consonants and vowels umar bashir shad
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DESCRIPTIONUmar Bashir Shad
Consonants and vowels
Kinds of phonetics
• Transcribing: descriptive phonetics? transcriptional phonetics? No standard name.
• Articulatory phonetics• Acoustic phonetics• Perceptual phonetics (Psychology)• Computational phonetics (CS)
Some (not so happy) assumptions generally made to
do transcriptions• There is a (1-dimensional) sequence of units
that define or characterize the utterance – rather than 2 or more parallel streams. We think of the articulators as being a single instrument rather than as an orchestra.
• We can slice the utterances into pieces vertically, in time, and ignore most differences in duration.
• Sounds follow one another, and that’s it: there is no packing of them into groups.
Sounds of English
Consonants: first, the stops:• b as in bat, sob, cubby• d as in date, hid, ado• g as in gas, lag, ragged• p as in pet, tap, repeat• t as in tap, pet, attack• k as in king, pick, picking
When we need to emphasizethat we are using a phonetic transcription, we put squarebrackets [b] around the symbols.
More consonants: fricatives
• f as in fail, life• v as in veil, live• Ɵ as in thin, wrath• ð as in this, bathe• s as in soft, miss• z as in zoo, as• š (American) or ʃ (IPA) as in shame, mash• ž (American) or ǯ (IPA)as in triage, garage,
azure, • h as in help, vehicular
• č (American) or tʃ (IPA) as in cheap, hatch
• ǰ (American) or ʤ (IPA) as in jump, hedge
• m as in map, him• n as in knot, tin (alveolar POA)• ñ as in canyon • ŋ as in sing, gingham, dinghy
• l as in large, gull• r as in red, jar
glides and semi-consonants
• y (American) or j (IPA) as in boy, yellow
• w as in wall, cow
Sub-Classification of Consonants
• 6 stops• 2 affricates• 9 fricatives• 4 nasals• 2 liquids• 2 glides
Front: I as in bitƐ as in betæ as in batBack
as in putʌ as in putt as in boughta or ɑ as in Mott,
ǝ “schwa” as in about
• iy or i as in beet• ey or ej as in bait• ay as in bite• oy as in boy• uw or u as in boot• ow as in boat• aw as how
Review where we’ve been
• We’ve listened to the sounds of “our” English, and assigned a set of symbols to them.
• We abstracted away from pitch, loudness, and duration.
• We hope to better understanding our language’s sounds by analyzing them as being composed of a sequence of identifiable sounds, each of which occurs frequently in words of the language.
• Frequently? If a sound occurs in just 2 or 3 words, we don’t take it seriously (glottal stop, velar fricative)
• We do this against the background knowledge that the inventory of sounds in English is not necessary as human languages go: they are what they are against a much wider backdrop of possible linguistic sounds.
• We also attempt to physically characterize these sounds: acoustically and articulatorily. Consonants are easier to characterize articulatorily, vowels acoustically.
• We are particularly interested in those ways in which the English of Speaker 1 is different from the English of Speaker 2: again, working against the background knowledge of variation.
• We also characterize differences of sounds across sound contexts: we say, notice the different sound that occurs in front of a voiceless consonant in height.
• Looking ahead to phonology, we will attempt to get a handle on variation in sounds in two ways:– Two sounds are similar if (roughly) we can
characterize one of them as a variant of the other used in a particular context (“under the influence of that context,” so to speak)
– Two sounds are distinct (hence, different) if two distinct words differ only with regard to these two sounds, in otherwise identical positions
• We try to characterize the inventory of sounds in a language, knowing that that language chose one set of sounds when a vast range of other possibilities might have been chosen.
• We assign symbols to these sounds; in addition, we want to characterize them as best we can articulatorily and acoustically.
Sounds can be divided into two major groups, consonants and vowels; or set along a continuum known as the sonority hierarchy:
• Obstruents: – Fricatives– Affricates– Stops
• Consonants = obstruents + sonorants– Obstruents: (oral) stops, affricates, and
fricatives– Sonorants: nasals and liquids (l,r)
Consonants have a point of articulation
The crucial points of articulation for English consonants are:
• Labial• Labio-dental• Dental• Alveolar: at the alveolar ridge, behind the teeth• Post-alveolar/palato-alveolar/alveopalatal:
multiple names for the same thing• Retroflex (r only)• Palatal (y, ñ)• Velar• Laryngeal
• 6 stops
• 9 fricatives
• 2 affricates
• Nasals (4)
• 2 other sonorants (what are they?)
• 2 glides
• Vowels are harder to characterize articulatorily, but we try!
• The fact that it’s harder is reflected in the fact that there is more than one way in which it’s done. IPA is one way; American is another.
Two systems side by side
A phonetic chart based on the first two formants
graphics thanks to Kevin Russell, Univ of Manitoba
we were away a year ago FORMANTS