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The Sounds of language Chapter 3.

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Presentation on theme: "The Sounds of language Chapter 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Sounds of language Chapter 3

2 The Power of Language Humans are the only animals with complex verbal language What do you need to know in order to understand language?

3 The Power of Language Example: “My boyfriend and I are flying to his mother’s next week.” Distinct sounds Each word has a specific meaning Different tenses Implicit meanings Order of the words

4 The Power of Language This is linguistic knowledge
Most of this knowledge is unconscious and learned at a young age during enculturation It is intuitive and understood (most times) immediately Words are arbitrary Words are combinations of discrete and recombinable sounds Language is creative It can discuss hypothetical or imaginary things

5 Introduction To learn a language, you must learn sound production
Rules for producing any sound in any human language You must also learn phonology Many sounds in other languages will not be the same as those in your native language

6 phonology The study of sounds in a language
It focuses on two differences 1. phonetics Identifies and describes language sounds 2. phonemics Analyzes the way sounds are arranged in a language

7 Emic and etic Phonetic study is often etic
Phonemic study is often emic

8 Language and Sound In other words,
Linguists describe and analyze the nature and patterning of sounds These patterns make the phonological system and the study of this is phonology When you speak you do not consciously think of sounds The word “debt” How many sounds does this have? How is this different from “pet”?

9 Phonology A phonetic chart shows all the sounds of a language and uses different symbols for different sounds made by the same letter The sounds on the chart are called phones

10 Phonology A phonemic chart shows only the distinctive sounds of a language, and all sounds made by one letter are grouped together The sounds on the chart are called phonemes

11 Phonology If you grew up speaking one language you will probably use the phonetic system even when learning new languages If you grew up speaking multiple languages, then you can use multiple phonetic systems

12 phonetics Three types: 1. Acoustic 2. Auditory
Physical properties of sounds/soundwaves Voice recognition, voiceprints 2. Auditory How sounds are perceived and interpreted 3. Articulatory/Descriptive How speech sounds are produced Catalogue all human language sounds Used in fieldwork

13 Rosetta stone Egyptian hieroglyphs are not pictures, they are phonemes

14 anatomy Three areas of importance: 1. Lungs 2. Larynx
Push air out 2. Larynx Where voice box is located and where vocal cords modify air into sounds 3. Supralaryngeal vocal tract Above vocal cords Where sound waves become recognizable speech sounds


16 larynx As air moves through larynx, it passes through vocal cords
If cords are relaxed and open, the sound is voiceless If cords are closed and vibrating, the sound is voiced Touch your throat and say “ssssss” and “zzzzzz” Do you feel the difference?

17 Sounds Phonemes are the particular sounds that speakers and listeners recognize as distinct from other sounds This gives different sounds different meanings Compare: /b/ and /p/ Put your hands on your ears and say these sounds out loud /b/ causes vibrations and is called voiced (others: /d/, /z/, /v/, /j/) /p/ does not and is called voiceless (others: /t/, /s/, /f/)

18 Articulation above larynx
After air moves through larynx, it goes to the nose and mouth, where it can be modified and articulated The position of the tongue and lips can change sounds Articulation is Place: where the air is being modified Manner: how the air is being modified

19 Articulation above larynx
Phonetic charts are important in understanding different languages There are different spellings and symbols for different sounds in different languages International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) was used to have one unique symbol for each sound This was modified to the American Usage System (AUS) Both charts are used

20 Vowels and consonants These are shown on every phonetic chart
Vowels have less constricted air flow and consonants have more constricted air flow Let’s practice pronouncing different ones

21 Vowels and consonants: Articulation
“Bilabial Stop” Bilabial (with both lips) Stop (stop the air and then let it out) “B,” “P” Turn to pg and look over articulation places and manners Practice: Alveolar nasal “N” Palatal approximate “J” Velar stop (plosive) “K,” “G”

22 Vowels and consonants: Articulation
Be familiar with the terms for place and manner

23 Vowels and consonants: Articulation
Generally, consonants are sounds made by constricting the air stream and vowels are made by not constricting the air as much or at all Phonetic charts are not as helpful for vowels We look at ways air streams can be modified Height of tongue How high tongue is in mouth: “ee” sound tongue is high, “ah” sound is low Place of tongue How far forward or back tongue is in mouth: “ee” sound tongue is forward, “oo” sound tongue is back Rounding of lips Holding lips in rounded or flat position: “oh” sound versus “ee” sound

24 Vowels and consonants: Articulation
These are guidelines Different dialects and accents can make these sound differently

25 Beyond phonetic charts
Phonetic charts show the basic sounds, or segments, of language But language can further modify sounds These are called suprasegmentals are have their own special symbols in a phonetic chart Nasalization: sound goes through nasal cavity and not mouth Pitch: high or low “notes” Clicks: air released inward (symbol is ! In Kung) Lengthening: holding sound for longer period of time

26 Assignment Article on Click Languages Video Log on Click Languages

27 phonemics In order to really understand and speak a language, you need to also know how the sounds are used Phonemics/phonology analyzes the way sounds are arranged and what sounds are important in a language Phonemics can give you an insider (emic) view of a language

28 phonemics Phoneme is a sound that functions to distinguish one word from another Example: “t” and “d” are different sounds, and also distinguish the word “tie” from the word “die” This is also a minimal pair, or a pair of words in which one difference in sound makes a difference in meaning This is how to identify phonemes

29 phonemics Allophones are another type of phoneme; they are a group of sounds that together form a single phoneme Each allophone is a separate unit but all together they make up a phoneme Wherever you find allophones in a language, there is a good chance you will also find a pattern that defines how and where they are used in a language Example: [ph] (aspirated p sound) usually occurs at the beginning of words [p] (unaspirated p sound) usually occurs in the middle of words

30 phonemics Example: [ph] (aspirated p sound) usually occurs at the beginning of words [p] (unaspirated p sound) usually occurs in the middle of words Aspirated Unaspirated Peak Speak Pool Spool Pend Spend Pun Spun

31 phonemics The previous example is one of complementary distribution (the different variations, or allophones, are distributed between different words) Conditioned variation means variation in allomorphs happens because of the sounds around them Sometimes this can be social Men and women can pronounce words differently (example, pg. 69) Even if two languages have the same phones, they may not group them into phonemes and allophones the same way How does “ng” sound in our language? Where is it found in a word? How do you pronounce ngoma (drum)? Why is this difficult?

32 paralanguage Paralanguage refers to anything that is communicated alongside language Voice cues Intensity Penmanship Emoticons  USING ALL CAPS One must learn how to use these properly as well

33 Voice quality and intonation
AKA tone of voice Most commonly noticed type of paralanguage What does it mean when you whisper? What does it mean if you whine? How do you talk to a baby? Trend of ‘rising intonation’ (began with “Valley Girl”): voice goes up at the end of a sentence How can this be confusing with meaning?

34 Sounds: Tone Pitch of voice can also convey meaning
What are the differences between these: She went to class. She went to class? In tone languages, changing voice pitch changes meaning of the word Example: Nupe (African): Bá: high tone = “to be sour”, mid tone = “to cut”, low tone = “to count” Example: Thai: Nâa: tone falls on second vowel = “face” Nˇaa: tone rises on second vowel = “thick”

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