Narrow phonetic transcription Lect 4B LING1005/6105
Topics and key concepts • Why speaking style and sociolect co-vary, though they constitute different domains of speech variation. • How speech gestures are co-ordinated in connected speech, • Resulting in connected speech processes, • And exotic sounds, revealed in narrow phonetic transcription of connected speech.
Speaking style and Sociolect • Speaking style refers to one’s manner of speaking, which can range from formal, careful, or ‘clear’ speech to informal, casual, or intimate. • Sociolect refers to a form of speech that characterises a particular social group that share an identifiable way of talking. Sociolects may carry prestige and be emulated as ‘standards’ of good speech. Others may be looked down upon as ‘vernacular’, ‘low class’, or ‘non-standard’. • Why do we say these are related dimensions of speech variation?
Connected speech processes (CSPs) • Provide a link between casual speech style and more vernacular varieties of speech. • CSPs are more prevlant in both. • To understand how CSPs operate, we need to understand how articulatory gestures are put together or controled by the articulatory apparatus. • Instrumental observations of speech such as cineradiography can help us with this.
Articulation in action: cineradiography of speech Things to look for: • Lowering of uvula for ‘an’ • Raising of uvula for ‘top’ and rest of utterance • Raising blade of tongue for ‘antop’ and ‘deck’ • Labial closure for ‘top’ • Velar closure for ‘deck’
Articulation in action: cineradiography of speech Speech sound production arises from the co-ordination of independent gestures of: • The jaw • The uvular • The tongue blade • The tongue body • The lips • The voicing mechanism (glottis)
An articulogram showing gestures involved in the production of the word ‘tenth’ Time
An articulogram showing gestures involved in the production of the word ‘tenth’ • Tongue blade and velum raised, stopping air escape from mouth. Glottis open for voiceless stop consonant [t]. • Tongue blade lowers, permitting air to escape rapidly. Glottis remains open, producing aspirated release of stop [th]. • Glottis closes, causing vocal chords to vibrate (voicing) at start of vowel [e]. Voicing is maintained through [n] until voiceless fricative  begins.
An articulogram showing gestures involved in the production of the word ‘tenth’ 4. Velum begins to lower during vowel, resulting in nasal resonance during latter part of vowel (nasalization) [ẽ]. 5. Tongue blade raises again to block oral airflow for nasal consonant [n]. Velum achieves maximum opening of nasal port. Airflow directed entirely through nasal cavity. 6. Velum raised to block nasal airflow for fricative . At same time, tongue blade lowers slightly to permit turbulent air escape through dental constriction for . Also at the same time, the glottis opens again to turn off voicing for production of the voiceless fricative .
What coarticulation effects are illustrated in this example? • Nasalization of a vowel by a following nasal consonant. • Place (of articulation) assimilation; dentalization of the alveolar nasal by following dental fricative.
What kind of uvula opening gesture would eliminate the nasalization coarticulation effect? An instantaneous lowering of the uvula cannot be achieved; some gestural overlap is inevitable. Gestural overlap is one source of coarticulation effects.
Articulatory undershoot • Another commonly observed property of gestures in connected speech. ‘a sense of humour’ / sens v hjum/ => [sẽsum] nasalization of vowel + incomplete closure for nasal consonant glottal fricative + palatal glide => palatal fricative
Articulatory undershoot ‘a sense of humour’ / sens v hjum/ => [sẽsum] nasalization of vowel + incomplete closure for nasal consonant • Uvula lowers sufficiently to produce nasal resonance on the vowel, but there is incomplete closure by the blade of the tongue to produce a nasal consonant before the fricative.
Coalescence of gestures ‘a sense of humour’ / sens v hjum/ => [sẽsum] glottal fricative + palatal glide => palatal fricative • Turbulent noise (frication) at the glottis is replaced by turbulence at the palatal place of articulation as the tongue body moves to produce a constriction gesture for /j/.
Coalescence of gestures ‘a sense of humour’ / sens v hjum/ => [sẽsum] glottal fricative + palatal glide => palatal fricative • The voiceless palatal fricative  is not an English phoneme, but all kinds of sounds are possible in speech as a result of application of connected speech processes.
Narrow phonetic transcription • Captures these details of articulation. • Listeners are generally unaware of this level of phonetic detail. We tend to listen to speech at the phonemic level, hearing the linguistic targets that the speaker intended to produce. • Part of one’s tacit knowledge of the sound pattern of one’s native language is being able to infer the phonemic targets from their imperfect phonetic realization in casual speech.
Connected speech processes • Form the basis of phonological rules of the language. • A phonological rule: a particular kind of assimilation or coarticulation effect that has become a ‘habit of speaking’ by native speakers of the language. • Most phonological rules are obligatory ‘rules of speaking’ that apply regardless of the speech style. • Connected speech processes, on the other hand, are speech style sensitive.
A phonological rule: regular plural formation in English Cat cats /kts/ Fly flies /flaz/ Dog dogs /dgz/ Lion lions /lanz/ Antelope antelopes /ntlops/ Slipper slippers /slpz/ • Formulate a rule for predicting the phonetic form of the plural for these words. • What kind of assimilation is indicated here? • Why call this a ‘phonological rule’ rather than a ‘connected speech process’?
Clear speech • Is promoted by suppression of coarticulation effects. However this requires more effort on the part of the speaker. • In casual speaking style there is less suppression of coarticulation effects. • Casual speech style favours ease of articulation. • Formal or careful speaking style favours the needs of the listener.
Casual speech has a higher incidence of connected speech processes and is therfore more difficult to understand. • Vowel reduction • Place Assimilation • Vowel deletion • Consonant deletion • Vowel simplification (monophthongization) These processes are part of the phonology (sound pattern) of English.
Connected speech processes interact with one another in complex ways.
CSPs are constrained also • In language and dialect specific ways: • Durham English has a regressive voicing assimilation rule that operates across word boundaries (like [g] bairns, like [g] me, this [z] village, whats [dz] gone in man), not found in other regional varieties of English (Kerswill, 1987)
Summary • Speech involves the co-ordination of articulatory gestures in time. • Casual and vernacular speech involve coarticulation effects and connected speech processes (CSPs), which serve the interests of the speaker. • Formal or clear speech involves suppression of CSPs and coarticulation effects in the interests of the listener. • CSPs form the basis of phonological rules. • Phonological rules represent habitualized ways that sounds interact in a given language. • CSPs are, to a degree, also language or dialect specific in their operation.