Phonetics Test 2 Study Guide
25 questions-5 are spectrograms
1. Consonant- a phoneme produced with a constriction in the vocal tract; usually
found at the beginning and end of a syllable; generally shorter in duration and
having higher frequency spectra than vowels. They are 24 consonant phonemes
in English. Consonants are produced by vocal tract constrictions that modify the
breath stream coming from the larynx. They generally involve 2 articulators to
modify the airflow. The tongue, the primary articulator in production of
consonants, makes contact with other articulators to form most of the English
2. Obstruent- a class of sounds (with a noise source) including the stops, fricatives,
and affricates; also referred to as a non-resonant consonant; produced with a
constriction in the oral cavity that results in turbulence in the airstream coming
from the larynx.
3. Sonorant- a class of sounds produced with resonance throughout the entire
vocal tract, e.g. the nasals, glides, and liquids, they are produced with little
constriction in the vocal tract and are therefore produced without much
turbulence in the airstream coming from the larynx.
4. Pre-vocalic- consonants that occur before a vowel in any syllable. For these
exercises transcribe the word first!
a. Ex. Tee, hoe, cow, hotdog
5. Post-vocalic- consonants that occur after a vowel.
a. Ex, eat, ouch, oz
6. Inter-vocalic-consonants that are located between two vowels.
a. Easy, anew, oily, hasten
7. Manner- refers to the way in which the airstream is modified as it passes the
8. Place- Where in the vocal tract is the constriction located during the production
of a particular consonant (which speech organs are active in the production of
that consonant). 9. Voicing- refers to whether the vocal tract folds are vibrating during the
production of a particular consonant.
*/w/ = Lower-Case w: voiced, labiovelar glide
*/tʃ/ = /t/ and /ʃ/ together: voiceless, palatal affricate
*/ʤ/ = /d/ and /ʒ/ together: voiced, palatal affricate
10. Stop (plosive)- a consonant characterized by: (1) a complete obstruction of the
ongoing airstream by the articulators, (2) a build-up of intraoral air pressure, and
(3) a release. (/p/,/b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/). Stops may 1 or 2 sound sources depending
if they are voice or voiceless. The primary sound source for voiceless plosives is the
point of constriction in the vocal tract, formed by the articulators. (Considered
noise). Voiced phonemes have the noise source produced at the constriction of in
the vocal tract, and the vocal tone produced by the vibrating vocal folds.
a. Flaps /ɾ/-/t/ and /d/ often become flaps /ɾ/ when they are intervocalic and
after a stressed syllable (e.g., better, cheddar).
b. Glottal stop /ʔ/Usually syllable final. Often when /t/ or /nt/ is followed by /n/
(Ex- Kitten, mountain, Dayton). The tongue tip remains in place for the /t/ and
the /n/, so the release is made at the vocal folds. Button (b˄ʔn), Fatten (fæʔn)
c. Stop gap- silent period; vocal tract closed. The stop gap precedes the release
of a stop.
d. Stop release-narrow spike of energy (time) but it is spread over wide
e. Voice Bar- low frequency noise from phonation during voiced stops.
f. Aspiration- the production of a frictional noise following the release of a
voiceless stop consonant. (/p/, /t/,/k/)- p i versus bi. /p/ /t/ /k/ typically are
aspirated when beginning a word, e.g., pea, tea, key. /p/ /t/ /k/ typically are
aspirated when beginning a stressed syllable, e.g., appease, attend, accord.
/b/ /d/ /g/ typically are not aspirated in any phonetic context. /p/ /t/ /k/
typically are not aspirated at the end of a word unless the stop release.
g. Unreleased-When two plosives are produced next to each other, for example
*kt+ in the word ‘respect,’ the first plosive typically is not released. In the final
position of words, stops in English often are not released, e.g., hat . h. Released but not aspirated: p/ /t/ /k/ typically are not aspirated when part of
a consonant cluster, even if they begin a word, e.g., please, tree, creed.
i. Voice Onset Time (VOT): The difference in time between the release of a
plosive and the onset (start) of voicing. Imagine a recording of the words “fun
times” begins at 0 (zero) milliseconds (ms). The onset of the stop release in /t/
begins at 415ms. The voicing for the vowel in ‘times’ begins at 480ms. So, the
time it takes from the release to the onset of voicing is the time from 415ms to
480ms (65ms). If the voicing begins BEFORE the stop release, it is considered a
negative VOT. Imagine a recording of “fun dimes.” The stop release in /d/
begins at 415ms, but the voicing begins BEFORE the stop release at 365ms. This
results in a negative voice onset of -50ms (the time between 365ms and 415ms).
If the stop release and the voicing begin at exactly the same time, it would be a
VOT of zero.
j. Intraoral pressure- (air pressure within the oral cavity) increases due to the
fact that the impeded airstream cannot escape the oral cavity. Intraoral pressure
is greater for voiceless stops, thus they are considered louder than voiced stops.
k.*** When comparing a spectrogram of fricatives know that the longer the
cavity the smaller the frequency of