lecture-1.2 - Lecture notes: 1.2 June 23, 2009 1 An...

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Unformatted text preview: Lecture notes: 1.2 June 23, 2009 1 An introduction to phonetics Q: What do speakers of a language know about the sounds of their language? (At least) two things: (1) a. How to produce the sounds of their language. b. How to interpret them, i.e. how to associate a sound wave with the letters of their alphabet. Of course they also know how to go from those letters to words and eventually to thoughts that have some meaningful connection with the real world. Well get to that later in the class, but before we get there, were going to learn in some depth about the sounds of the language. What is phonetics? Phonetics is the study of sounds as articulated and perceived in human speech. We can divide it into articulatory and acoustic phonetics. Articulatory phonetics : How are the sounds produced? Describe differences by different modes of production. Acoustic phonetics : What are the sounds like as sound waves? Describe differences by different properties of corresponding sound waves. Further parts of phonetics: perceptual, auditive. Concrete skills imparted by studying basic phonetics: The ability to translate between articulatory description of speech sounds. Ponun- ciation / perception of speech sounds transcription (IPA) of speech sounds. 1 Higher level skills: Understanding the physiological and aerodynamic aspects of speech sounds, and their consequences for the behavior and distribution of sounds in languages, e.g.: Sound inventories of languages: Why are some sounds rare, others common? Historical change: Why do some sounds change into some particular other sounds? And why is change often only in one direction? E.g., p > f is frequent, f > p is virtually unheard of. Patterning of sounds: Why do certain groups of sounds often pattern together, but other groups never? Etc. Benefits: Practical help with languages we study. Applications in many fields: (2) Speech pathology ESL Computing Singing, acting, theater, etc. Appreciation of: Cross-linguistic phonetic diversity Physical bases of speech phenomena. Bigger perspective on attitudes about English and English dialects. 2 What is sound? Every sound in human speech has a dual nature. Sounds exist in two ways: 2 (3) a. Articulation: a gesture (or set of gestures) made inside the mouth (and lungs), to create a particular sound pattern. b. Acoustics: a sound wave that (typically) travels from mouth to ear through the air. We can get either one without the other making sounds silently, or simulating human speech without a human mouth involved. We can try each of these: Say acre. Now make the gestures without the sound. Theres articulation without speech. Were also familiar with speech coming from sources other than the human mouth....
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lecture-1.2 - Lecture notes: 1.2 June 23, 2009 1 An...

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