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Lecture 2: Phonology (1) Shao Junzong.

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1 Lecture 2: Phonology (1) Shao Junzong

2 2.1. The phonic medium of language
What are the two media (or substances / vehicles) of language? Speech and writing. Many languages have developed a writing system. Reasons for the primary importance of speech between the two media 1) L is first perceived through sound 2) Speech has a much longer history than the written language. 3) Some languages don’t have a writing system even today. Production and perception of speech 1) The possibility of sound production: infinite number of sounds 2) limited number of the sounds that are meaningful in human communication, which constitute the phonic medium of language. 3) Speech sounds are the individual sounds in the range of the phonic medium of language.

3 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.1. What is phonetics?
Phonetics is the scientific study of the phonic medium of language or the study of the sounds of language.  Concerned with all the sounds in the world’s languages (not just one specific language) Three branches (perspectives) of phonetics 1) Acoustic phonetics studies the physical or acoustic features of speech sounds, such as strength, length, amplitude, quality, etc.     2) Auditory or perceptive phonetics studies the perception of speech sounds or how we understand the sounds that others produce.     3) Articulatory or productive phonetics studies how the sounds are produced by our speech organs

4 Perception Travel through air in sound waves Production Auditory phonetics studies how sounds are perceived by the hearer. Acoustic phonetics studies the way sounds travel through air or the physical means by which sounds are transmitted from one person to another. Articulatory phonetics studies how the speaker uses his speech organs in the articulation of sounds.

5 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.2. Speech organs 1) Three cavities
the pharyngeal cavity--- the throat; the oral cavity--- the mouth; (the labial cavity---between the lips and the teeth;) the nasal cavity--- the nose.

6 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.2. Speech organs 2)Air flow
Air comes from the lungs --- through glottis --- through the mouth, or --- through the nose

7 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.2. Speech organs Air flow
When the uvula lets the air into the nose, there can be nasalized sounds -/n, m, ŋ/ Uvula, determining whether the air will go into the mouth or the nose. When air goes to the mouth, there are the oral sounds Glottis --- /h/ Vocal chord, whose vibration determines whether a sound is voiced or voiceless

8 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.2. Speech organs 2)Air flow
Air going through the mouth can be modified by--- the back of the tongue --- /g, k/ The central part of the tongue The front part of the tongue --- /s, z, t, d/ The apex --- /θæ/ The lips ---/p,b,/

9 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.2. Speech organs 3) Modification of air flow
Explosion: stoppage of air and sudden release of it ---/t/ Friction: let the air go through a narrowed opening ---/s, f/ Affrication: combination of explosion and friction --- /t∫/ Liquid (flow): let the air go through a somewhat narrowed opening --- /l/

10 2.2. Phonetics Speech organs (Teeth ridge)

11 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.3. Orthographic representation of speech sounds
3.1. International phonetic alphabet (IPA) The transcribing symbols that are issued by the International Phonetics Association. 3.2. Received Pronunciation (RP)     The pronunciation that is received as typical of the English language, such as the BBC pronunciation. 3.3. Broad/narrow transcription    Broad transcription uses letter symbols only, each standing for a sound.    Narrow transcription uses both letter symbols and diacritics so as to give a more exact transcription (than the broad transcription). Diacritics: pit (/phit/) but spit (/spit/) leaf (/li:f/) but feel (/fi: /) l ~

12 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.4. English vowels
A. Monophthongs(closed/open, position, rounded/unrounded) 1) Vowels: Vowels are speech sounds produced through the vocal tract without clear obstruction to the air stream. Illustration of the tongue positions for the capital vowels:

13 Front Middle Back Closed i: u: u i Semi-closed ∂: e Semi-open æ с Open a:

14 2.2. Phonetics a) Vowels are speech sounds produced through the vocal tract without clear obstruction to the air stream b) Another feature of vowels is whether they are rounded or unrounded. This refers to the position of the lips. c) English front vowels are always unrounded. German [y] is an example of rounded front vowels. d) English central vowels are always unrounded. e) English back vowels are always rounded.

15 2.2. Phonetics B. Diphthongs:
Diphthongs start with the first element to the second, with the first being heavy, long and clear and the second being slight, short and vague, not quite to the place of articulation. [ai][ei][i∂][e∂] [u∂] [au] [כi]  [∂u] [e∂]

16 2.2. Phonetics C. Triphthongs:
Triphthongs are those sounds that consist of a movement or glide from one vowel to another and then onto a third. They are very similar to diphthongs, but have an extra schwa on the end of the diphthongs. There are said to be only five triphthongs, but there are a number of occasions when diphthongs meet other vowels over word edge boundaries. The five clear examples of triphthongs are as follows:          

17 2.2. Phonetics Description of a monophthong:
X is a + “position” + “openness” + “roundedness” + “length” + vowel. Examples: /i:/  /a:/  /æ/  /e/ 

18 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.5. English consonants
Consonants are speech sound produced by the interference of the flow of air through the mouth (and/or nose). Consonants are created when that airflow is directly restricted, or obstructed, so that the air cannot escape without creating friction that can be heard. The speech sound being obstructed can be voiced or unvoiced. It can be obstructed in a number of different places in the vocal tract. The nature of the obstruction can take a number of forms, or manners.Defining characteristics of consonants include: 1),2) and 3) 1) voiced or unvoiced, 2) places of articulation 3) manners of articulation 4) nasality

19 2.2. Phonetics Voice A sound is described as voiceless when the vocal cords do not vibrate during its articulation. If the vocal cords do vibrate, the sound is called voiced. The vocal cords are folds of muscle located at the level of the glottis (in fact, the glottis is nothing other than the space between the vocal cords). The vocal cords vibrate when they are closed to obstruct the airflow through the glottis (see Manner of Articulation above): they vibrate under the pressure of the air being forced through them by the lungs. The voiced/voiceless opposition is mainly useful for the classification of consonants (voiceless vowels being very rare in the languages of the world).

20 2.2. Phonetics The manner of articulation is defined by a number of factors: whether there is vibration of the vocal cords (voiced vs. voiceless); whether there is obstruction of the airstream at any point above the glottis (consonant vs. vowel); whether the airstream passes through the nasal cavity in addition to the oral cavity (nasal vs. oral); whether the airstream passes through the middle of the oral cavity or along the side(s) (non-lateral vs. lateral).

21 2.2. Phonetics The place of articulation is the point where the airstream is obstructed. In general, the place of articulation is simply that point on the palate where the tongue is placed to block the stream of air. The place of articulation can be any of the following: the lips (labials and bilabials), the teeth (dentals), the lips and teeth (labio-dentals -- here the tongue is not directly involved), the alveolar ridge (that part of the gums behind the upper front teeth -- alveolar articulations), the hard palate (given its large size, one can distinguish between palato-alveolars, palatals and palato-velars), the soft palate (or velum -- velar articulations), the uvula (uvulars), the pharynx (pharyngeals), the glottis (glottals).

22 Place of Articulation p t k h b d g f S θ v z ŋ m n l,r w j Labio-
Voiced or Unvoiced Labio- dental Bi-labial dental Alveolar Palatal Velar glottal Manner of articulation (description) stops p t k h b d g Fricatives f S θ v z Affricates Nasals ŋ m n Linguids l,r Glides w j

23 2.2. Phonetics Description of consonants:
X is a voiced/unvoiced + “place of articulation” + “manner of articulation” Examples: /p/ /b/

24 2.2. Phonetics 2.2.6. The difference between vowels and consonants
Thus, if the air, once out of the glottis, is allowed to pass freely through the resonators, the sound is a vowel; if the air, once out of the glottis, is obstructed, partially or totally, in one or more places, the sound is a consonant.

25 Exercises Assignments:
1)Describe [i], [f], [e], [l], [n], [a:] [g], [ai ], [ε ] and some others. 2)List the following: English affricates: English explosives: English nasals: English alveolar consonants: English diphthongs: English back vowels: 3) Tell the articulatory difference(s) between vowels and consonants.

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