Phonetics. Main Contents. Definition and classification of phonetics Speech organs Consonants: manners of articulation and places of articulation Vowels: description Assimilation/co-articulation Phonetic transcription Supra-segmental features. 1. Phonetics.
From the speaker’s point of view: how a speaker uses his speech organs to produce or articulate the sounds, which results in articulatory phonetics.
From the hearer’s point of view:
how the sounds are perceived by
the hearer, which results in
From the way sounds travel: how sounds travel by the sound waves, the physical means by which sounds are transmitted through the air from one person to another, which results in acoustic phonetics.
By studying sound waves with the help of spectrographs(摄谱仪), acoustic phoneticians find that the same sounds we claim to have heard are in most cases only phonetically similar, but rarely phonetically identical.
2. Organs of speech
The oral cavity
3.teeth ridge (alveolar)
4. hard palate 5.soft palate(velum) 6.uvula 7.tip of tongue 8. blade of tongue 9. back of tongue 10.vocal cords 11.pharyngeal cavity 12. Nasal cavity
The pharyngeal cavity
Vibration of the vocal cords (声带) results in a quality of speech sounds called voicing, which is a feature of all vowels and some consonants in English.
E.g. [b, z, d]
When the vocal cords are drawn wide apart, letting air go through without causing vibration, the sounds produced in such a condition are voiceless. E.g. [p, s, t]
Vibration of vocal cords
The nasal cavity
The nasal cavity is connected with the oral cavity. The soft part of the roof of the mouth, the velum, can be drawn back to close the passage so that all air exiting from the lungs can only go through the mouth. The sounds produced in this condition are not nasalized.
If the passage is left open to allow air to exit through the nose, the sounds produced are nasalized sounds.
Obstruction of airstream
Airstream being obstructed in some way
voiceless: [p] [t] [f] [k] [s]
voiced: [b] [d] [v] [g] [z] [m]
[s] in sing: voiceless, alveolar fricative
[N] in sing: voiced, velar, nasal stop
long/ tense: bead book
short/lax: bid put
pure or mono-phthong: be
one cup cf bank[N]
Word-final alveolars become dental before dental fricatives;
Word-initial /l/ and /r/ becomes
voiceless after fortis consonants.
fricatives may become bilabial
before bilabial plosives;
Word-final /l/ is non-velarised if
followed by an initial vowel;
Word-final lenis plosives and
fricatives are not devoiced I followed
by a vowel or voiced consonant;
Word-final /t,d/ become bilabial before bilabial consonants;
Word-final /t,d/ become velar before velar plosives;
Word-final /n/ becomes
bilabial before bilabial
Word-final /n/ becomes velar before velar plosives
Word-final /nt,nd/ both
become bilabial before
bilabials and velar before
Word-final /s,z/ become palato-alveolar before palato-alveolar fricatives and the palatal frictionless continuant;
Word-final /t,d,s,z/ become palato-alveolar affricates (/t,d/) or fricatives(/s,z/) before /j/ and /j/disappears;
Word-final /d/ becomes a nasal before a nasal, at the place of articulation of the nasal;
Word-final /v/ becomes a nasal before a nasal;
Bilabial and alveolar nasals become labio-dental before labio-dental fricatives;
Word-final lenis fricatives
become fortis before an
initial fortis consonant;
5. Broad and Narrow Transcription
A broad transcription is one that only takes account of the sound differences that are important to distinguish words from each other in a language.
A broad transcription is the transcription with letter-symbols only. E.g. [pin] [speid]
A narrow transcription attempts to represent more or less accurately the way in which a particular speaker pronounces his words. A narrow transcription is a transcription with letter symbols together with diacritics(变音符号). e. g [phi n]
[s p= ei d]
The distinction between / ph / and /p/ does not make a difference between words in English. If we substitute /p/ for /ph/ in /phin/, we produce a peculiar pronunciation of pin but not a new word;
But the substitution of p for t does make a difference of word: pin/pin/ and tin/tin/ are different words in English.
green house vs. greenhouse
Give itto John.
Have you had supper?
He was in an appalling bad temper.