Weve 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
1. 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.
We 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
8 Sonority hierarchy
Consonants obstruents sonorants
Obstruents (oral) stops affricates and fricatives
Sonorants nasals and liquids (lr)
10 Consonants have a point of articulation
The crucial points of articulation for English consonants are
Retroflex (r only)
Palatal (y ñ)
4 other sonorants (what are they)
12 (No Transcript) 13 Vowels
Vowels 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.
14 IPA 15 Two systems side by side 16 A phonetic chart based on the first two formants 17 From http//hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/m usic/vocres.html 18 /i/ green /ae/ hat /u/ boot graphics thanks to Kevin Russell Univ of Manitoba 19 Hi /haj/ FORMANTS we were away a year ago
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