special vocabulary is a necessary tool – IPA.
Careful, we are now dealing with sounds or phones not letters or spelling.
Is the set of conventions for representing speech sounds.
One to one correspondence between symbol and sound.
Relation between symbol and speech sound is arbitrary phonetic symbols must be memorized.
When words, phrases, and sentences are written to reflect the sound they contain, this type of writing is
a phonetic transcription.
Every time we're talking about transcription we'll put it in square brackets
Asingle letter may represent more than one sound.Acombination of letters my represent a single
Aphonetic transcription should not be confused with a conventional spelling system, although the two
may use similar alphabetic symbols.
Soft palate and velum are the same thing. Hard palate is also called the palate.
Three basic parameters of articulation
1. Glottal state
2. Plates of articulation
3. Manner of articulation
Voiceless: vocal folds apart and air passage reasonably unimpeded
Initial sound of 'pull'
Initial sound of 'full'
Voiced: vocal folds close together and vibrating
Initial sound of 'ball'
Initial sounds of 'van'
Other states such as Creaky or Breathy not relevant to English but are found in many language around
Aspiration: maintaining the glottal state for voicelessness after the release of a closure and before
starting the voicing of a following vowel.
English voiceless consonants in syllable-initial position are aspirated, e.g. 'tap'
English voiceless stops are not aspirated after [s] or in a syllable-final position, e.g. 'spin' 'cape'
Places of articulation: the place/point in the oral cavity where two articulators come together to obstruct airflow.
* Bilabial: constriction between two lips – 'bet'
* Labiodental: constriction between lower lip and upper teeth – 'wet'
Interdental: constriction between tongue tip and edges of teeth – 'thin'
Alveolar: constriction between tongue tip and ridge behind upper teeth – 'din'
Postalveolar: constriction between tongue tip/blade and hard palate – 'ship' 'chip'
Retroflex: airflow between tongue tip against alveolar ridge – 'red'
Velar : constriction between tongue body and soft palate/velum - [g]: ‘get’
Latiovelar (sp): tongue body is near the velum and the lips are rounded – [w]: ‘wet’
Uvular: tongue is touching or near the uvula (not significant in English)
Pharyngeal: constriction between the tongue and the pharynx (not significant in English)
Glottal: constriction between vocal folds – [h