CONSONANTS Next major topic: Consonant articulation. What’s a vowel? A speech sound produced with a (relatively) unimpeded air stream. What’s a consonant? A speech sound produced with air stream impeded, constricted, diverted, or obstructed. As before: Vowels are open-ish , consonants are closed-ish. Classification system for vowels: tongue height, frontness, and lip rounding Classification system for consonants: place, manner, and voicing
A. Place (also called place of articulation ) : Where is the breath stream impeded, constricted, diverted, or obstructed? For example: lips, teeth, alveolar ridge, palate, velum, … These are the articulatory landmarks that we reviewed earlier. More on place later. B. Manner: How is the breath stream impeded, constricted, diverted, or obstructed? For example: 1. stop or plosive: complete obstruction of air stream (glottal stop, as in “ uh-oh ”) 2. fricative: air passed thru a narrow channel, creating turbulence. (as in “ shoe” ), ( as in “ theory” ) [h], (as in “Zsa Zsa ” ), ( as in “ this” ). 3. nasal: air stream redirected (diverted) through the nasal cavity. (as in “si ng ”)
Manner categories continued 4. affricate complete obstruction of air stream followed by fricative release. [t (as in “ choke” ), (as in “ joke ”) 5. approximants: consonants that are almost like vowels [r (as in “yellow”) These are the “open-est” of the closed-ish sounds – breath stream is fairly unimpeded. But, these sounds “pattern” like consonants; i.e., speakers treat them like consonants not vowels. a rat or an rat ? a lake or an lake ? a walk or an walk ? a yak or an yak ? So, these are consonants and that’s that, even if we can’t supply a neat definition separating vowels from consonants.
Manner categories continued Two Types of Approximants Liquids Glides (also called semivowels) [r Why are [r called liquids and called glides? Easy: They just are. If there’s a good reason for this I don’t know it, But, you’ll have to learn it same as everyone else. 6. flap: Like a stop, but closure is very brief [ (as in “ kitty, ” “butter,” “Betty,” “later” ) There are other manner classes, but the 6 I listed are the ones needed for English.
C. Voicing Are the vocal folds vibrating? Yes No Voiced Unvoiced/Voiceless English has many pairs of consonants that are identical in all other ways except for voicing. Some examples: - , - , - , - , - - - These are called voiced-voiceless cognates .
Unvoiced: ( is a bit of an odd bird – later)
Notes on Stop Consonants (Plosives)
Dental (rather than alveolar) stops are rather common in some dialects of Am Eng – working class dialects in NY, NJ, Philly, etc. Symbols: and . The diacritic that indicates a dental stop is a little dealie that looks like a tooth. and are allophones of /d/ and /t/ in English. They occur as distinct phonemes in some languages.
Stops involve a build up of pressure behind the occlusion followed by release. The velum has to be in the up position for the pressure to build; i.e., the V-P (velopharhyngeal) port needs to be closed.
What problems might speakers with cleft palate have in producing stops?
c. Glottal stops occur in a few “exclamatory” words like “uh-uh” (no) or “uh-oh” (whoops). They’re more common that you might think, though. Glottal stops often serve as separators, as in:
no notion vs. known ocean
353-7200: Phone number with “00” spoken as “oh-oh.” A glottal stop will almost always be inserted to separate the two “oh’s; e.g.
Glottal stops also appear as an allophone of /t/:
The line beneath the phonetic symbol ( ) means syllabic consonant – the consonant forms a syllable all by itself.
d. Aspiration Voiced stops are never aspirated. Voiceless stops are sometimes aspirated and sometimes not. These voiceless stops will be aspirated : a. Word-initial, regardless of stress: tap, cat, Topeka (stop precedes an unstressed vowel) , command (ditto) b. Intervocalic (between 2 vowels) but only when preceding a stressed vowel. me t iculous, re p air, re c alcitrant, re t urn
These voiceless stops will be unaspirated: a. Following /s/ stop, skate, stick, stare, spike b. Intervocalic, preceding an unstressed vowel napping, camper, sicken, supper (Note: Sometimes these are unaspirated, sometimes they are lightly aspirated.) See Table 5-2 (p. 96) of MacKay for a nice summary with examples.
Voice Onset Time (VOT) VOT = Interval between articulatory release and onset of voicing. voicing onset release voicing onset and release ~ simultaneous VOT ~0 msec VOT ~85 msec
Voice Onset Time (VOT) voicing onset release Very short delay between release and voicing onset (~10 ms) VOT ~10 msec VOT ~85 msec
2. Fricatives Mechanism of sound production is simple: Air is passed through a narrow channel, creating turbulence. Turbulence = noise . When you look at white water on a river or stream you are looking at turbulence. (You can also hear this turbulence; this is the noise you hear when white water passes between boulders and whatnot.) All fricatives involve this turbulence-generating mechanism. English fricatives: Voiceless: ( “ theory” ) (“ shoe” ) [h] Voiced: ( “ this” ) (“Zsa Zsa ” ) All English fricatives except (maybe) [h] form voiced-voiceless cognates: - - - - For each pair: Same place, same manner, different voicing.
- : Place = Labiodental (lips-teeth) Flat constriction (slit fricatives); flat (rather than round or grooved) constrictions produce a weak noise. No resonator in front of the constriction; spectrum has a pretty flat shape (no well-defined resonant peaks) : : spectrum during [f] noise (flat) spectrum during [v] noise (flat, but with periodic buzz)
- (also ; small wedge over / = hacek ):
Place = Alveopalatal/Palatoalveolar/Prepalatal
Round-ish, grooved constriction; these produce a strong noise
Relative to [s]-[z]: Place further back and lips are rounded. Result: Longer resonator in front of the constriction ; longer tubes have lower resonant freq’s. So, has more low freq energy than ; has more low freq energy than .
: : More low freq energy for than Same deal for and .
Voiced glottal fricative, which may seem impossible.
When /h/ occurs between two vowels, as in:
The glottal fricative can be breathy (partially voiced) rather than whispered. In breathy voice, the glottis is simultaneously producing hiss and buzz. Phonetically, the resulting sound is called a voiced glottal fricative, though voiced (periodic) and unvoiced (hissy or aperiodic) elements from the glottis are mixed ; the symbol is
hoy ahoy spectrum during – no harmonics spectrum during – note the harmonics
Vocal tract is closed (at the lips, alveolar ridge, or velum); velum is lowered; acoustic energy flows through the nose rather than mouth.
: Symbol called “engma” or “long n”
can end words ( sing ; lung , bang , etc.) or appear in the middles of words ( singer , sinker ), but cannot begin words.
NOTE: Spelling convention: ng = , but there is no in sing, singer, song, hanger, stirring, bang, banger, etc. A may follow the , though: strangle Bangor languid mangle jungle following is also common: sinker lanky blank clunker
4. Affricates There are only 2 on these in English: and (also ) church (or ) judge (or ) The mechanism of sound production combines stop and fricative: the vocal tract is completely occluded (with the velum up); the stop-like occlusion is released into a short-ish fricative: or . Place: Alveopalatal/Palatoalveolar/Prepalatal; the same as - , not the same as - . Place, in my opinion, is not alveolar , as indicated in the text.
5. Approximants Two Types of Approximants Liquids Glides (also called semivowels) [r red led wed yet These sounds are vowel-ish consonants , though they are definitely consonants . For (i.e., all but ), there is a vowel with the same quality: -> -> -> is the consonant version of is the consonant version of is the consonant version of
5. Approximants Two Types of Approximants Liquids Glides (also called semivowels) [r red led wed yet Another Way to Classify Approximants Approximants Central Lateral [r Typical flow through the center of the vocal tract. Flow around the sides of the tongue.
is called a lateral : the tongue is on the alveolar ridge, and acoustic energy flows along the two sides (lateral margins) of the tongue. This is how gets the name lateral. It’s all by itself; i.e., is the only lateral consonant in English . The remainder of the sounds in this category ( ) are called central approximants . : these are produced in the same way as : retroflexed or bunched, somewhat rounded (like ) : high, back, rounded (like ) : high, front, spread (like ) Notice that these are features of vowel articulation, not features of consonant articulation . But since these really are consonants, somehow we have to force these onto a consonant articulation chart using features such as alveolar, palatal, alveopalatal, etc. It’s cumbersome and a bit forced, but it’s done. = alveolar (sometimes palatal) ; = bilabial and velar; = palatal Classifications are somewhat arbitrary, but you still have to learn them.
Last point on approximants The symbol we’ve been using in here for consonant R is . In the IPA, is used for a trilled R, as in Spanish (and many other languages). The official, legitimate IPA symbol for the rhotic R that occurs in English is (lower case R rotated 180 0 counter-clockwise) This is a headache to write, and since English does not have a trilled R, it’s convenient to just borrow the symbol.
6. Flap Alveolar place ; like a [d], but with very brief contact with the alveolar ridge. Occurs as an allophone of /t/ and /d/ between vowels and preceding unstressed vowels: ladder latter homophones plotter plodder homophones kitty butter bladder seedy ready better