PSYB57H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Alveolar Ridge, Hard Palate, Mouth

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17 Apr 2012
Chapter 10: Language
language is highly organizes, with clear patterns for expression of various ideas
Structure of language
o Sentences: Coherent sequence of words that express the intended meaning of a speaker
Composed of phrases, which is composed of words
o Morphemes: smallest units that can carry meaning
Bound (-ed) and free morphemes (talk)
o Phonemes: smallest unit of sound that can service to distinguish words in language
Can be letters, or symbols that represent sound produced
o Phonememorphemewordphrase sentence
The Production of Speech
Usually air leaves lungs through larynx quietly, however if air flow interrupted, produces sounds
Larynx has two flaps of muscular tissue (“Vocal folds” aka “Vocal cords”)
o Can be rapidly opened and closed, producing buzzing vibration called voicing
“Z” sound voiced, “S” sound isn’t
Narrowing air passage within mouth also produces sound, gap produced by tongue determines sound (“s”
verses “sh”)
Different aspects of speech production allow for categorization of speech sounds
o Can distinguish sound by how airflow restricted manner of production
o Can also distinguish between sounds that are voiced (vocal fold flapping) and those that are not
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V,z,n voiced, f,s,t,k unvoiced
o Also where airflow is restricted place of articulation
“bilabial” sounds produced from closing your lips (“p” and “b”)
“labiodental” sounds produced by placing top teeth close to bottom lip (“f” and “v”)
“Alveolar” sounds by placing tongue behind upper teeth (“t” and “d”)
o Manner, voicing, place changes in any of this produces different phonemes
The complexity of Speech Perception
Phonemes that only differ by one production feature sound similar, if differ by multiple features, sound
more distinct
In “real” speech amplitudes in the form of air-pressure changes is what reaches the ear
o In this form, there are no markers to indicate when phoneme ends and the next begins
o No gaps or signals as well to indicate ends of syllables or successive words
o Thus before phoneme identification, need too “slice” stream into appropriate segments– speech
o Though we hear pauses between words, this is an illusion
Evident by measuring speech stream, as a bove, or our unability to understand
other languages since we don’t have the proper knowledge required to segment it
Coarticulation: phenomenon that refers to fact that one does not say one phoneme at a time, but rather
phonemes overlap during speech
o Proceeding vowel influences the sound we make for a letter
i.e. “s” in soup is different from “s” in she
Aides to Speech Perception
Speech perception doesn’t rely only on the input stimuli, we supplement this input with our own
o When we hear the first phoneme in a word we activate all the words in our vocabulary that starts
with this phoneme, when we hear the second phoneme, we narrow our cohort of words down,
and so on
o Thus we’re actively trying to find a match between input sounds and words we know
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