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LINGUISTICS 1: PHONETICS OF ENGLISH SUMMARY WEEK 1-8 Peter Hofstee 2010

1. Phonemes and allophones 2. Transcription 3. The production of speech 4. Phonation 5. Describing consonants 6. Describing vowels

1. PHONEMES AND ALLOPHONES (Chs. 2 & 9) Consonants and vowels of English


Fortis p pipe t k f s tight cake church fe thirteenth sauce shortish Lenis b d g v z bob died gag judge verve they breathe zoos pleasure Checked KIT e
DRESS TRAP LOT FOOT STRUT (stressed)

Free steady-state i FLEECE u


PALM THOUGHT GOOSE NURSE

bonUs (unstressed)

h m n

hitch-hike mime noon banking

l r w j

legal rural wigwam yoyo

Free diphthongs e FACE a


PRICE CHOICE GOAT

MOUTH NEAR CURE SQUARE

A glossary of technical terms is to be found in PED on pages 326-341. A phoneme is a member of a set of abstract units which together form the sound system of a given language and through which contrasts of meaning are produced, i.e. when we substitute one phoneme for another, we get a different word. The allophones of a phoneme are the actual sounds that you hear and produce (what you do), phonemes are abstract units. Each phoneme shows allophonic variation (i.e. there will be a number of variant sounds). The most frequent realisation of a phoneme is termed the phonemic norm. Note that phonemes (phonemic transcription) are placed between slant brackets //, allophones (phonetic transcription) are placed between square brackets [ ]. Consonants fall into two groups: fortis (strong, energetic articulation) and lenis (weak and less energetic articulation). Vowels fall into three groups: 1. Checked vowels; 2. Free steady-state vowels; 3. Free diphthongs. 1. Checked vowels are shorter, and not found at the end of a word-nal stressed syllable. 2. Free vowels are longer than checked vowels, and may occur in any context. Subdivided into two types: a. Steady-state vowels: consisting of a single sound; represented by a symbol followed by a length mark. b. Free vowels which include a movement from one vowel sound to another are termed diphthongs. When we count syllables (as phonological units), we usually count the vowels in a word. In Dutch, the syllable consists of an essential element at the centre termed the (syllable) nucleus, normally formed by vowels. However, in English there are different restrictions on the possible consonant clusters (i.e. combination of consonants) to be found at the beginning or end of the syllable. Certain consonants are capable of acting as the nuclear elements of syllables: these are termed syllabic consonants, and marked by the diacritic [ ] beneath the symbol.
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Allophones have phonetic similarity, i.e. they are usually articulated by the speech organs in similar ways. Allophones are complements of each other; where one occurs, the other cannot. This is termed complementary distribution. But, in many cases, the allophones are said to be in free variation, meaning that the occurrence of one realisation or another appears to be a matter of chance. Nativespeaker intuition must be regarded as the most decisive factor of all in determining the allocation of allophones to phonemic categories. Phoneme neutralisation: In certain contexts, it may not be possible to allocate an allophone to one phoneme category rather than another. The phonetic opposition is thus realised: e.g. the plosive following /s/ in spy could be regarded as either /p/ or /b/, as its realisation shares features of both phonemes. 2. TRANSCRIPTION (Ch. 3) Theres phonetic transcription and phonemic transcription. Phonemic transcription represents the phonemes, whereas phonetic transcription can indicate every minor articulatory detail. There are two types of phonetic transcription: broad (showing only small proportion of allophonic variation) and narrow. Words that are most likely to be stressed are lexical words: nouns, adjectives, adverbs and main verbs. Grammatical words are unlikely to be stressed. See pp. 21-22 for examples of strong, weak, and contracted forms. As a rule of thumb, you can remember: you cant have too many weak forms in RP. 3. THE PRODUCTION OF SPEECH (Ch. 4) 1. The respiratory system consists of the lungs and the bronchial tubes. The air that is pushed out of the lungs is termed a pulmonic egressive airstream. 2. The phonatory system: The bronchial tubes lead to the trachea (windpipe), at the top of the trachea is the larynx, which contains the vocal folds. The space between the vocal folds is termed the glottis. The vocal folds produce voice, a buzz present in most consonant sounds. The function of the larynx as a vibrating source is termed phonation. 3. The articulatory system is formed by the area above the glottis is known as the (supraglottal) vocal tract, which consists of three cavities: the pharyngeal cavity (throat), the oral cavity (mouth) and the nasal cavity (nose). These cavities act as resonators, modifying the buzz produced by the vocal folds. For nasal sounds, the soft palate is lowered, allowing air to escape through the nose. Inside the oral cavity we nd the following articulators: 1. LIPS (labial, bilabial). In the production of vowels, the lips may be spread, neutral, or rounded. This may take a form of open rounding or close rounding. 2. TEETH. Articulations made with the teeth are termed dental (e.g. // and //.) The lips can articulate against the teeth for labio-dental sounds (like E /f/ and /v/). 3. ALVEOLAR RIDGE. Sounds involving the alveolar ridge (such as /t, d, n, s, z, l/) are termed alveolar. 4. HARD PALATE. Articulations involving the tongue and hard palate are termed palatal. For D /sj/, a large portion of the tongue rises to articulate with the front of the palate and the rear of the alveolar ridge, termed alveolo-palatal. E /, , , / are produced by the tongue rising towards the alveolar ridge and the foremost part of the hard palate, and are termed palato-alveolar. 5. SOFT PALATE, also called velum. This gives us two terms: velic and velar: a. Velic closure: the soft palate forms a closure against the pharynx wall, blocking off the nasal cavity. This is a part of the articulation of all non-nasal sounds. b. Velar closure: the tongue articulates against the velum, a closure used for [k, g, ]. Consequently, the articulations for [k, g] have a velic nd a velar closure; [] has a velar closure, but since it is nasal, it has no velic closure. 6. UVULA, located at the back of the velum. Its possible to make it vibrate: a uvular trill [R]. 7. TONGUE. The whole upper surface is termed dorsum.
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Articulatory system and places of articulation: (See also p. 5)

4. PHONATION (Chs. 6 & 10) Homophones are words that are spelt differently, but pronounced in the same way. Vowel length is the indicator of the fortis/lenis contrast in syllable-nal position. Vowels are shortened before fortis consonants but maintain full length before lenis consonants. In nal position, fortis stops /p, t, k, / are often reinforced by a preceding glottal stop. This effect is termed pre-glottalisation (or glottal reinforcement). This is indicated by []. Initially in a stressed syllable, the fortis plosives /p, t, k/ are strongly aspirated: theres a brief period of voicelessness following the plosive. This is indicated by [h]. At the beginning of a syllable, if preceded by silence or a voiceless sound, voicing does not begin until some way into the articulation (termed initial devoicing). In syllable-nal position, before a consonant or pause, lenis consonants lose voicing early in the articulation (termed nal devoicing). Voice is indicated by by a wavy line, voice is indicated by two parallel lines =. The diacritic for voiceless or partially devoiced is []. Nasals, laterals and approximants to not undergo devoicing.
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There are six larynx settings: voiced, voiceless, glottal stop, creak or creaky voice, whisper, and breathy voice:

5. DESCRIBING CONSONANTS (Chs. 5, 7, 15-18) English consonants manner and place of articulation (When symbols appear in pairs, the fortis consonant precedes the lenis consonant)
Manner: Plosive (stop) Affricate (stop) Nasal Trill Fricative Central Approximants Lateral Approximants w f v m n r s z r l j w h Place: Bilabial p b Labiodental Dental Alveolar t d Palatoalveolar Palatal Velar k g Glottal

The descriptive label for consonant sounds consists of three terms: Energy of articulation, place of articulation and manner of articulation. Place of articulation (see image on p. 3) The active articulator is the term for the organ that moves in the articulation. The passive articulator is the target of the articulation the point towards which the active articulator is directed. When stating the place of articulation, you state the passive articulator. Manner of articulation This is concerned with how the airstream is modied by the articulators. The relationship between the passive and active articulators (and their inuence on the shape of the vocal tract) is termed stricture. The chief stricture possibilities are: 1. Complete closure a. Stops: The soft palate is raised, theres a complete closure which stops the airstream. The air can be released in one of the following ways: 1. The articulators part suddenly, resulting in a burst of noise, termed plosives. 2. The closure is released relatively slowly. Theres a brief period of close approximation, i.e. a narrowing which gives rise to homorganic friction. These sounds are termed affricates. b. Nasals: Also complete closure, but the soft palate/velum is lowered, allowing the air to escape through the nasal cavity. c. Trills and taps: Trills is made by rapid, percussive movements of the active articulator (alveolar trill or tong-r and uvular trill, or huig-r). A single rapid movement of a percussive type is termed a tap. 2. Close approximation (narrowing) Fricatives: The articulators move close to each other, but theres no complete closure. This results in audible friction. 3. Open approximation Central approximants: The articulators merely modify the shape of the mouth, so the airstream can pass without any audible friction.
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4. Partial closure Laterals (approximant): The central part of the tongue forms a closure with the roof of the mouth, but one or both sides remain lowered, so the airstream escapes without friction. However, if the distance between the lowered sides of the tongue and the roof of the mouth is narrow, the result is a lateral fricative. Energy of articulation (the fortis/lenis contrast) Fortis: p, t, k, , f, , s, 1. The articulation is stronger and more energetic. 2. The articulation is voiceless. 3. Syllable-initial plosives have strong aspiration 4. Vowels are shortened before a nal fortis consonants (e.g. bit). 5. Syllable-nal stops often have a reinforcing glottal stop (pre-glottalisation) (e.g. bit me).

Lenis: b, d, g, , v, , z, 1. Articulation is weaker. 2. The articulation may have voice. 3. Plosives are unaspirated. 4. Vowels have full length before a nal lenis consonant (e.g. bid). 5. Syllable nal stops never have pre-glottalisation.

Types of secondary articulation: 1. Labialisation: Addition of lip-rounding to the primary articulation. Diacritic [w] after the symbol. 2. Palatalisation: The front of the tongue is raised towards the hard palate, as in [i] or [j]. Diacritic [j] after the symbol. Example: clear /l/, as used in French and German. 3. Velarisation: The back of the tongue is raised to soft palate (velum). [] after or [~] through the symbol. 4. Pharyngealisation: Root of tongue drawn back to pharynx wall. [] after or [~] through the symbol. 5. Glottalisation: Addition of glottal stop. [] after the symbol. 6. Nasalisation: Addition of resonance of nasal cavity. [~] above symbol. Simultaneous occurrence: More than one secondary articulation is occurring. Double articulation: A speech sound involving in its articulation two strictures of equal rank, e.g. two places of articulation are being used. FRICATIVE CONSONANTS Description and main allophonic variation: - Labio-dental fricatives /f, v/ The lower lip makes light contact with the upper front teeth. /f/ is louder and voiceless (fortis), for /v/ the articulation is weaker and is potentially voiced (lenis). Initial /v/ has slight devoicing, nal /v/ is strongly devoiced, []. - Dental fricatives /, / Both are slit fricatives, lacking the grooving along the mid-line of the tongue, as in alveolar fricatives /s,z/. //: Fortis voiceless dental fricative, e.g. think, path. May be inter-dental (see PED p.141). //: Lenis voiced dental fricative if between voiced sounds (weather). Devoiced if nal before pause or voiceless sounds. - Alveolar fricatives /s, z/ The tip/blade of the tongue rises to the alveolar ridge, whilst the sides of the tongue are held against the upper side teeth therefore these alveolar fricatives are groove types. /s/: Fortis voiceless alveolar fricative. /z/: Lenis voiced alveolar fricative. Full voicing between voiced sounds, initial /z/ may have slight devoicing, and nal /z/ is strongly devoiced. - Palato-alveolar fricatives /, / Articulated with the rims of the tongue raised against the upper side teeth, forming a groove, however, the depression for /, / is much shallower. They also have very strong lip-rounding.

// Occurs only between vowels (in medial positions), except for French loan words. // Can be labialised (Diacritic: [w] after symbol). Glottal fricative /h/ /h/ can be considered a voiceless vowel, the articulators are in the position for the following vowel sound and a strong airstream produces friction both at the glottis and throughout the vocal tract. There are as many allophonic variations of /h/ as there are vowels in English. /h/ Voiceless glottal fricative. Voiced glottal fricative [] between vowels and voiced sounds.

STOP CONSONANTS (Ch.16) The category stop includes plosives and affricates. A stop has three stages: the approach stage: the articulators come together and form a closure (1) The hold stage: air is compressed behind the closure (2). The release stage: the closure is released (3), resulting in equalisation of air pressure, giving rise to plosion. Note: The diagrams are important, see PED pp. 150-159. Also take a look at the images on pp. 160-165. Important factors in the fortis/lenis contrast: - Voicing in stops: In voiceless stops, the hold stage is a brief period of silence. In voiced stops, voicing continues even during the hold stage. If preceded by silence or voiceless sounds, stops have initial devoicing. between vowels and voiced sounds, voicing will continue throughout entire stop. If preceded by silence or voiceless sounds, stops have nal devoicing in hold & release stage, or are sometimes entirely devoiced. - Aspiration: Occurs on /p, t, k/ when they occur in a stressed syllable. Diacritic [h] after symbol. Aspiration is not applied when the fortis plosive is initial in a stressed syllable, and is followed by an approximant /l, r, w, j/. If this occurs, the approximant is devoiced. - Pre-glottalisation: The addition of a reinforcing glottal stop at or before the hold stage. The sequence is: Vocal fold vibration for preceding vowel ceases (1), vocal folds close right before the hold stage of the following plosive (2), vocal folds part and relax (3), and oral closure is inaudibly released (4). The effect is is to cut off sharply the voicing of the preceding vowel. This is an extremely signicant feature of English syllable-nal fortis stops. - Glottal replacement: Sometimes, in the case of /t/, there may be a complete replacement by [] before a consonant of before syllabic //. Types of release and approach: (see PED pp. 154-157) Affricate release, nasal release, lateral release, lateral escape, nasal and lateral approach. Description and main allophonic variation: - Bilabial plosives /p, b/ The airstream is compressed behind a closure formed at the lips and then released with force. /p/ Fortis voiceless bilabial plosive; strongly aspirated [ph] when initial in stressed syllables. /b/ Lenis voiced bilabial plosive [b] if between voiced sounds. Partially devoiced in initial position, and strongly devoiced in nal position. /p,b/ are palatalised [pj, bj] before /j/; labio-dental [p, b] before /f,v/. - Alveolar plosives /t, d/ The closure is formed by the tip/blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge. /t/ Fortis voiceless alveolar plosive; strongly aspirated [th] when initial in stressed syllables. Slight aspiration may occur syllable-nally. Generally pre-glottalised [t] when syllable-nal before consonants. /d/ Lenis voiced alveolar plosive if between voiced sounds; partially devoiced in initial position, strongly devoiced in nal position. /t, d/ may be labialised [tw, dw], especially before /w/. More on p. 162. - Velar plosives /k, g/ The back of the tongue rises to form a closure against the velum. /k/ Fortis voiceless velar plosive; strongly aspirated [kh] when initial in stressed syllables, slight aspiration may occur syllable-nally. Generally pre-glottalised [k] when syllable-nal before consonants.

/g/ Lenis voiced velar plosive if between voiced sounds, partially devoiced in initial position and strongly devoiced in nal position. Labialised [kw, gw], especially before /w/. Palato-alveolar affricates /, / A closure is formed between a large area of the tip, blade and front of the tongue with the alveolar ridge and the front of the hard palate. Compressed airstream behind this closure and released relatively slowly, giving rise to homorganic friction. Strong outer lip-rounding. // Fortis voiceless labialised palato-alveolar affricate. May be pre-glottalised when syllable-nal. // Lenis voiced labialised palato-alveolar affricate, if between voiced sounds. Partially devoiced in initial osition, and strongly devoiced in nal position. p

NASAL AND APPROXIMANT CONSONANTS (Ch.17) - Bilabial, alveolar and velar nasals /m, n, / - Palatal approximant /j/ - Labial-velar approximant /w/ - Post-alveolar approximant /r/ See PED pp. 167-181 if you really want to read more about this. Ch.18 is not included either. 6. DESCRIBING VOWELS (Chs. 8, 11-13) There are six parameters concerning vowel description: 1. Tongue shape Tongue height: - Close vowels: vowels articulated with the upper tongue surface close to the roof of the mouth. - Open vowels: Tongue surface is far away from the roof of the mouth. Which part of the tongue? - Front vowels: Front of the tongue is the highest. As so with back vowels. 2. Lip shape 3. Whether 1 & 2 are constant or undergo change (i.e. monophthong/ diphthong), also called steadiness 4. Position of the soft palate (nasal vowels) 5. Duration (the time taken by an articulation) 6. Larynx setting variation (normal voice, whisper, etc.) Cardinal Vowels: Upper vowel limit: beyond this point, the tongue cannot rise, if it is moved closer it would produce a fricative and not a vowel. Lower vowel limit: Tongue closer to pharynx wall and its a pharyngeal fricative. Primary Cardinal vowels: (p.66/67)

Contoid: A phonetic consonant. A speech sound involving stricture which is sufciently narrow either to block the airstream partially or completely or to produce audible friction. This class therefore includes all manners of articulation apart from approximants and vowels. Vocoid: A phonetic vowel. Speech sounds which involve strictures allowing a free passage of the airstream, i.e. vowels and approximants. Usually has voice. Checked vowels: those which do not occur in word-nal stressed open syllables. Checked vowels are generally shorter than free vowels. They can occur before /ng/ - // Kit vowel: Front-central, close-mid, unrounded, steady-state vowel. Remember: happy-words! - /e/ Dress vowel: Front, above open-mid, unrounded, checked, steady-state vowel. - // Trap vowel: Front, slightly above open, unrounded, checked, steady state vowel. - // Strut vowel: Central-front, below open-mid, unrounded, checked, steady-state vowel. - // Lot vowel: Back, slightly above open, slightly rounded, checked, steady-state vowel. - // Foot vowel: Back-central, close-mid, slightly rounded, checked, steady-state vowel. - // Bonus vowel/schwa: Central, open-mid, unrounded, steady-state vowel. Free vowels: All vowels, except checked vowels. Those which can occur in word-nal stressed open syllables. An open syllable is a syllable which doesnt end in a consonant (e.g. boy). Free steady-state (long) vowels: - /i/ Fleece vowel: Centred from front close, unrounded, free, steady-state vowel. - /u/ Goose vowel: Centred from back close, rounded, free, steady state vowel. - // Palm vowel: Central, open, unrounded, free, steady-state vowel. - // Thought vowel: Above open-mid, back, strongly lip-rounded, free, steady-state vowel. - // Nurse vowel: Central, open-mid, unrounded, free, steady-state vowel. Free diphthongs: Narrow closing diphthongs: - /e/ Face vowel: Narrow closing diphthong. Begins front, below close-mid. Moves towards front-central, close-mid, unrounded. - // Goat vowel: Narrow closing diphthong. Begins central, close-mid. Moves towards back-central, slightly above close-mid. Unrounded, becoming slightly rounded. Extensive closing diphthongs: - /a/ Price vowel: Extensive closing diphthong. Begins front-central, open. Moves towards front-central, close-mid. Unrounded. - // Choice vowel: Extensive closing diphthong. Begins back, below open-mid. Moves towards front central, close-mid. Rounded, becoming unrounded. - /a/ Mouth vowel: Extensive closing diphthong. Begins central, open. Moves towards back-central, close-mid. Unrounded, becoming slightly rounded. Centring diphthongs: - // Near vowel: Centring diphthong. Begins front-central, above close-mid. Moves towards central, open-mid. Unrounded. - // Cure vowel: Centring diphthong. Begins back-central, above close-mid. Moves towards central, open-mid. Slightly rounded, becoming unrounded. - // Square vowel: Centring diphthong. Front, slightly below open-mid. Possible glide to below central open-mid. Unrounded.