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Chapter 6, 8

LING 2P50 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6, 8: Vowel Shift, African American Vernacular English, South African Americans

Course Code
Ron Thomson
6, 8

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LING 2P50 Chapter 8: The acoustics of English sounds
Narrow-band spectrogram: gives good resolution for frequency, but blurs time
Wide-band spectrogram: blurs frequency, but has good time resolution
English vowels
Vowels formants: F1 (highest intensity- 500Hz), F2 (2300Hz), F3 (3000Hz), F4
High front  low front  low back  high back
[i, I, e, ɛ, æ, ɑ, ʌ, ɔ, o, ʊ, u]
F1 starts low and rises until the vowel [ɑ], then F1 falls
F2 starts high and falls
F3 is similar to F2 but higher
F2 for ɔ is lower than we might expect
Vowel Length
-vowel before a voiceless consonant is shorter
-vowel before a voiced consonant and in an open syllable is longer
-syllable with major stress has greater intensity and often lasts longer than those
syllables which are unstressed
Vertical striations: vertical line in a broad band spectrogram corresponding to a
vocal fold vibration
each of these striations corresponds to the opening and closing of the vocal
Place of articulation
Transition: the edge of the vowel next to the consonant; the time period when the
mouth is changing shape between a consonant and vowel
, no air passes out and the spectrogram shows a gap (abrupt onset and
releaserelease is marked by a strong vertical spike)
are characterized by random noise
have a gap for the stop portion followed by a noise for the fricative
Voice bar: formant like band of energy at very low frequencies
shows up as a weak period of noise with energy at the frequency level of the
formants of the following vowel
(voiced stops) – have a weak formant like pattern
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