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Consonants

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What’s a consonant? A speech sound produced with air stream impeded, constricted, diverted, or obstructed

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Consonants

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. 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 ”)
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. 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 .
  6. 6. <ul><li>1. Stops in English </li></ul><ul><li>Voiced:  </li></ul><ul><li> Unvoiced:  (    is a bit of an odd bird – later) </li></ul><ul><li>Notes on Stop Consonants (Plosives) </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>What problems might speakers with cleft palate have in producing stops? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Summary of IPA Consonant Symbols </li></ul><ul><li>(excluding the obvious ones – b,d,g,p,t,k,l,w,r, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>[  th in </li></ul><ul><li>  th en </li></ul><ul><li>  y ellow (not the sound association typical for the letter ‘j’ – in English ) </li></ul><ul><li> /  sh oe (either symbol may be used for this sound;  preferred here) </li></ul><ul><li> /  mea s ure (ditto – but learn both because you’ll see both) </li></ul><ul><li> uh - oh / bu tt on </li></ul><ul><li> /  ch ur ch (symbols interchangeable;  preferred here; learn both) </li></ul><ul><li> /  j ud g e (ditto –  preferred here; learn both) </li></ul><ul><li> wh ich / wh ether (for those speakers who distinguish which/witch) </li></ul><ul><li> si ng </li></ul><ul><li> bu tt er </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>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: </li></ul><ul><li>no notion vs. known ocean  </li></ul><ul><li> vs.  </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Glottal stops also appear as an allophone of /t/: </li></ul><ul><li>button [  </li></ul><ul><li>  kitten [  </li></ul><ul><li> cotton  </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The line beneath the phonetic symbol (  ) means syllabic consonant – the consonant forms a syllable all by itself. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. Voice Onset Time (VOT) voicing onset release     Very short delay between release and voicing onset (~10 ms) VOT ~10 msec VOT ~85 msec
  13. 13.  (unaspirated [p]) With [s] edited out
  14. 14. pack    capping     (aspirated [p])  (lightly aspirated [p]) /p/ precedes stressed vowel (aspirated) /p/ precedes unstressed vowel (unaspirated or lightly aspirated)
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. <ul><li>FRICATIVES </li></ul><ul><li>WEAK (not very loud) STRONG ( comparatively loud) </li></ul><ul><li>Slit Fricatives Groove Fricatives </li></ul><ul><li>[  </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(constriction shape for (constriction shape </li></ul><ul><li>for weak fricatives) for strong fricatives) </li></ul><ul><li>Long flat constriction = More circular constriction </li></ul><ul><li>Inefficient noise generator Efficient noise generator </li></ul><ul><li>(noise is weak) (noise is strong) </li></ul>
  17. 17.  -  : 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)
  18. 18. <ul><li> -  : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Place = Linguadental (tongue-teeth) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flat constriction (slit fricatives); flat (rather than round or grooved) constrictions produce a weak noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No resonator in front of the constriction; like [f] and [v], spectrum has a pretty flat shape (no well-defined resonant peaks) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Place is always listed as linguadental, but for  in particular the tongue is often behind the top teeth; i.e.,  is more often dental than linguadental/interdental </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li> -  : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Place = alveolar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Round-ish, grooved constriction; these produce a strong noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short resonator in front of the constriction formed by the lips; spectrum has a strong high-frequency formant peak. Why high freq? Short tubes have high-freq resonances. </li></ul></ul> :  : Spectrogram for [z] (not shown) is very similar, except that voicing (a glottal buzz) will be mixed in with the noise, just like  and  . spectrum during [s] noise (hi freq peak)
  20. 20. <ul><li> -  (also  ; small wedge over  /  = hacek ): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Place = Alveopalatal/Palatoalveolar/Prepalatal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Round-ish, grooved constriction; these produce a strong noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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  . </li></ul></ul> :  : More low freq energy for  than  Same deal for  and  .
  21. 21. <ul><li> : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Place = Glottal (whisper) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tongue, lips & jaw don’t have anything in particular to do in the production of [h] since it is a glottal articulation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since the vocal tract can do whatever it pleases during [h], the tongue, lips & jaw will take the position of the following vowel. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[h], then, is simply a whispered vowel: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>he  :  = whispered  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who  :  = whispered  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hoe  :  = whispered  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> . . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> . . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> . . </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li> : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voiced glottal fricative, which may seem impossible. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When /h/ occurs between two vowels, as in: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>behind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>behold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ahoy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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  </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. hoy  ahoy  spectrum during  – no harmonics spectrum during    – note the harmonics  
  24. 24. <ul><li>3. Nasals </li></ul><ul><li>Vocal tract is closed (at the lips, alveolar ridge, or velum); velum is lowered; acoustic energy flows through the nose rather than mouth. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> : bilabial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> : alveolar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> : velar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> : Symbol called “engma” or “long n” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> can end words ( sing  ; lung  , bang  , etc.) or appear in the middles of words ( singer  , sinker  ), but  cannot begin words. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. 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   
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. 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 
  28. 28. 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.
  29. 29.  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.
  30. 30. 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.
  31. 31. 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 

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