Dimensions of Articulation, part 2 January 22, 2014
This Week There is a graded homework exercise due on Friday: Chapter 1, Exercises D-F On Monday, Jacqueline will lead you through some practice transcriptions. Narrow transcription of English sentences. For next Wednesday, the first production exercise is due. = produce your name phonetically backwards! Let’s walk through an example of how it’s done…
Consonants To understand the Canadian Raising pattern, it helps to know more about the way consonants are produced. Consonants productions may be characterized along a series of articulatory dimensions. The first dimension to consider is: airstream mechanism. Most speech sounds use a pulmonic egressive airstream mechanism. = air is pushed out of the lungs it’s possible to produce pulmonic ingressive sounds; give it a try.
Dimension 2: Phonation On the way out of the lungs Air passes through the trachea Reaches the larynx The larynx consists of two “vocal folds” which may be opened and closed. If the vocal folds are: 1. open: air passes cleanly through (voiceless sound) 2. closed: air does not pass through (no sound) 3. lightly brought together: vocal folds vibrate in passing air (= voiced sound)
Some Voicing Distinctions Among English consonants: VoicelessVoicedVoicelessVoiced [f][v][p][b] [t][d] [s][z][k][g]
Voicing Allophony Vowels are longer before voiced consonants than voiceless consonants. Length is denoted with the [:] diacritic. ‘feed’[fi:d]vs.‘feet’[fit] Note that Canadian Raising occurs before voiceless consonants. voiceless:‘out’‘write’ voiced:‘bribe’‘ride’
Layers Canadian Raising occurs when and are followed by a voiceless consonant. The voiceless consonant does not need to be at the end of a word. Interesting examples: ‘rider’ ‘writer’ Note: flap is voiced. The voiceless consonant which induces Canadian Raising does not need to be voiceless on the phonetic “surface”! The technical term for this is phonological opacity.
More Voicing Allophony Consonants at the ends of words are sometimes devoiced. Voicelessness is denoted with the [ ] diacritic. ‘lose’‘peas’ Also: ‘languages’ example from homework #1. You can sometimes get contrasts in English like: ‘peace’‘peas’ /l/ and can be (partially) voiceless in English when they follow an aspirated consonant: ‘play’
Aspiration Allophony /p/, /t/, and /k/ are aspirated if: 1.They are at the beginning of a stressed syllable. 2.They are not preceded by /s/. Ex:
Dimension 3: Place of Articulation After the stream of air passes through the larynx… speech sounds may be made by constricting the flow of air through the vocal tract. The place where such constrictions are made is known as the place of articulation of the sound. Constrictions are made by placing an active articulator against (or near to) a passive articulator. Generally: active articulator = on the bottom passive articulator = on the top
Place Assimilation Place assimilation occurs when: One consonant’s place of articulation becomes identical to that of a neighboring consonant. /n/ often takes on the place of articulation of a following consonant. ‘unpleasant’ ‘month’ ‘engrossed’ alveolars--except for /s/ and /z/--assimilate to following dentals Ex: width, tenth, wealth
Front and Back Velars /k/ and /g/ become fronted when preceding front vowels the diacritic for “fronter” is the diacritic for “backer” is Examples: ‘coo’ ‘key’ These diacritics may apply to vowels, as well. Ex: ‘spoons’
Dimension 4: Aperture The type of sound created by a constriction in the vocal tract depends on how narrow the constriction is. 1.Stop (or plosive): Complete closure of the articulators The airstream cannot escape through the mouth. 2.Fricative: Close approximation of two articulators The airstream is partially obstructed Turbulent airflow is produced.
English Stops VoicelessVoiced Bilabial[p][b] Alveolar[t][d] Velar[k][g] Note--stops that: Follow a vowel involve a closing gesture Precede a vowel involve an opening gesture Stops at the end of words may be unreleased. Example: “chocolate pudding”
English Fricatives VoicelessVoiced Labio-dental[f][v] Interdental Alveolar[s][z] Post-alveolar Glottal[h]
Dimension 4: Aperture, continued 3.Approximant: a gesture in which one articulator is close to another but without turbulent airflow being produced. 4. Affricate combination of stop + fricative
More English Consonants Approximants: labio-velar, voiced: [w] palatal, voiced:[j] Some dialects of English also distinguish: ‘witch’[w]vs.‘which’ = voiceless, labio-velar approximant Affricates -- Voiced:Voiceless:
Really Narrow The stops, /t/ and /d/, have a post-alveolar place of articulation in affricates: An interesting question: How do you say “tree” and “draw”? /t/ and /d/ can become affricates before /r/: ‘tree’ ‘draw’
Dimension 5: Retroflexion A retroflex sound involves the curling back of the tip of the tongue. generally in the post-alveolar region. There is only one retroflex sound in English, and it’s an approximant: In other languages, stops and fricatives can be retroflex, too.
Dimension 6: Nasality The back of the soft palate may be lowered or raised. This may allow air to pass through the nose during speech. Air passes through the nose during the production of nasal consonants… …but it does not pass through the mouth in “nasal stops” bilabial[m] alveolar[n] velar
Nasalization Vowels often become nasalized before nasal consonants. The diacritic for nasalization is: Examples: ‘can’vs. ‘cat’ ‘Ben’vs.‘bed’ Before other consonants, /n/ can drop out completely… and leave the nasalization behind: ‘can’t’vs. ‘cat’ ‘Winters’
Dimension 7: Laterality Lateral approximant: Obstruction of the airstream at a point along the center of the oral tract With incomplete closure between one or both sides of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. alveolar lateral:[l]“clear l” velarized alveolar lateral:“dark l” velarized = back of tongue is raised towards velum Note: consonants which are not lateral are “central”. Check out “oil” video
/l/ options Dialectologically, /l/ is the most interesting consonant in English. Dialect Type A: “clear” /l/ syllable-initially: ‘leaf’ “dark” /l/ syllable finally: ‘feel’ Dialect Type B: “clear” /l/ before front vowels: ‘leak’ “dark” /l/ everywhere else: ‘lock’ Others have “dark” /l/ pretty much everywhere. (and maybe even lose the alveolar closure!)
Manner of Articulation Phoneticians usually combine dimensions 4-7 under the rubric of manner of articulation. Example manners of articulation: [t] = (oral) stop [n] = nasal stop [v] = fricative [w] = approximant [l] = lateral approximant = retroflex approximant = affricate
Notes Consonant sounds are generally assumed to be: pulmonic egressive oral central …unless stated otherwise Big picture thought: Through combinatorics, language makes a large number of distinctions out of a minimal number of articulatory gestures.