Lecture_2_Intro_Speech_Sounds

Lecture_2_Intro_Speech_Sounds - TSL 3378 Introduction to...

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TSL 3378 Introduction to American English Speech Sounds
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Introduction Phonetics is the systematic study of human speech sounds . It provides means of describing and classifying all the sounds that can be produced by human vocal tract that are used in pronouncing words in the world’s languages What are speech sounds? Ex: “cat” – How many? 2
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How Many Sounds? Orthography # letters # sounds “bread” 5 “coughs” 6 “throw” 5 “news” 4 “plot” 4 “strengths” 9 “fluid” 5 “spew” 4 “fat” 3 “tomb” 4 3
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Speech Sounds How do we describe/classify speech sounds? We can refer to their articulatory, acoustic and perceptual characteristics To understand these terms, consider how speech sounds are produced by talkers are heard by listeners 4
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From Talkers to Listeners 1. Postures and movements of speech organs. organs, their postures, and their movements constitute some articulatory characteristics 2. Aerodynamics, or the dilation, compression, and flow of air in and through the vocal tract. airflow patterns are a result of articulatory characteristics with consequences for acoustic characteristics 5
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From Talkers to Listeners 3. Propagation of sound-waves from speaker’s vocal tract through a medium (air). 4. Reception of sound-waves by peripheral auditory stimulation and transmission of inbound neural impulses. 5. Identification of incoming signals as specific speech- sounds that are relevant to the language. What is linguistic relevance ? 6
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Speech Sounds Linguistically relevant characteristics Ex: “bit” vs. “spit” vs. “pit” The minimal set of speech sounds that differentiate all of the words in a language are termed the phonemes of a language Domain of Phonology 7
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Speech Sounds Phonetic descriptions can also refer to systematic characteristics of speech sounds that are still not used to differentiate words Ex: “pit” “pat” “appease” vs. “spit” “tip” Systematic (rule-governed), noncontrastive characteristics are examples of allophonic variation in a language 8
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Phonemes vs. Allophones Phonemes: Minimal set of speech sounds to differentiate words Allophones: Variants of phonemes that appear consistently in particular contexts Position within a word Before/after a particular consonant or vowel Word stress 9
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Phonetics Speech sounds in a language are described using a common set of articulatory characteristics Speech sounds in a language are represented
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