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Chapter 2

Anthropology Chapter 2 Week 1 Notes.docx

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Western University
Anthropology 1027A/B
Claire Gurski

Anthropology Chapter 2 September 21, 2011 Phonetics  What is Phonetics? o The study of the characteristics of human speech sounds to provide methods for their description, classification and transcription o A segment/phone is an individual sound that occurs in language  Three Branches of Phonetics o Articulatory Phonetics: the physiology of speech production, how speech is produced o Acoustic Phonetics: The physical characteristics of the sound wave produced by speaking o Auditory Phonetics: the perception of speech sounds as mediated by the ear, the auditory nerve, and the brain  The International Phonetic Alphabet o Like any technical field of study, a special vocabulary is a necessary tool  International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) o Careful: we are now dealing with sounds or phones not letters or spelling  IPA o Set of conventions for representing speech sounds o One-to-one correspondence between symbol and sound  (Unlike spelling: rough, thought, bough, cough) o Relation between symbol and speech sound is arbitrary, phonetic symbols must be memorized  Few symbols are different from what we’ve seen  Memorize what they sound like o A phonetic transcription should not be confused with a conventional spelling system, although the two may use similar alphabetic symbols  Phonetic Transcription o When words, phrases and sentences are written to reflect the sounds they contain, this type of writing is a phonetic transcription  Example: grate [gret] great [gret] bow [bow] bow [baw] o A single letter may represent more than one sound. A combination of letters may represent a single sound.  Phonetics and Knowledge of Language o Speakers ‘know’ that speech is a sequence of discrete units, although objectively the stream of speech is continuous  Example: the word ‘bat’ contains three distinct speech sounds – [b], [ae], [t] o Speakers ‘know’ when occurrences of two sounds must be classified as the same  Example: initial [b] in ‘bat’ and ‘boot’ o Or when they should be classified as different  Example: initial [b] of ‘big’ and initial [d] of ‘dig’ Sound Production  Pieces of Sound Production o Lungs: o Glottis: o Epiglottis: closes when food comes down so it doesn’t go in your windpipe o Pharyngeal Cavity: the very back of your mouth, used as a resonator to create different sounds o Uvula: directs the airstream, if it pulls back it closes off the nasal passage and the air goes to the mouth o Velum (Soft Palate): muscle that moves the uvula o Palate (Hard): o Alveolar Ridge: place where tongue approaches to make a sound o Teeth: o Lips: o Tongue (Back): o Tongue (Blade): o Tongue (Tip): o Nasal Cavity:  Sound Production – Consonants o Three basic parameters of articulation  Glottal State  What are vocal chords doing?  Places of Articulation  Where are the articulators?  Manner of Articulation  How does the articulation come about? o Glottal State  Voiceless: vocal folds apart and air passage reasonably unimpeded  Initial sounds of ‘pull’  Initial sounds of ‘full’  Voiced: vocal folds close together and vibrating  Initial sounds of ‘ball’  Initial sounds of ‘van’  Other states such as Creaky or Breathy not relevant to English but are found in many languages of the world  Every single vowel is voiced  Aspiration  Aspiration: maintaining the glottal state for voicelessness after the release of a closure and before starting the voicing of a following vowel o This phenomenon is referred to as voice lag o Used for the sounds p, t, k (called stop consonants)  English voiceless consonants in syllable-initial position are aspirated o Example ‘cap’ [khaep]  Usually works when sound is at the beginning of the word  English voiceless stops are not aspirated after [s] or in syllable-final position o Example ‘spin’ [spin] and ‘cape’ [khep] o Places of Articulation: the place/point in the oral cavity where two articulators come together to obstruct airflow  A) Labial (Lips)  Bilabial: constriction between two lips – [b]: ‘bet’  Labiodental: constriction between lower lip and upper teeth – [v]: ‘vet’  B) Dental: constriction between tongue tip and back of upper teeth (not significant in English)  Interdental: constriction between tongue tip and edges of teeth – [theta]: ‘thin’ KNOW THIS ONE o This is sometimes called Dental in English articulation
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