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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