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Definitions. Phonetics - the study of the symbols that represent meaningful speech sounds. The sounds in all the languages of the world together constitute a limited set, although some sounds in one language are not in another. More Definitions.

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  • Phonetics - the study of the symbols that represent meaningful speech sounds.

    • The sounds in all the languages of the world together constitute a limited set, although some sounds in one language are not in another.

More definitions
More Definitions

  • Articulatory phonetics - the study of how the vocal tract produces the sounds of language

  • Acoustic phonetics - the study of the physical properties of the sounds

  • Clinical phonetics - deals with phonetics as it deals with disorders.

  • Auditory phonetics - the study of the way listeners perceive sounds

Speech involves 2 processes

Speech involves 2 processes

(1) production of the speech sounds (described in terms of articulatory and acoustic phonetics); (2) perception of the speech sounds (described in terms of auditory phonetics)

Phonetic principle
Phonetic Principle

  • Phonetic Principle - each distinct sound of a language is represented by one and only one graphic symbol.

    • LETTERS do NOT make sound!

    • Symbols are used to represent the sounds that we make

    • Orthography = Letters

    • we study phonetics because writing doesn’t follow the Phonetics Principle

Orthography vs phonetic alphabet
Orthography vs Phonetic Alphabet

  • Discrepancy between spelling and sounds gave rise to a movement of “spelling reformers”

  • wanted to revise the alphabet so that one letter would correspond to one sound, and one sound to one letter

  • this alphabet would be a phonetic alphabet

Orthography vs phonetic alphabet1
Orthography vs Phonetic Alphabet

  • Problems with orthography

    • a. Different letters represent a single sound (many letters:1 sound)

      • to too two through threw clue shoe

      • o, oo, wo, ough, ew, ue, oe = /u/

    • b. A single letter represents different sounds (l letter: many sounds)

      • dame dad father call village many

      • “a” = /e, æ, a, , I, /

Orthography vs phonetic alphabet2
Orthography vs Phonetic Alphabet

  • A combination of letters represent a single sound (several letters = 1 sound)

    • shoot character Thomas physics coat plain

    • oo /u/ ch /k/ th /t/ ph /f/ oa /o/ ai /e/

  • some sounds are not represented by a letter (1 letter = 2 sounds)

    • cute futile utility

    • u /ju/

  • one letter represents two sounds

    • xerox x = /ks/

  • one letter represents no sound (silent letter)

    • cute (“e” is silent)

    • In English, there are a lot of silent letters. EX “psycho” (6 letters, 4 sounds)

International phonetic alphabet
International Phonetic Alphabet

  • To describe the sounds of English, or any other language, we cannot depend on the spelling of words

    • this led to the development of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) in 1888 which could be used to symbolize the sounds found in all languages

    • because many languages use a Roman alphabet like that used in the English writing system, the IPA phonetic symbols are based on the Roman letters

Ipa con t
IPA (con’t)

  • These phonetic symbols have a consistent value, unlike ordinary letters, which may or may not represent the same sounds in the same or different languages

  • the IPA phonetic alphabet is still the primary one used all over the world today by phoneticians, language teachers, speech pathologists, linguists, and anyone wishing to symbolize the spoken word.

  • It is impossible to construct any set of symbols that will specify all the minute differencesbetween sounds

    • no two utterances are ever physically the same

Phonetic alphabet
Phonetic Alphabet

  • Phonetic alphabet - a set of symbols which can be used to differentiate all the phonetic sound segments in a one symbol to one sound fashion

    • a phonetic alphabet should include enough symbols to represent the “crucial” differences

Phonetic transcription
Phonetic Transcription

  • phonetic transcription - representation of spoken language through the use of phonetic symbols

    • broad transcription - basics of what is spoken without any notation for finer distinction

    • narrow transcription - finer description of speech using diacritics to specify such properties as nasalization, length, stress, rounding, etc.

Phonetic transcription1
Phonetic Transcription

  • Phonetic transcription is enclosed in [ ]

    • phonetic realization (pronunciation)

  • Phonemic transcriptions are enclosed in / /

    • phonemic segments (ideal)

  • Although when we speak or listen to someone speak, we hear speech as continuous (like music)

    • but everyone who analyzes language recognizes that speech utterances can be segmented into individual sounds

      • “cat” has 3 sounds k æ t