Consonants and vowel January 20 2003. Review where we’ve been We’ve listened to the sounds of “our” English, and assigned a set of symbols to them. We.
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Presentation on theme: "Consonants and vowel January 20 2003. Review where we’ve been We’ve listened to the sounds of “our” English, and assigned a set of symbols to them. We."— Presentation transcript:
Review where we’ve been We’ve 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 language’s 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 don’t 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.
Symbols 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:
Consonants Consonants = obstruents + sonorants –Obstruents: (oral) stops, affricates, and fricatives –Sonorants: nasals and liquids (l,r)
Consonants have a point of articulation The crucial points of articulation for English consonants are: Labial Labio-dental Dental Alveolar Post-alveolar/palato-alveolar/alveopalatal Retroflex (r only) Palatal (y, ñ) Velar Laryngeal
Obstruents: 6 stops 9 fricatives 2 affricates Nasals (4) 4 other sonorants (what are they?) 2 glides
Vowels Vowels are harder to characterize articulatorily, but we try! The fact that it’s harder is reflected in the fact that there is more than one way in which it’s done. IPA is one way; American is another.