Little encyclopaedia of phonetics- roach

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Little encyclopaedia of phonetics- roach gy Maclor ‘IORúpR 16, 2011 162 pagcs ENGLISH PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY GLOSSARY (A LITTLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF PHONETICS) Peter Roach CLICK ON A LETTER FROM THE LIST BELOW TO JUMP TO THE RELEVANT CLICK HERE -ro JUMP TO THE INDEX ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPRSTUVWX accent This word is used (rather confusin in two different senses: (1) accent may refer to or162 use of pitch.

For exa le, to View nut*ge is the most promine probably produce a f that syllable accente Hable, usually by the the middle syllable its own you Will syllable, making distinguished from the more general term stress, which is more often used to refer o all sorts of prominence (including prominence resulting from increased loudness, length or sound quality), or to refer to the effort made by the speaker in producing a stressed syllable. 2) accent also refers to a particular way of pronouncing: for example, you might find a number of English speakers who all share the same grammar and vocabulary, but pronounce What they say with different accents such as Scots or Cockney, or BBC pronunciation. The word O Peter Roach 2009 accent in this sense is distinguished from dialect, which usually refers to a variety of a language that differs from other varieties in ignal: when sound travels through the air from the speakeds mouth to the hearers ear it does so in the form of vibrations in the air.

It is possible to measure and analyse these vibrations by mathematical techniques, usually by uslng specially-developed computer software to produce spectrograms. Acoustic phonetics also studies the relationship between activity in the speakers vocal tract and the resulting sounds. Analysis of speech by acoustic phonetics is claimed to be more objective and scientific than the traditional auditory method which depends on the reliability of the trained human ear. START – INDEX active articulator

See articulator Adam’s Apple This is an informal term used to refer to the pointed part of the larynx that can be seen at the front of the throat. It is most clearly visible in adult males. Moving the larynx up and down (as in swallowing) causes visible movement of this point, which is in fact the highest point of the thyroid cartilage. affricate An affricate is a type of consonant consisting of a plosive followed by a fricative with the same place of articulation: examples are the tf and d sounds at the beginning and end of the English words ‘church’ tJ tJ, ‘judge’ d d (the first of these is voiceless, the second voiced).

It is often difficult to decide whether any particular combination of a plosive plus a fricative should be classed as a single affricate sound or as tvvo separate sounds, and the question depends on whether these are to be 162 regarded as separate phonemes or not. It is usual to regard t J, d as affricate phonemes in English (usually symbolised j by American writers); ts, dz, tr, dr also occur in English but are not usually regarded as affricates.

The two phrases ‘why choose’ wai tJu z and ‘white shoes’ wait Ju z are said to show the difference between the tf affricate (in the first example) and separate t and J (in the second). irstream Al speech sounds are made by making air move. Usually the air is moved outwards from the body, creating an egressive airstream; more rarely, speech sounds are made by drawing air into the body – an ingressive airstream. The most common way of moving air is by compression of the lungs so that the air is expelled through the vocal tract.

This is called a pulmonic airstream (usually an egressive pulmonic one, but occasionally speech is produced while breathing in). Others are the glottalic (produced by the larynx with closed vocal folds; it is moved up and down like the plunger of a bicycle pump) and the velaric (where the back of he tongue is pressed against the soft palate, or velum, making an air-tight seal, and then drawn backwards or forwards to produce an airstream).

Ingressive glottalic consonants (often called implosives) and egressive ones (ejectives) are found in many non- European languages; click sounds (ingressive velaric) are much rarer, but occur in a number of southern African languages such as Nàmá, Xhosa and Zulu. Speakers of other languages 3 162 of southern African languages such as Nàmá, Xhosa and Zulu. Speakers of other languages, includlng English, use click sounds for non-linguistic communication, as in the case of the «tut- ut» (American «tsk-tsk») sound of disapproval. llophone Central to the concept of the phoneme is the idea that it may be pronounced in many different ways. In English (BBC pronunciation) we take it for granted that the r sounds in ‘ray’ and ‘tray are «the same sound» (i. e. the same phoneme), but in reality the two sounds are very d’fferent – the r in ‘ray’ is voiced and non- fricative, while the r sound in ‘tray is voiceless and fricative. In phonemic transcription we use the same symbol r for both, but we know that the allophones of r include the voiced nonfricative sound and the voiceless fricative one .

In theory a phoneme can have an infinite number of allophones, but in practice for descriptive purposes we tend to concentrate on a Small number that occur most regularly. O peter Roach 2009 alveolar Behind the upper front teeth there is a hard, bony ridge called the alveolar ridge; the skin covering it is corrugated with transverse wrinkles. The tongue comes into contact with this in some of the consonants of English and many other languages; sounds such as t, d, s, z, n, I are consonants with alveolar place of articulatlon. lveolo-palatal When we look at the places of articulation used by different anguages, we find many differences in the region between the upper teeth and the front late. It has find many differences in the region between the upper teeth and the front part ofthe palate. It has been proposed that there is difference between alveolo-palatal and palato-alveolar that can be reliably distinguished, though others argue that factors other than place of articulation are usually involved, and there is no longer an alveolo-palatal column on the IPA chart.

The former place is further forward in the mouth than the Iatter: the usual example given for a contrast between alveolo-palatal and palato-alveolar onsonants is that of Polish and J as in ‘Kasia’ ka a and ‘kasza’ kaJa. ambisyllabic We face various problems in attempting to decide on the division of English syllables: in a Word like ‘better’ beta the division could be (using the . symbol to mark syllable divisions) either be. ta or beta, and we need a principle to base our decision on.

Some phonologists have suggested that in such a case we should say that the t consonant belongs to both syllables, and is therefore ambisyllabic; the analysis of ‘better beta is then that it consists of the syllables bet and ta. anterior In phonology it is sometimes necessary to distinguish the class f sounds that are articulated in the front part ofthe mouth (anterior sounds) from those articulated towards the back of the mouth. All sounds forward of palato-alveolar are classed as anterior. pical Consonantal articulations made with the tip of the tongue are called apical; this term trasted with lamina’, the adiect tip of the tongue are called apical; this term is usually contrasted With laminal, the adjective used to refer to tongue-blade articulations. It is said that English s is usually articulated with the tangue blade, but Spanish s (when it occurs befare a vowel) and Greek s are Said to be apical, giving a different sound quality. approximant This is a phonetic term of comparatively recent origin.

It is used to denote a consonant which makes very little obstruction to the airflow. Traditionally these have been divided into two groups: «semivowels» such as the w in English ‘wet’ and j in English ‘yet’, which are very similar to close vowels such as [u] and [i] but are produced as a rapid glide; and «liquids», sounds which have an identifiable constriction of the airflow but not one that is sufficiently obstructive to produce fricative noise, compression r the diversion of airflow through another part of the vocal tract as in nasals. is category includes laterals such as English in ‘lead’ and non-fricative r (phonetically J) in ‘read’. Approximants therefore are never fricative and never contain interruptions to the flow of air. articulation See articulator. articulator/ory/ation The concept of the articulator is a very important one in phonetics. We can only produce speech sound by moving parts of Our body, and this is done by the contraction of muscles.

Most of the movements relevant to speech take place in the mouth and throat area (though we should not forget the activity in the chest or breath contro mouth and throat area (though we should not forget the activity in the chest for breath control), and the parts of the mouth and throat area that we move when speaking are called articulators. The pnncpal articulators are the tangue, the lips, the Iower jaw and the teeth, the velum or soft palate, the uvula and the larynx.

It has been suggested that we should distinguish between active articulators (those which can be moved into contact with other articulators, such as the tongue) and passive articulators which fixed in place (such as the teeth, the hard palate and the alveolar ridge). The branch of phonetics that Studies articulators and their actions is called articulatory phonetics. articulatory setting This is an idea that has an immediate appeal to pronunciation teachers, but has never been fully investigated.

The idea is that when we pronounce a foreign language, we need to set our whole speech-producing apparatus into an appropriate «pasture» or «setting’ for speaking that language. English speakers with a good French accent, for example, are said to adjust their lips to a more protruded and rounded shape than they use for speaking English, and people who can speak several languages are claimed to have ifferent «gears» to shift into when they start saying something in one oftheir languages. (See also voice quality. arytenoids Inside the larynx there is a tiny pair of cartilages shaped rather like dogs’ ears. They can be moved in many different directions. The rear ends of the vocal f rather like dogs’ ears. They can be moved in many different directions. The rear ends of the vocal folds are attached to them so that if the arytenoids are moved towards each other the folds are brought together, making a glottal closure or constriction, and when they are moved apart the folds are parted to produce n open glottis.

The arytenoids contribute to the regulations of pitch: if they are tilted backwards the vocal folds are stretched lengthwise (which raises the pitch if voicing is going on), while tilting them forwards Iowers the pitch as the folds became thicker. aspiration This is noise made when a consonanta’ constriction is released and air is allowed to escape relatively freely.

English p t k at the beginning of a syllable are aspirated in most accents so that in words like ‘pea’, ‘tea’, ‘key the silent period while the compressed air is prevented from escaping by the articulatory closure is ollowed by a sound similar to h before the voicing of the vowel begins. This is the result of the vocal folds being widely parted at the time ofthe articulatory release.

It is noticeable that when p t k are preceded by s at the begnning of a syllable they are not aspirated. Pronunciation teachers used to make learners of English practise aspirated plosives by seeing if they could blow out a candle flame with the rush of air after p t k- this can, of course, lead to a rather exaggerated pronunciation (and superficial burns). A rather different articulation is used for so- called voiced aspirated plosives found in many

O Peter Roach 8 162 articulation is used for so-called voiced aspirated plosives found in many Indian languages (often spelt ‘bh’, ‘dh’, ‘gh’ in the Roman alphabet) where after the release of the constriction the vocal folds vibrate to produce voicing, but are not firmly pressed together; the result is that a large amount of air escapes at the same time, producing a «breathY’ quality. It is not necessarily only plosives that are aspirated: both unaspirated and aspirated affricates are found in Hindi, for example, and unaspirated and aspirated voiceless fricatives are found in Burmese.

See also voice onset time (VOT). ssimilation If speech is thought of as a string of sounds linked together, assimilation is what happens to a sound when it is influenced by one ofits neighbours. For example, the Word ‘this’ has the sound s at the end if it is pronounced on its own, but when followed by J in a Word such as ‘shop’ it often changes in rapid speech (through assimilation) to J, giving the pronunciation êifJDp.

Assimilation is said to be progressive when a sound influences a following sound, or regressive when a sound influences one which precedes it; the most familiar case of regressive assimilation in English is that f alveolar consonants, such as t, d, s, z, n, which are followed by non-alveolar consonants: assimilation results in a change of place of articulation from alveolar to a different place.

The example of ‘this shop’ is ofthis type; others are ‘football’ (where ‘foot fut and ‘ball’ bo combine to produce fupbo I) and ‘fruitcake'(fru g 162 are ‘football’ (where ‘foot’ fut and ‘ball’ bo I combine to produce fupbo l) and ‘fruitcake'(fru t + keik fru kkeik). Progressive assimilation is exemplified by the behaviour of the ‘s’ plural ending in English, which is pronounced with a volced z after a voiced consonant (e g. dogs’ do z) but with a voiceless s after a voiceless consonant (e. g. ‘cats’ k ts).

The notion of assimilation is full of problems: it is often unhelpful to think of it in terms of one sound being the cause ofthe assimilation and the other the victim of it, when in many cases sounds appear to influence each other mutually; it is often not clear whether the result of assimilation is supposed to be a different allophone or a different phoneme; and we find many cases where instances of assmilation seem to spread over many sounds instead of being restricted to two adjacent sounds as the conventional examples suggest.

Research on such phenomena in experimental phonetics does not usually use the notion of assimilation, preferring the more neutral concept of coarticulation. attitude/inal Intonation is often Said to have an attitudinal function. What this means is that intonation is used to indicate to the hearer a particular attitude on the part of the speaker (e. g. friendly, doubtful, enthusiastic). Considerable importance has been given by some language teaching experts to learning to express the right attitudes through intonation, but it has proved extremely difficult to state usable rules for foreigners to learn and results have often been disapp