Chapter 2 Speech Sounds
Introduction • Speech and writing are two media for language. • Speech is prior to writing, so speech is more basic than writing. • Speech sounds: the limited range of sounds which are produced by humans, meaningful in human communication and which linguists are only concerned with.
As human beings we are capable of making all kinds of sounds, but only some of these sounds have become units in the language system. • We can analyze speech sounds from various perspectives and the two major areas of study are phonetics and phonology.
Pronounce the two words speak and stop, trying to find the difference in the manner of pronouncing /p/.
Phonetics studies how speech sounds are produced, transmitted, and perceived. Speaker--------------Air-------------Hearer
Thus, phonetics can be classified into: • Articulatory Phonetics: the study of the production of speech sounds. • Acoustic Phonetics: the study of the physical properties of speech sounds. • Perceptual/Auditory Phonetics: the perception of speech sounds.
How speech sounds are made Speech/Vocal Organs
When the vocal folds are apart, the air can pass through easily and the sound produced is said to be VOICELESS. Consonants [p, s, t] are produced in this way. • When the vocal folds are closed together, the airstream causes them to vibrate against each other and the resultant is said to be VOICED. Consonants [b, z, d] are voiced consonants. • When the vocal folds are totally closed, no air can pass between them. The result of this gesture is the glottal stop [ ].
The IPA • International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), a widely used standardized and internationally accepted system of phonetic transcription. The basic principle of the IPA is using one letter selected from major European languages to represent a sound.
The IPA • In 1886, the Phonetic Teachers’ Association was inaugurated by a small group of language teachers in France who had found the practice of phonetics useful in their teaching and wished to popularize their methods. • It was changed to its present title of the International Phonetic Association (IPA) in 1897.
The IPA • One of the first activities of the Association was to produce a journal in which the contents were printed entirely in phonetic transcription. • The idea of establishing a phonetic alphabet was first proposed by the Danish grammarian and phonetician Otto Jespersen (1860-1943) in 1886. • the first version of the International Phonetic Alphabet (the IPA chart) was published in August 1888.
The IPA • IPA provides it users with another set of symbols called diacritics. • The DIACRITICS are additional symbols or marks used together with the consonants and vowels symbols to indicate nuances of changes in pronunciation.
The IPA • Its main principles were that there should be a separate letter for each distinctive sound, and that the same symbol should be used for that sound in any language in which it appears. • The alphabet was to consist of as many Roman alphabet letters as possible, using new letters and diacritics only when absolutely necessary. • These principles continue to be followed today.
Consonants and vowels • Consonants are produced ‘by a closure in the vocal tract, or by a narrowing which is so marked that air cannot escape without producing audible friction’. • By contrast, a vowel is produced without such ‘stricture’ so that ‘air escapes in a relatively unimpeded way through the mouth or nose’.
Consonants and vowels • The distinction between vowels and consonants lies in the obstruction of airstream. • As there is no obstruction of air in the production of vowels, the description of the consonants and vowels cannot be done along the same lines.
Consonants • The category of consonants at least two articulators are involved. • For example, the initial sound in bad involves both lips and its final segment involves the blade (or the tip) of the tongue and the alveolar ridge.
The categories of consonant are established on the basis of two most important factors: (a) The actual relationship between the articulators and thus the way in which the air passes through certain parts of the vocal tract --- the Manner of Articulation. (b) Where in the vocal tract there is approximation, narrowing, or the obstruction of air --- the Place of Articulation.
Consonants • The manner of articulation refers to ways in which articulation can be accomplished: • the articulators may close off the oral tract for an instant or a relatively long period; • they may narrow the space considerably; or • they may simply modify the shape of the tract by approaching each other.
In terms of manner of articulation • Stops (塞音) : air stream first obstructed and then released, [p] [b], [t] [d], and [k] [g] • Fricatives(擦音): partial obstruction and local friction, • Affricates(塞擦音): first complete obstruction, then frication with partial obstruction, • Liquids(流音): airflow first obstructed then allowed to escape between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, • Nasals(鼻音): air allowed to pass the nose, • Glides(滑音): very narrow passage between the lips and causing slight noise from the local obstruction,
Consonants • The place of articulation refers to the point where a consonant is made. • Practically consonants may be produced at any place between the lips and the vocal folds. • Eleven places of articulation are distinguished on the IPA chart.
In terms of place of articulation • Bilabial(双唇音): lips brought together to cause obstruction, [p] [b] [m] [w] • Labiodental(唇齿音): the lower lip is brought into contact with the upper teeth, [f] [v] • Dental(齿音): between the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth, • Alveolar(齿龈音): the tip of the tongue is brought into contact with the upper teeth-ridge, [t] [d] [s] [z] [n] [l] [r] • Palatal(上腭音): obstruction between the back of the tongue and the hard palate, • Velar(软腭音): back of tongue brought into contact with the soft palate, • Glottal(喉音): vocal cords are brought together, [h]
Vowels • Cardinal Vowels, as exhibited by the vowel diagram in the IPA chart, are a set of vowel qualities arbitrarily defined, fixed and unchanging, intended to provide a frame of reference for the description of the actual vowels of existing languages.
Jones: An Outline of English Phonetics (1918) Black: IPA Red: English
The problematic area is that the initial sound in hot gives little turbulence, depending on how forcefully it is said, and in yet and wet the initial segments are obviously vowels. • To get out of this problem, the usual solution is to say that these segments are neither vowels nor consonants but midway between the two categories. For this purpose, the term ‘semi-vowel’ is often used.
Languages also frequently make use of a distinction between vowels where the quality remains constant throughout the articulation and those where there is an audible change of quality. • The former are known as pure or monophthong vowels and the latter, vowel glides.
If a single movement of the tongue is involved, the glides are called diphthongs. • Diphthongal glides in English can be heard in such words as way [wei], tide [taid], how , toy , and toe .
A double movement produces a triphthong, which is ‘a glide from one vowel to another and then to a third, all produced rapidly and without interruption’. • They are really diphthongs followed by the schwa , found in English words like wire and tower .
Thus • The consonants of English can be described in the following manner: • [p] voiceless bilabial stop • [b] voiced bilabial stop • [s] voiceless alveolar fricative • [z] voiced alveolar fricative
The description of English vowels needs to fulfill four basic requirements: • the height of tongue raising (high, mid, low); • the position of the highest part of the tongue (front, central, back); • the length or tenseness of the vowel (tense vs. lax or long vs. short), and • lip-rounding (rounded vs. unrounded).
Thus • The following English vowels can be described in this way: • [i:] high front tense unrounded vowel • [u] high back lax rounded vowel • mid central lax unrounded vowel • low back lax rounded vowel
Which of the following will be possible English words, though they are not real English. mbood,sleak, coofp, sproke, worpz, frall, ktleem, fluke, bsarn
What is different when the sentences are reading in two different intonations? • 1) ---Mary! ① ---Yes. ↘ ② ---Yes? ↗ • 2) Thanks a lot. ① ↗② ↘ • Then think over when to use falling tone, rising, falling-rising, rising-falling?
From phonetics to phonology • Speech is a continuous process, so the vocal organs do not move from one sound segment to the next in a series of separate steps. Rather, sounds continually show the influence of their neighbors. • For example, map, lamb.