Contemporary Linguistics By: William O’Grady Essential Linguistics By: David E. Freeman & Yvonne S. Freeman Essential Linguistics Chapter 3 – “English Phonology” Graphic Organizer Part II Contemporary Linguistics Chapter 2 – “Phonetics: The Sounds of Language” Andrea Derr
The definition of phonetics is the study of the sounds of human language.
The human language is made up of a large variety of sounds, which are also know as “phones”.
The International Phonetic Alphabet is widely used to transcribe the sounds of the human language. It has been evolving since 1888. It attempts to represent each sound of human speech with a single symbol.
The symbols of the IPA are found enclosed in brackets, [ ]
Stops are made with a complete closure, either in the oral cavity or at the glottis. Many of the phones that are categorized as stops produce a sudden puff of air.
You can test this by placing your hand in front of your mouth while making the sounds: p, t, k, b, d, g. The ‘nasal’ stops are : m, n, and ŋ.
Fricatives are consonants produced with a continuous airflow through the mouth. This is a large group of consonants. The following sounds fall under this category: f, v, s, z, h, ʒ, ʃ, θ, ð.
Affricatives occur when a stop articulation is released, and the tongue moves rapidly away from the point of articulation. For example, the words church and jump contain affricatives. Some examples are: tʃ, dʒ
Vowels are described with reference to the tongue position; either high, low, front, or back.
They are also described based on the tensions, which is either tense or lax.
And finally depending on the lip rounding, either rounded or unrounded. (O’Grady, 34-35)
Diphthongs are vowels that exhibit a change in quality within a single syllable.
These can be realized through change in tongue or lip movement when pronouncing a word.
For example, note the change in your lips when you pronounce the words “boy”, “my”, “say”, “grow” and “now”.
Pitch, loudness, and length! Oh the stress!
“All phone have certain inherent suprasegmental or prosodic properties that form part of their makeup no matter what their place or manner of articulation. These properties are pitch, loudness, and length” (O’Grady, 40)
Stress is a term used to describe the combined effects of pitch, loudness, and length.
In certain words, different syllables get the stress. This is marked in a word by primary stress and secondary stress.