Lecture 1 Consonants

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Lecture 1 Consonants

  1. 1. Lecture 11. Phonetics vs. Phonology2. How speech sounds are produced?3. Consonants• Definition• Classification - According to place of articulation - According to manner of articulation - According to voicing• Describing consonants• Identifying consonants 1
  2. 2. Phonetics vs. Phonology1. Phonetics: is the linguistic science that studies speech sounds: the way in which they are produced (uttered, articulated), the way in which they are perceived, their physical characteristics, etc. The questions that Phonetics answers are:• What sounds occur in human languages?• How these speech sounds are made?• What physical properties do they have?• In what way can speech sound similar to, or different from, other speech sounds? 2
  3. 3. Phonetics vs. Phonology• There are three main areas of Phoneticsa. Articulatory phonetics: is the study of how speech sounds are produced using the articulators - the parts of the body involved in producing speech sounds.b. Acoustic phonetics, which is also considered a branch of physics, involves the study of the speech signals (the sound waves produced when a speaker speaks). In other words, it deals with the transmission of speech sounds through the air.c. Auditory phonetics, which is also considered a branch of physiology, is the study of how speech signal is sensed in the auditory canal and interpreted by the relevant parts of the brain. In other words, it deals with how speech sounds are perceived by the listener. 3
  4. 4. Phonetics vs. Phonology1. Phonology is the study or description of the distinctive sound units (phonemes) of a language and their relationship to one another. It involves studying a language to determine its distinctive sounds and to establish a set of rules that describe the set of changes that take place in these sounds when they occur in different relationships with other sounds. The subject of phonology includes the following areas:a. Study of the phonemic system.b. Phoneme sequences and syllable structure.c. Suprasegmental phonology (stress, intonation). 4
  5. 5. Articulatory PhoneticsThe speech organs / articulators 5
  6. 6. Articulatory PhoneticsThe speech organs / articulators 6
  7. 7. How are speech sounds produced?• When we are making sounds, the air from the lungs comes up through the wind-pipe and arrives first at the larynx. Then it goes through the vocal cords into the pharynx and up the pharynx to the uvula. At this point, it may go in either way. It may go into the oral cavity (if the soft palate is raised) and go out of the mouth. Or it may go into the nasal tract (if the soft palate is lowered) and get out through the nostrils. 7
  8. 8. How are speech sounds produced?1. How are oral sounds produced? In the process of making sounds, at the uvula if the soft palate is raised, blocking off the nasal tract, the airstream can only go into the oral tract and go out of the mouth, then we have oral sounds. e.g. /g/, /s/, //1. How are nasal sounds produced? In the process of making sounds, if the air-stream is blocked somewhere in the oral cavity but the soft palate is lowered so that the air-stream can get into the nasal tract and get out through the nostrils, then we have nasal sounds. e.g. //, //, // 8
  9. 9. How are speech sounds produced?1. How are consonant sounds produced? When we are making sounds, if two articulators come together, obstructing the air-stream and the air-stream cannot get out freely, we have consonant sounds e.g.1. How are vowel sounds produced? When we are making sounds, if there is no obstruction to the flow of air as it passes from the larynx to the lips and the air can get out freely, then we have vowel sounds. e.g. 9
  10. 10. How are speech sounds produced?1. How are voiced sounds produced? When we are producing sounds, the air-stream goes through the vocal cords. If the vocal cords come together, obstructing the air-stream, the air-stream cannot get out through them freely and it makes them vibrate, then we have voiced sounds. e.g. /d/, /v/, /m/1. How are voiceless sounds produced? When we are making sounds, the air-stream goes through the vocal cords. If the vocal cords come apart, they are open. The air-stream can go out through them freely and it does not make them vibrate, then we have voiceless sounds. e.g. /s/, /t/, // 10
  11. 11. Consonants1. Definition: Consonants are the sounds in the production of which one articulator moves towards another or two articulators come together, obstructing the air-stream and the air-stream can’t get out freely.2. Classification: In order to form consonants, the air-stream through the vocal cords must be obstructed in some way. Therefore, consonants can be classified according to the place where the air-stream is obstructed (the place of articulation) and the way in which the air- stream is obstructed (the manner of articulation). 11
  12. 12. According to place of articulation• The place of articulation is the location of the obstruction of the air-stream in the articulation of consonants. It describes the point at which the articulators actually touch or are at their closest. The most important places of articulation for the production of English consonants are listed in the table below.• Notes: The terms used to describe the sounds are those which denote the place of articulation of the sounds 12
  13. 13. Places Articulators Examples Bilabial Upper lip + lower lipLabio-dental Lower lip + upper teeth Dental Teeth + tongue Alveolar Alveolar ridge + tongue Retroflex Back of alveolar ridge + tongue Palato Join of hard palate & alveolar ridge + tongue -alveolar Palatal Hard palate + tongue Velar Soft palate + tongue Glottal Vocal cords 13
  14. 14. 1. Bilabials: are the sounds made with the two lips pressed together or coming together. e.g.1. Labio-dentals: are the sounds which are produced with the lower lip touching the upper front teeth. e.g.1. Dentals: are the sounds which are produced with the tip or blade of the tongue touching the upper front teeth. e.g.1. Alveolars: are the sounds which are produced with the tip or blade of the tongue touching or approaching the alveolar ridge. e.g.1. Retroflex: is the sound which is produced with the tip of the tongue curling back towards the back of the alveolar 14 ridge.
  15. 15. 1. Palato - alveolars: are the sounds which are produced with the tongue tip or blade coming close to the area between the back of the alveolar ridge and the front of the hard palate. e.g.1. Palatal: is the sound which is produced with the front of the tongue coming close to the hard palate. e.g.1. Velars: are the sounds which are produced with the back of the tongue touching the soft palate. e.g.1. Glottal: are the sounds which are produced without the active use of the tongue and other parts of the mouth. e.g. 15
  16. 16. According to manner of articulation• Manner of articulation is the way in which the air-stream is obstructed or altered in the production of speech sounds. It describes the types of obstruction caused by the narrowing or closure of the articulators. 16
  17. 17. Movement of Articulators Examples Oral Complete closureStop Complete closure in the mouth, air escapes through nose NasalFricative Narrowing, resulting in audible frictionAffricate Closure, then slow separationLateral Closure in centre of mouth, air escapes down sidesApproximant Slight narrowing, not enough to cause friction 17
  18. 18. 1. Stops: are the sounds in the production of which there is a complete closure of the articulators involved so that the air-stream can’t escape through the mouth. There are two kinds of stops:a. Oral stops (Plosives): are the sounds which are produced with the air-stream being stopped in the oral cavity and the soft palate is raised blocking off the nasal cavity. Then the two articulators come apart quickly and the air escapes through the oral tract. e.g.a. Nasal stops (Nasals): they are produced with the air- stream being stopped in the oral cavity but the soft palate is down so that the air can go out through the nose. e.g. 18
  19. 19. • Notes: Although both oral stops and nasal stops can be classified as “stops”, the term “stop” itself is almost used by phoneticians to indicate an oral stop, and the term “nasal” to indicate a nasal stop.1. Fricatives: are the sounds in the production of which two articulators come close together but there is still a small opening between them so the air-stream is partially obstructed and an audible friction noise (a hissing sound) is produced. e.g.• Notes: Fricatives are continuants consonants which means that you can continue making them as long as you have enough air in your lungs. 19
  20. 20. 1. Affricates: are the sounds which are produced when a stop is immediately followed by a fricative. e.g.1. Lateral: is the sound which is made when the air-stream is obstructed at a point along the centre of the oral tract, with incomplete closure between one or both sides of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. e.g.1. Approximants: are the sounds in the production of which two articulators come close together but without the vocal tract being narrowed to such an extent that a friction noise is produced. e.g.• Notes: Approximants are called frictionless continuants. 20
  21. 21. According to voicing.1. Voiced consonants: are produced when the vocal cords are vibrating. e.g.1. Voiceless consonants: are produced when the vocal cords are not vibrating. e.g. 21
  22. 22. Fortis and lenis• A voiced/voiceless pair such as /s/ and /z/ are distinguished not only by the presence or absence of voice but also by the degree of breath and muscular effort involved in the articulation. It is generally said that those English consonants which are usually voiced tend to be articulated with relatively weak energy, whereas those which are always voiceless are relatively strong. Thus, the voiceless consonants are sometimes called ‘fortis’ meaning ‘strong’, and the voiced consonants in opposition are then called ‘lenis’ meaning ‘weak’.• Fortis consonants have the effect of shortening a preceding vowel. The effect is most noticeable in the case of long vowels and diphthong, though it does also affect short vowels.• E.g. See seed seat 22
  23. 23. Describing English consonants• The description includes the following information: a. Voicing b. Place of articulation c. Manner of articulation e.g. /s/: voiceless alveolar fricative /n/: voiced alveolar nasal /f/: /t/: /j/: /g/: 23
  24. 24. Identifying English consonants• A description is given and you have to identify which sound is being described. e.g.Voiced velar nasal: // voiceless palato-alveolar fricative: // voiced bilabial stop: voiced labio-dental fricative: voiced alveolar lateral: voiceless palato-alveolar affricate: voiced dental fricative: 24

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