Phonetics is the study of the production and the written representation of speech sounds
We need to study Phonetics so that we can improve our pronunciation by learning to produce each sound of Standard English correctly. We also need to study phonetics so that we can interpret the symbols used in dictionaries which represent the pronunciation of radio announcers and educated English-speaking people.
A dialect is one variety of a given language. All languages are made up of a number of dialects. Each dialect represents the way one group of people speak a specific language.
To produce sounds we use more than half of a human body – from the head to the abdomen. There are three groups of systems or bodily organs needed for the production of spoken languages. They are : The Respiratory System, the Phonatory System and the Articulatory System
It comprises the lungs, the muscles by means of which they are compressed or dilated, the bronchial tubes and the windpipe or trachea. The primary function of this system is breathing but it also provides the stream of air needed to produce the sounds we make when we speak.
It is formed by the larynx or voice box. The primary function of the larynx is to act as a valve which can close off the lungs, partly for their protection, and partly so that the rib- cage can be made rigid while muscular efforts are exerted by the arms.
It consists of the nose, lips and the mouth and its contents, including specially the teeth and tongue. The vocal organs situated along the vocal tract above the glottis are called the articulators. Some articulators are movable (active) and others are motionless (passive)
The Passive Articulators are the upper lip, the upper teeth, the roof of the mouth and the back wall of the throat or pharynx. The roof of the mouth is a large area divided into: Soft Palate and Hard Palate.
The Active Articulators are principally the tongue and the lips. The tongue is divided into: The Blade The Front The Back The Root