Phonetics for field methods

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Phonetics for field methods

  1. 1. Phonetics for field methods Understanding consonants and introducing the IPA
  2. 2. What is a consonant • Something that is not a vowel – Vowels relatively obstruction-free path through the mouth – Consonants are created through creating some kind of mouth shape through which the air must escape. • We can distinguish consonants from each other by examining with reference to three qualities: voicing, manner, place
  3. 3. Voicing • Many types of consonants can be contrasted in the quality of their voicing • Voiceless consonants are produced with the vocal folds (often referred to as the vocal cords) are apart • Voiced consonants are produced with the vocal folds held together. This means air must push between them forcing them to vibrate. • You can feel this vibration when saying sounds that you can hold or draw out such as: • /zzzzzzzzzzzz/ now say /sssssssssssss/ • You should notice tha tyour mouth stays roughly in the same shape, but the buzzing switches off for the /s/ sequence
  4. 4. Place • The flow of air from lungs to outside the body follows the pathway known as the vocal tract • Along the tract the air passes over, through and below various places which can manipulate the sound qualities. • The different places are represented on the picture:
  5. 5. Places in the vocal tract
  6. 6. Stops or plosives Non-continuant sounds 3 phases blocking the air at point in the mouth holding the air for ‘a beat’ to build pressure the release (the audible phase) English has a series of stops that you will recognised from this detail of the IPA chart, /p/ and /b/ /t/ and /d/ and /k/ and /g/
  7. 7. English stops • They constitute the 3 pairs of stops • Within each pair is a voicing contrast. • The left of the pair is always voiceless • Just because English has both pair partners does not mean all languages have both. Polynesian languages for example only have voiceless stops. • Note that the glottal stop has no voiced counterpart – hence is grey shading.
  8. 8. fricatives • Fricatives are similar to stops except for the notion of blockage • Rather than a complete blockage, fricatives produce a narrowing of the vocal tract • Create a noisy frication-y sound • This sounds can be held onto continuously • Can be voiced or voiceless
  9. 9. Nasals • Air released through the nasal cavity • Like stops, there is a complete blockage somewhere in the vocal tract - the oral portion • Like fricatives in that there is continuous flow through the nasal cavity • Usually voiced but some languages have voiceless nasals

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