Nonsegmentals or Suprasegmentals Most of the material we’ve discussed to this point concerns the segmental characteristics of speech. Segmental: This term refers to phonemes and allophones; e.g., /b/, /d/, /g/, /p/, /t/, /r/, /l/, /w/, [tH], [R], etc.; these are all phonetic segments.Attributes of segments (place, manner, & voicing, or tongue height, frontness, &lip rounding) are also referred to as segmental features. Nonsegmental or suprasegmental:Characteristics of an utterance that transcend the segment; e.g., the melody and rhythm of an utterance.
Melody: Intonation (pattern of pitch over time). Rhythm: Stress pattern; i.e., the pattern of accented and unaccented syllables in a word. PERmit/perMIT OBject/obJECT REcord/reCORD One quick point of terminology: Prosody is a term that refers collectively to both the melodic and rhythmic aspects of speech: Prosody Intonation (melody) Stress (rhythm)
Intonation (melodic) contour: Pattern of F0 (pitch) over time conveys information about the grammatical structure of the utterance (e.g., phrase boundaries and sentence type), as well as affective (emotional) information. We won’t have time to cover intonation, but we can at least appreciate how important it is: (Note: The FDR utterance may or may not play on the Powerpoint file you download; the others should play fine.)
Among many other things, the intonation contour can differentiate questions from statements. Statement: Falling F0 F0 Contour Question: Rising F0
Relative to unstressed syllables, stressed syllables are generally: (1) greater in amplitude (i.e., louder), (2) higher in F0 (i.e., pitch), (3) greater in duration, and (4) less centralized (i.e., closer to their “target” values – see MacKay for a nice discussion). This example shows the role played by F0 and amplitude only. Note that the stressed syllables are higher in amplitude and in F0. amplitude OBject pitch (F0) amplitude pitch (F0) obJECT Note: Stressed syllable is usually longer; this is true for obJECT, but not OBject.
Summary of cues to stress: • F0/Pitch: Stressed syllables typically higher in F0/Pitch • Amplitude/Loudness: Stressed syllables typically higher in amplitude/loudness • Duration:Stressed syllables typically longer • Vowel quality: Vowels in stressed syllables typically more peripheral (i.e., less centralized). The figure below illustrates this. Vowel Quality As vowels become less prominent (i.e., less stressed), their quality becomes more centralized. In the limiting case, the weakest syllables are reduced to schwa. approximate approximately Note that the weak vowel is reduced entirely to schwa.
Stress Sentential Stress Lexical Stress Some words in a sentenceSome syllables in a word receive greater prominence receive greater prominence than othersthan others
Sentential or Sentence-level Stress ELAINE: And I asked him, "Should Jerry bring anything?"JERRY: So...?ELAINE: Mmmm ... and he said, ‘Why would Jerry bring anything?’JERRY: Alright, but let me ask you this question. Which word did he emphasize? Did he say, ‘Why would Jerrybring anything?’ or, ‘Why would Jerry bringanything?’ Did he emphasize Jerry or bring?ELAINE: I think he emphasized ‘would.’JERRY: You know what? The hell with this party. I didn't even want to go to begin with. This example illustrates sentence-level stress. It makes the simple point that the interpretation of an utterance can depend on which word or words in the sentence receive greater prominence.
Lexical Stress Basic idea is simple: Some syllables within a word receive greater prominence than others. (The “within a word” restriction explains why it is called lexical stress.) SEAshore not seaSHORE STICKler not stickLER BLACKboard not blackBOARD These are all examples of lexical or word-level stress. Transcription of stress patterns: How many levels of stress are needed to describe English? Most phoneticians use a three-level system, though the terminology varies a little: primary – secondary - reduced primary – secondary – weak primary – secondary - tertiary primary – secondary - unstressed Other phoneticians use a four-level system. We’ll stick with three.
Two Transcription Systems are in Use System 1: seashore[siÛSÔÝ]forward-leaning accent = primary backward-leaning accent = secondary manifest[mQÛn«ßfEÝst] reduced/weak/tertiary=upsidedown hachek Notes: (1) The stress markers are applied (as diacritics) to the vowel, not the syllable. (2) The weak/reduced/unstressed/tertiary syllable is often (though not always) simply unmarked. System 2: seashore[ÈsiÇSÔ]vertical bar above the symbol = primary vertical bar below the symbol = secondary manifest[ÈmQn«ÇfEst]reduced/weak/tertiary=upsidedown hachek Notes: (1) The stress markers are applied to the syllable, not the vowel. This is different from the system above. (2) Weak/ reduced/unstressed/tertiary syllables are unmarked.
maintain [meÝnteÛn]or [ÇmenÈten] grading [greÛRIÝN] or [ÈgreÇRIN] denounce [diÝnauÛns] or [ÇdiÈnauns](1st vowel could be schwa, depending on pronunciation) mostly [moÛsliÝ] or [moÛstliÝ]([t] usually dropped, except in careful speech) goatee [goÝtiÛ] or [ÇgoÈti] pester [pEÛstÔÝ] or [ÈpEsÇtÔ]
leisure [liÛZÔÝ] (sometimes [lEÛZÔÝ]) blacksmith [blQÛksmIÝT] skirmish [skÔÛmIÝS] mustard [mÃÛstÔÝd] planter [plQÛntÔÝ]
permit (v) [pÔÝmIÛt] permit (n) [pÔÛmIÝt] record (v) [riÝkÔÛd] (often pronounced with a schwa in the 1st syllable) record (n) [rEÛkÔÝd] sensation [sEÝnseÛS«n] transcription [trQÝnskrIÛpS«n]
transportation [trQÝnspÔteÛS«n] schematic [skiÝmQÛRIk] or [skiÝmQÛR«k] or [sk«ÝmQÛR«k] mathematics [mQÝTmQÛR«ks] or [mQÝTmQÛRIks] perception [pÔÝsEÛpS«n] locality [loÝkQÛl«Ri] libation [laiÝbeÛS«n]
Velveeta [vEÝlviÛR«] romantic [roÝmQÛnt«k] or [roÝmQÛntIk] fantastic [fQÝntQÛstIk] guarantee [geÔÝ«ntiÛ] warranty [woÔÛ«ntiÝ] experience [IkspiÔÛi«Ýns](quality of the 1st vowel may vary – could be [E] in careful speech)