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Consonants and vowels John Goldsmith

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  • Consonants and vowelsJohn Goldsmith

  • Kinds of phoneticsTranscribing: descriptive phonetics? transcriptional phonetics? No standard name.Articulatory phoneticsAcoustic phoneticsPerceptual phonetics (Psychology)Computational phonetics (CS)

  • Articulatory apparatus

  • Some (not so happy) assumptions generally made to do transcriptionsThere 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 thats it: there is no packing of them into groups.

  • Sounds of EnglishConsonants: first, the stops:b as in bat, sob, cubbyd as in date, hid, adog as in gas, lag, raggedp as in pet, tap, repeatt as in tap, pet, attackk 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: fricativesf as in fail, lifev as in veil, live as in thin, wrath as in this, bathes as in soft, missz as in zoo, as (American) or (IPA) as in shame, mash (American) or (IPA)as in triage, garage, azure, h as in help, vehicular

  • affricates (American) or t (IPA) as in cheap, hatch (American) or (IPA) as in jump, hedge

  • nasal consonantsm as in map, himn as in knot, tin (alveolar POA) as in canyon as in sing, gingham, dinghy

  • Liquidsl as in large, gullr as in red, jar

  • glides and semi-consonantsy (American) or j (IPA) as in boy, yelloww as in wall, cow

  • 6 stops2 affricates9 fricatives4 nasals2 liquids2 glides

  • Short vowelsFront: I as in bit as in bet as in batBackas in put as in putt as in boughta or as in Mott, ma, spot schwa as in about

  • Long vowelsiyor i as in beeteyor ej as in baitay as in biteoy as in boyuw or u as in bootow as in boataw as how

  • Review where weve beenWeve 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 languages 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 dont 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.

  • SymbolsWe 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:

  • Sonority hierarchyVowelsGlidesLiquidsNasalsObstruents: FricativesAffricatesStops

  • ConsonantsConsonants = obstruents + sonorantsObstruents: (oral) stops, affricates, and fricativesSonorants: nasals and liquids (l,r)

  • Consonants have a point of articulationThe crucial points of articulation for English consonants are:LabialLabio-dentalDentalAlveolar: at the alveolar ridge, behind the teethPost-alveolar/palato-alveolar/alveopalatal: multiple names for the same thingRetroflex (r only)Palatal (y, )VelarLaryngeal

  • Obstruents:6 stops9 fricatives2 affricatesNasals (4)2 other sonorants (what are they?)2 glides

  • VowelsVowels are harder to characterize articulatorily, but we try!The fact that its harder is reflected in the fact that there is more than one way in which its done. IPA is one way; American is another.

  • IPA

  • Two systems side by side

  • A phonetic chart based on the first two formants

  • From:

  • /i/ green/ae/ hat/u/ bootgraphics thanks to Kevin Russell, Univ of Manitoba

  • Hi /haj/we were away a year agoFORMANTS