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Phonetics: the Sounds of Language Lecture #3 What is Phonetics? Phonetics is the study of the sounds of language. A phonetician asks questions like: How many sounds are there? What is the best way to describe these sounds? Phonetics Phonemes Smallest discrete units of sound

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what is phonetics
What is Phonetics?
  • Phonetics is the study of the sounds of language.
  • A phonetician asks questions like:
      • How many sounds are there?
      • What is the best way to describe these sounds?
phonetics
Phonetics
  • Phonemes
    • Smallest discrete units of sound
    • Represented by transcription, not a spelling system /k/

What are some of the sounds (phonemes) of English?

phonetics4
Phonetics
  • Phonetic Transcription
    • allows us to clearly, unambiguously describe the details of a sound system
    • International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) the most widely used system
  • International Phonetic Alphabet
    • one symbol per sound
    • one sound per symbol
    • contains over 100 symbols
    • can describe the sounds of all languages
transcription hints
Transcription Hints
  • Transcription clues
    • Don’t transcribe silent letters or double letters!
    • Don’t be influenced by English spelling.
    • Remember that sometimes one English letter must be written using two IPA symbols and vice versa.
articulatory phonetics
Articulatory Phonetics

Parts of the Vocal Tract

alveolar ridge—bony area behind teeth

hard palate—roof of mouth

velum (soft palate)—soft area at back of throat

place of articulation
Place of Articulation
  • Bilabial—’two lips’ (/p/, /b/, /m/)

pat, bat, mat

  • Labio-dental—lower lip to upper teeth (/f/, /v/)

fat, vat

  • Interdental—tongue tip to upper teeth (/θ/, /ð/)

thin, that

place of articulation8
Place of Articulation
  • Alveolar—tongue to alveolar ridge (/t/, /d/, /n/, /s/, /z/, /l/, /r/)

tin, din, nine, sign, zip, lip, rip

  • Palatal—tongue body to hard palate (/č/, /ǰ/, /š/, /ž/)

cheep, jeep, sheep, azure

  • Velar—tongue root to velum (/k/, /g/, /ŋ/)

came, game, sing

manner of articulation
Manner of Articulation
  • Stops—airstream completely blocked (/p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/)

pat, bat, tag, dog, cake, gate

  • Fricatives—airstream only partially blocked (/f/, /v/, /θ/, /ð/, /s/, /z/, /š/, /ž/)

face, vase, thin, those, sip, zip, shin, azure

  • Affricates—combination stop/fricative (/č/, /ǰ/)

chip, gem

manner of articulation10
Manner of Articulation
  • Nasals—velum lowered to allow airflow through the nasal passage (/m/, /n/, /ŋ/)

mine, nine, sing

  • Liquids—airstream partially blocked, but without friction (/l/, /r/)

lip, rip

  • Glides—halfway between vowels and consonants (/w/, /y/)

west, yes

voicing
Voicing
  • Voiceless—vocal folds are still (/p/, /f/, /θ/, /t/, /s/, /š/, /č/, /k/)
  • Voiced—vocal folds vibrate (/b/, /v/, / ð/, /d/, /z/, /ž/, /ǰ/, /g/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/)

pay/bay, face/vase, thin/these, tin/din, sip/zip, hash/azure, chin/gin, cap/gap