Phonetics: The Sounds of Language


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Phonetics: The Sounds of Language

  1. 1. Chapter 3 The Sounds of Language
  2. 2. English is not spelled how it sounds  Heard looks like Beard but sounds like Bird  Dead looks like Bead but sounds like Bed  Meat looks like Great but sounds like Sweet  Moth looks like Mother but sounds like Cloth  Dear looks like Pear but sounds like Beer
  3. 3. Phonetics  The general study of the characteristics of speech sounds  This includes whether sounds are voiced or voiceless sounds as well as their manner and place of articulation  The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is used to help accurately describe sounds
  4. 4. Phone The basic unit of phonetics is called a phone. Any human speech sound is a phone. Phones are often expressed by placing brackets around an IPA transcription (ex: [dæns] for the American pronunciation of dance).
  5. 5. Phonology The study of systems and patterns of speech sounds in languages The basic unit in phonology is the phoneme, which is any sound in language that distinguishes meaning (ex: in rat and mat, /r/ and /m/ are the phonemes which change the meanings of the words) Phonemes are often expressed by placing slashes around the IPA transcription: /b/
  6. 6. Phone Phoneme  Any possible human speech sound in any language  The smallest identifiable unit in speech  Transcribed within brackets [b] [o]  A contrastive unit in the sound system of a specific language  A minimal unit that serves to distinguish between word meanings  Transcribed within slashes /b/ /o/
  7. 7.  universal system to transcribe the sounds of speech  used since 1888  represents each sound with a single symbol  symbols are enclosed in square brackets [ ]  enables linguists to transcribe languages accurately IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet
  8. 8. IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet Transcribe SOUNDS, not letters! Annie How many letters? How many sounds? [ æ n i ] The complete IPA is available as a word file on our class website.
  9. 9. IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet IPA SYMBOL WORD EXAMPLE IPA TRANSCRIPTION [i] fee [ f i ] [I] fit [ f I t ] [ej] fate [ f ej t] [ɛ] let [ l ɛ t ] [æ] bat [ b æ t ] [u] boot [ b u t ] [ʊ] book [ b ʊ k ]
  10. 10. IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet IPA SYMBOL WORD EXAMPLE IPA TRANSCRIPTION [ p ] spit [ s p I t ] [ b ] bib [ b I b] [ t ] stuck [ s t ʌ k] [ d ] dip [ d I p ] [ k ] skip [ s k I p ] [ g ] get [ g ɛ t ]
  11. 11. IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet IPA SYMBOL WORD EXAMPLE IPA TRANSCRIPTION [ θ ] theta thick [ θ I k ] [ ð ] eth though [ ð o w ] [ə] schwa the [ð ə] [ ɾ ] flap hitting [h I ɾ I ŋ] [ ŋ ] sang [ s æ ŋ ] [ t ʃ ] chip [ tʃ I p] [ dʒ ] judge [dʒ ʌ dʒ]
  12. 12. Production of Speech Sounds  Manner of articulation – HOW the sound is produced  Point of articulation - WHERE the sound is produced  Voiced or Voiceless - Whether they make the vocal cords vibrate or not
  13. 13. Vowels vs. Consonants  Vowels: produced by letting air flow through the vocal tract without any (or with little) obstruction ◦ Vowel sounds are always voiced  Consonants: production involves closure or some sort of obstruction of the air flow in the vocal tract ◦ Consonants can be either voiced or voiceless
  14. 14. Voiced vs. Voiceless Sounds Vocal cords spread apart, air passes unimpeded. These sounds are called VOICELESS. Ex: /k/ /f/ /t/ Vocal cords draw together, air pushes them apart to pass through, creating a vibration. These sounds are called VOICED. Ex: /g/ /v/ /d/
  15. 15. Misunderstandings Why was there a misunderstanding? She said: “Thanks, Phil.” He heard: “Thanks, feel.”
  16. 16. Misunderstandings  Target sound /I/, as in “Phil”  Produced by speaker as /i/, as in “feel” NOTE: These sounds are troublesome for speakers of languages that don’t have both /i/ and /I/ sounds. Think what would happen if someone mispronounces “beach” or “sheet.”
  17. 17. Places of Articulation
  18. 18. Bilabials Sounds involving both lips [b], [p], [m], [w] boy, people, man, wet
  19. 19. Labiodentals Sounds made using the lower lip and upper teeth [v], [f] velvet, fence
  20. 20. Dentals/Interdentals Made by placing the tongue against or between the teeth teeth, bath, this loathe, bathe
  21. 21. Alveolars Made by using the tongue and the alveolar ridge [t], [d], [s], [z], [n], [l], [r] top, deer, soap, zip, nap, lap, right
  22. 22. Palatals Made when the center of the tongue approaches the palate. Voiceless sounds: chip, chocolate or ship and shoe Voiced sounds: rouge, judge, and George The [j] sound, pronounced you or yet is called a palatal glide
  23. 23. Velars Made when the back of the tongue touches the velum. [k] sound as in kid [g] sound as in go Also, the ~ng sound: rolling, sung,
  24. 24. Manner of Articulation  How a sound is made  Important for explaining how to make sounds  For example, [d] and [z] are made in the same place of articulation, the alveolar ridge, but they have different manners of articulation.
  25. 25. Stops [p] [b] [t] [d] [k] [g]  Also called ‘plosives’  Produced by a form of brief stopping of the airstream  For instance the [t] in ten, and the [b] and [d] in bed
  26. 26. Fricatives [f] [v] [θ] [ð][s] [z] [ʃ] [ʒ][h]  Produced by almost blocking the airstream (air pushes through a very narrow opening)  Fish begins and ends with fricatives [f] and [ʃ]  Those begins and ends with fricatives [ð ] and [z]
  27. 27. Affricates [tʃ] [dʒ]  Produced by a combination of a brief stopping of airstream with an obstructed release, causing some friction  cheap and jeep have affricate sounds [tʃ] and [dʒ]
  28. 28. Nasals [m] [n] [ŋ]  Produced when the vellum is lowered and the airstream is allowed to flow out through the nose  morning, knitting and name begin and end with nasals
  29. 29. Liquids [l] [ɹ]  The [l] sound as in led is formed by letting the airstream flow around the sides of the tongue as the tip of the tongue makes contact with the middle of the alveolar ridge.  The [ɹ] sound as in red is formed with the tip of the tongue raised and curled back near the alveolar ridge.
  30. 30. Glides [w] [j] [h]  Produced with the tongue in motion or ‘gliding’ to or from the position of a vowel  They are sometimes called semi- vowels or approximants  We, wet, you, yes, hi and hello
  31. 31. Glottal Stop and the Flap Glottal stop: [ʔ]  Produced when the space between the vocal cords (glottis) is closed completely (very briefly) and then released  Uh oh! [ʌ ʔ ow] The flap: [ɾ]  Butter or Manhattan
  32. 32. Vowels: Front vowels [i] = feed [ɪ] = fit [eɪ] = fade [ɛ] = fed [æ] = fad
  33. 33. Vowels: Central vowels [ə] = above ◦ “schwa” (used in unstressed syllables) [ʌ] = above ◦ (used in stressed syllables) IPA Transcription of above [əbʌv]
  34. 34. Vowels: Back vowels [u] = food [ʊ] = foot [ɔ] = fought [ɑ] = frog
  35. 35. Vowels: Diphthongs  a sound made by combining two vowels, when the sound starts as one vowel sound and ends as another [aɪ] = fight [aʊ] = foul [eɪ] = fate [oʊ] = foe [ɔɪ] = foil
  36. 36. Minimal Pairs The words Phil and feel are a minimal pair. What do you think a minimal pair is? “When two words are identical in phonetical form except for a contrast in one phoneme, occurring in the same position, the two words are described as a minimal pair.” (Yule 1985)
  37. 37. Can you think of more examples? /i/ /I/ Feel Phil
  38. 38. Accent vs. Dialect  Do you have an accent?  What is the difference between an accent and a dialect?  Accent: Manner of pronunciation, typically associated with a particular nation, locality, or social class.  Dialect: Manner of speech which differs in structure, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary  Different dialects are mutually comprehensible.; different languages are not.
  39. 39. American Dialects