12/3/2012 9:22:00 AM
Linguistic: the study of how language works – how it is used, how it is
acquired, how it changed overtime, how it is represented in the brain
To exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen
To supply air for speech
To create seal over passage to lungs
To produce vibration for speech sounds
To move food to teeth and back into throat
To articulate vowels and consonants
To break up food
To provide place for articulation for consonant
To seal oral cavity
To articulate vowels and consonants
To assist in breathing
To provide nasal resonance during speech
Language has to be creative, giving us the freedom to produce and
understand new words and sentences as the need arises.
We are able to recognize that certain utterances are not acceptable and
simply do not belong in the language. Knowledge of this type is often called
Grammar: the mental system that allows human beings to form and
interpret the sounds, words, and sentences of their language. Systematic constraints: boundaries within which innovation can occur.
Components of a grammar:
Phonetics: the articulation and perception of speech sounds
Phonology: the patterning of speech sounds
Morphology: word formation
Syntax: Sentence formation
Semantics: the interpretation of words and sentences.
Properties of Mental Grammar
o All languages have a grammar.
o All grammars are equal
o There is no such thing as „good grammar‟ or a „bad grammar‟
o Grammars are alike in a basic way
o Principles and properties shared by all human languages
o Grammars change over time
o Grammatical knowledge is subconscious
o Not accessible to introspection (can‟t figure out how it works
just by thinking about it)
Perspectives on grammar:
Prescriptive grammar: gives the socially accepted rules for
o Ex. The English words Mary, merry, and marry should be
pronounced differently because they are spelled differently.
Descriptive grammar: objective description of the knowledge that
native speakers share.
o Ex. English contains over twenty different consonant sounds. Phonetics: the sound of language 12/3/2012 9:22:00 AM
Phonetics: the inventory and structure of the sounds of speech
Phones(speech sounds): the wide variety of sounds
Two ways to approach phonetics:
Articulatory phonetics: the physiological mechanisms of speech
Acoustic phonetics: measuring and analyzing the physical
properties of the sound waves we produce when we speak.
IPA – International Phonetic Alphabet
Evolving since 1888
Symbols are enclosed with [ ]
Segment: individual speech sound (phone)
Features: reflect individual aspects of articulatory control as well as certain
acoustic effects produced by articulation.
Lungs: provide the moving air necessary for speech
Larynx: contains the vocal folds that provide the source of the sound.
o Vocal folds are pulled apart, air passes directly through the
glottis without much interference
o Vocal folds are brought close together, but not tightly closed,
air passing between them causes them to vibrate, producing
o Voiceless, but vocal folds are adjusted so that the anterior
(front) portions are pulled close together while the posterior
(back) portions are apart.
Murmur (breathy voice)
o Voiced, but vocal folds are relaxed enough to allow enough air
to escape to produce a simultaneous breathy effect. Sound classes:
o Voiced or voiceless
o Narrow or complete obstruction in the vocal tract
o Typically voiced
o Little obstruction in the vocal tract
o Tend to be more sonorous
o Louder and longer lasting
o Can form the nucleus of a syllable
o Characteristics of consonant and vowel
o Like vowels in their articulation but are like consonants in a
way that never form the nucleus of a syllable.
Places of articulation
o Involving both lips
o Ex. Peer, bin
o Involing lower lip and upper teeth
o Ex. fire, vow
o Tongue placed against or near the teeth
o Ex. tempts, dire, sept, zizi
o Tongue placed between the teeth
o Ex. this, thing
o Tongue near or against just behind the upper front teeth
o Ex. top, deer, soap, zip
o Just behind the alveolar ridge, the roof of the mouth rises
o Ex. show, measure, chip, judge Palatals:
o Highest part of the roof of the mouth
o Ex. yes
o Involving soft area towards the rear of the roof of the mouth
o Ex. Hang, call, guy
o Using the vocal folds as primary articulators
o Ex. [h]-heave and [?] –bottle
Manner of Articulation
o Made with complete closure either in the oral cavity or at the
o Produced with continuous airflow through the mouth.
o Belong to a large class of sounds called continuants
o Non-continuant that shows a slow release of the closure of
o All voiced
o [n] [m] [n]
o tongue tip strikes the alveolar ridge as it passes across it
o Ex. butter, butter.
Liquids: Ls and Rs
o Laterals: varieties of l
Ex. please, clear
o Diacritic: circle beneath the symbol [l] [r] which makes it
Ex. pull, full, car, far
o Retroflex: r
Ex. ride, pride
o [j] Ex. yes, boy o [w] wet, now
o [M] (upside down w) when, who, where
Dipthongs: transcribed as vowel-glide sequences.
Are single speech sound
Describe in terms of vowels and not glide
Ex. [aj], [aw]
Articulatory Descriptions for Vowels
high, mid, low
front, (central), back
o The lag or brief delay before voicing of a following vowel, the
vocalic voicing is accompanied by the release of air.
o [small raised h]
o [p], [t], [k]
o Do not release word – final stops at all
o [ ]
o vowels and consonants whose articulation takes longer
relative to the other ones.
o [ ]
Suprasegmentals: properties that form part of all phone‟s makeup no matter
what their place or manner of articulation
Two kinds of controlled pitch movement Tone (tone language): when differences in word
meaning are signaled by differences in pitch.
Register tones: High, Med, Low (H, M, L)
Association line: line drawn from the letters
to the vowel links the segment to their
[„] low tone , [ ] high tone
Contour tones: when tones change pitch
within a single syllabic element. Moving
pitches that signal meaning difference. (ex.
Intonation: pitch movement in spoken utterances
that is not related to differences in word.
Terminal (intonation) contour: Falling
intonation at the end of an utterance.
Ex. Fred parked the car
Non-Terminal (intonation) contour: Rising
or level intonation.
Ex. Are you hungry? Or … Sally, Fred,
Downdrift: The phenomenom that each high is
always lower than the preceding high tone, but
higher than the low tone that immediately
vowels and consonants whose articulation takes longer
relative to the other ones.
[ː] : = triangles
Stress: cover term for the combined effects of pitch, loudness, and length.
Stressed vowels are higher in pitch, longer, and louder.
Primary stress: [ ]
Secondary stress: [„]
Coarticulation: Situations in which more than one articulator is active. Articulatory Processes: Articulatory adjustment during speech which typically
functions to make words easier to articulate and perceive.
o Involves sound changing to become more like nearby sounds
o Regressive assimilation: the preceding segment takes on the
nasality of the follow consonant. (a sound is influenced by
what comes after it)
o Progressive assimilation: The nasality moves forward from
the nasal consonant into the vowel. (a sound is influenced by
what comes before it)
Ex. [mu] „about‟ in Scots Gaelic
o Three main diff. kinds:
Sound takes on the same voice as nearby sound
Includes voicing and devoicing
Assimilation for Place of Articulation
Sound takes on the same place of articulation as
a nearby sound.
Assimilation for Manner of Articulation
Sound takes on the same manner of articulation
as nearby sound.
Includes flapping: process in which dental or
alveolar stop [t], [d] to a flap articulation
reduction & deletion
o The process of simply removing a sound from a phonetic
context. Frequently occurs in rapid speech
o Ex. fifths: [fɪfθs] -> [fɪfs]
o A sound changes to become less like a nearby sound so that
the resulting sequence of sounds is easier to pronounce.
o E.g. fifths: [fɪfθs] ->[fɪfts]
o The process which adds a segment to a phonetic context.
Common in casual speech. o E.g. warmth: [warmθ] -> [warmpθ]
o Process that changes the order of segments. Common in
speech of young children.
o E.g. animal -> aminal, prescribe -> percribe
o Vowel is pronounced as a full vowel when in a stressed
syllable, and as a schwa when in an unstressed syllable.
To identify processes:
If sound is missing: deletion
If sound has been added: Epenthesis
If order of sounds has changed: Metathesis
If a sound has changed: Assimilation
o If changed phonetic property matches the property of the
nearby sound: assimilation
o If the phonetic properties do not match: Dissimilation
[r] for real, right..etc.
[ɚ] for butter, bird, purr…etc.
[ɾ] for butter, writer, putter, potter…etc.
[l] for light, pill, please
[l] for bottle, puddle, poodle
[m] for bottom, winsome
[n] for button, hidden
[a], not [ɑ] for major diphthongs (i.e., [aj], [aw]…etc.)
[e] and [o] are considered minor diphthongs and are transcribed as [ej] and
[i] and [u] are sometimes considered minor diphthongs and transcribed as
[ij] and [uw] Phonology: contrasts and patterns 12/3/2012 9:22:00 AM
Phonology: the system that every language makes its own particular
selection from the range of possible speech sounds and organizes them into
a system of contrasts and patterns.
Segments: An individual speech sound. Each IPA symbol represents a
Syllables: Segments can be grouped together to form a syllable. A syllable
consists of a syllabic element (e.g. a vowel) plus any preceding or following
Features: Segments are made up of features. A feature is a unit that
corresponds to a single piece of either articulatory or acoustic information.
Features are the smallest type of phonological structure.
Some sounds contrast with each other in that they can be used to
distinguish between words, and some don‟t
Ex. [n] and [ŋ] contrast with each other because they are used to
distinguish words like win from wing. [i] and [i:] don‟t contrast,
which is why bee is the same word regardless of whether it is
pronounced with a longer or shorter vowel.
Minimal pairs: A minimal pair is defined as two phonetic forms that have
different meanings and that differ by one sound that is in the same
environment in bot