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Cardinal Vowels

Cardinal Vowels

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Cardinal Vowels

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  1. Cardinal Vowels September 27, 2013

  2. Future Plans, Re-revised • Transcription homeworks are due! • Today we’ll talk about Cardinal Vowels, and maybe Place of Articulation, too. • Transcription exercise on Place of Articulation will be assigned for next Friday. • Production Exercise #1: Say your name backwards. • Due Wednesday, October 2nd. • Any questions so far?

  3. Vowel Review • Vowel articulations can be characterized along four dimensions: • Height (of tongue body) • high, mid, low • Front-back (of tongue body) • front, central, back • Roundedness (of lips) • rounded vs. unrounded • “Tenseness” • tense/lax

  4. The Vowel Space

  5. Other Vowel Features • Rounding: • are pronounced with rounded lips • the other English vowels are not • “Tenseness” • a “tense” vowel is closer to the edge of the vowel space • a “lax” vowel is closer to the center • Ex: [i] is tense, is not. • Tense/lax distinctions: • found predominately in Germanic languages • are very hard for non-native speakers of English to hear

  6. Tense vs. Lax • There are five lax vowels that can be stressed in English. • TenseLax • heed hid hayed head who’d hood hod hud hoed [hoʊd] had • These lax vowels do not appear at the end of a syllable. • They also often have a offglide. • Lastly: they are shorter than their tense counterparts.

  7. The Cardinal Vowels • A set of 8 reference vowels • Brainchild of English Phonetician Daniel Jones • (1881-1967) • “Cardinal Vowels can only be learnt from a teacher who knows how to make them or from a gramophone record or tape record.”

  8. Lineage • Henry Sweet taught phonetics to Daniel Jones. • Daniel Jones taught David Abercrombie. • David Abercrombie taught Peter Ladefoged. • Peter Ladefoged taught Sarah Dart. • Sarah Dart taught me. • I am teaching you.

  9. The Cardinal Vowels • So let’s learn about the Cardinal Vowels. • Two “anchor” vowels: • [i] - Cardinal Vowel 1 - highest, frontest vowel possible • - Cardinal Vowel 5 - lowest, backest vowel possible • Remaining vowels are spaced at equal intervals of frontness and height between the anchor vowels. • Note: [u] - Cardinal Vowel 8 - may serve as a third anchor as the highest, backest, roundest vowel possible

  10. Cardinal Vowel Diagram o

  11. Secondary Cardinal Vowels

  12. Origins? • Why are the primary Cardinal Vowels primary and not secondary? • Possible influence of late 19th/early 20th century French vowel system: 1. [i] lit [li] ‘bed’ 8. [u] loup [lu] ‘wolf’ 2. [e] les [le] ‘the’ 7. [o] lot [lo] ‘lot, share’ 3. lait ‘milk’ 6. loque ‘rag’ 4. [a] la [la] ‘the’ 5. lache ‘loose’ • French phonetician Paul Passy was President of the IPA when it adopted the Cardinal Vowel system for vowel classification.

  13. Caveats and Addenda • The Cardinal Vowels are not the vowels of any language; they are reference vowels. • There were also two “central” Cardinal Vowels: and • 17 - “barred i” • 18 - “barred u” • Central vowels only appear in unstressed syllables in English. • ‘about’ • ‘roses’ • Also: New Zealand and Scottish English

  14. Parting Shots • The Cardinal Vowels were based on an articulatory-based, three-dimensional characterization of vowels: • Height (high, mid, low) • Front/central/backness • Roundedness Ex: [i] is a high, front, unrounded vowel is a low-mid, back, rounded vowel • With the invention of the sound spectrograph in World War II… • an acoustic/auditory understanding of vowel distinctions superseded the old articulatory characterization.

  15. Place of Articulation September 27, 2013

  16. Moving On • Hitherto: rapidly running through the vocal tract • for English only • From here on out: • go back through the whole process in slow motion • building up our understanding of how speech sounds are made in the process… • for all the languages of the world. • Goal: get from what we know about articulation to acoustics • i.e., how speech sounds are transmitted through the air

  17. Just So You Know • This (and most future lectures) will include sound samples from many different languages from around the world. • Sound files may be found at: • http://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/index/sounds.html • http://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/course/contents.html • And also on the Course in Phonetics CD

  18. Back to the Big Picture • Through combinatorics… • languages can make a large number of distinctions out of a small number of articulatory dimensions • However--consider the gaps in the IPA chart • Not all combinations of gestures are possible • Not all combinations of gestures are likely • Why? • The dimensions interact • They’re based on physical realities • i.e., they are not abstract

  19. Another Perspective • Note: all speech sounds involve the flow of air. • Articulation and acoustics are linked through aerodynamics • = the study of the flow of air (in speech sounds) • Aerodynamics can also limit the combinatorial possibilities of speech.

  20. An Aerodynamic Exception • Stops • Stop the flow of air through the articulatory tract • How is this done? • By making an airtight seal between articulators • Are there some places in the articulatory tract where this is easier than others? • Try the tongue experiment. • An easy place: between the lips • A difficult (impossible?) place: between the teeth and lips

  21. IPA Chart:Stops • You are already familiar with Bilabial, Alveolar, Velar • = the 3 most common places of articulation for stops • UPSID Database (in Maddieson’s Patterns of Sounds, 1984) • surveys 317 languages • 314 have bilabial stops (Wichita, Hupa, Aleut) • 316 have alveolar/dental stops (Hawaiian) • 315 have velar stops (Hupa, Kirghiz)

  22. Bilabials-Alveolars-Velars

  23. Palatals

  24. Palatal Stops • Peter says: • 59 languages in UPSID database have palatal stops • Palatals vs. Velars in Ngwo (spoken in Cameroon)

  25. Also: Palatal Nasals • symbol: • not to be confused with the velar nasal: • PL: • Examples from Hungarian 