The Sounds of Language, The Sounds of Language (ch.5) The organs of speech can be divided into the following three groups : 1-The respiratory system :This comprises the lungs , the muscles of the chest and the wind pipe 2- The phonatory system : this comprises the larynx . 3- The articulatory system : this comprises the nose , teeth , tongue , roof of the mouth and the lips . Epiglottis , Vocal cords and , Glottis The phonatory system : The Larynx : it is commonly called the Adam's apple , situated at the top of the wind pip .The air from the lungs has to come out through the windpipe and the larynx. In the larynx are situated a pair of lip-like structures. These are called the vocal cords and these are placed horizontally from _ front to back. They are attached in front and can be separated at the back. The opening between the cords is called the glottis The vocal cords can be opened and closed (because they can be separated at the back) and when the two cords come very close to each other, the glottis will be shut completely. In fact when we swallow food or water, the vocal cords shut the glottis and thus prevent the food or water from entering the windpipe. When we breathe in and out, the vocal cords are drawn wide apart and 'thus the glottis is open. The-air enters the lungs or gets out of the lungs through the wide open glottis-: When we produce some speech sounds, the vocal cords are wide apart and the glottis is open. Such sounds produced with a wide – open glottis are called voiceless sounds or breathed sounds (the latter term is used because this is the position of the glottis for breathing). The first sounds in the English words peel, ten, keen, chin , fine, thin, seen, shine and hat are voiceless sounds . ( During the production of certain speech sounds, the vocal cords are loosely held together and the pressure of the air from the lungs makes them open and close rapidly. This is called the vibration of the vocal cords and the sounds produced when the vocal cords vibrate are called voiced sounds. All the sounds in the English words bead, deed, girl, judge, vine, then ,zoo, measure, need, wing, red, yard and well are voiced sounds. ) The vibration of the vocal cords is important for another factor, too. The rate at which the vocal cords vibrate is called the frequency The production of speech sounds (P. 40-41) Articulators above the larynx All the sounds we make when we speak are the result of muscles contracting. The muscles in the chest that we use for breathing produce the flow of air that is needed for almost all speech sounds; muscles in the larynx produce many different modifications in the flow of air from the chest to the mouth. After passing through the larynx, the air goes through what we call the vocal tract, which ends at the mouth and nostrils. Here the air from the lungs escapes into the atmosphere. We have a large and complex set of muscles that can produce changes in the shape of the vocal tract, and in order to learn how the sounds of speech are produced it is necessary to become familiar with the different parts of the vocal tract. These different parts are called articulators, and the study of them is called articulatory phonetics. Fig. 1 is a diagram that is used frequently in the study of phonetics. It represents the human head, seen from the side, displayed as though it had been cut in half. You will need to look at it carefully as the articulators are described, and you will often find it useful to have a mirror and a good light placed so that you can look at the inside of your mouth. Fig. 1 The articulators i) The pharynx is a tube which begins just above the larynx. It is about 7 cm long in women and about 8 cm in men, and at its top end it is divided into two, one part being the back of the mouth and the other being the beginning of the way through the nasal cavity. If you look in your mirror with your mouth open, you can see the back of the pharynx. ii) The velum or soft palate is seen in the diagram in a position that allows air to pass through the nose and through the mouth. Yours is probably in that position now, but often in speech it is raised so that air cannot escape through the nose. The other important thing about the velum is that it is one of the articulators that can be touched by the tongue. When we make the sounds and the tongue is in contact with the lower side of the velum, and we call these velar consonants. iii) The hard palate is often called the "roof of the mouth". You can feel its smooth curved surface with your tongue. iv) The alveolar ridge is between the top front teeth and the hard palate. You can feel its shape with your tongue. Its surface is really much rougher than it feels, and is covered with little ridges. You can only see these if you have a mirror small enough to go inside your mouth (such as those used by dentists). Sounds made with the tongue touching here (such as and ) are called alveolar v) The tongue is, of course, a very important articulator and it can be moved into many different places and different shapes. It is usual to divide the tongue into different parts, though there are no clear dividing lines within the tongue. Fig. 2 shows the tongue on a larger scale with these parts shown: tip, blade, front, back and root. (This use of the word "front" often seems rather strange at first.) vi) The teeth (upper and lower) are usually shown in diagrams like Fig. 1 only at the front of the mouth, immediately behind the lips. This is for the sake of a simple diagram, and you should remember that most speakers have teeth to the sides of their mouths, back almost to the soft palate. The tongue is in contact with the upper side teeth for many speech sounds. Sounds made with the tongue touching the front teeth are called dental. vii) The lips are important in speech. They can be pressed together (when we produce the sounds , ), brought into contact with the teeth (as in , ), or rounded to produce the lip-shape for vowels like . Sounds in which the lips are in contact with each other are called bilabial, while those with lip-to-teeth contact are called labiodental. The seven articulators described above are the main ones used in speech, but there are three other things to remember. Firstly, the larynx could also be described as an articulator - a very complex and independent one . Secondly, the jaws are sometimes called articulators; certainly we move the lower jaw a lot in speaking. But the jaws are not articulators in the same way as the others, because they cannot themselves make contact with other articulators. Finally, although there is practically nothing that we can do with the nose and the nasal cavity, they are a very important part of our equipment for making sounds (what is sometimes called our vocal apparatus), particularly nasal consonants such as , . Again, we cannot really describe the nose and the nasal cavity as articulators in the same sense as (i) to (vii) above. Phonetics: The general study of the characteristics of speech sounds is called phonetics. Our basic interest will be in articulatory phonetics, which is the study of how speech sounds are made, or articulated. Articulation: voiced and voiceless Place of articulation (P.41-45) The active articulator usually moves in order to make the constriction. The passive articulator usually just sits there and gets approached. A sound's place of articulation is usually named by using the Latin ajective for the active articulator (ending with an "o") followed by the Latin adjective for the passive articulator. For example, a sound where the tongue tip (the "apex") approaches or touches the upper teeth is called an "apico-dental". Most of the common combinations of active and passive articulator have abbreviated names (usually leaving out the active half). These are the abbreviated names for the places of articulation used in English: bilabial The articulators are the two lips. (We could say that the lower lip is the active articulator and the upper lip the passive articulator, though the upper lip usually moves too, at least a little.) English bilabial sounds include [p], [b], and [m]. labio-dental The lower lip is the active articulator and the upper teeth are the passive articulator. English labio-dental sounds include [f] and [v]. dental Dental sounds involve the upper teeth as the passive articulator. The active articulator may be either the tongue tip or (usually) the tongue blade -- diacritic symbols can be used if it matters which. Extreme lamino-dental sounds are often called interdental. English interdental sounds include [ ] and [ ]. This , thank alveolar Alveolar sounds involve the alveolar ridge as the passive articulator. The active articulator may be either the tongue blade or (usually) the tongue tip -- diacritic symbols can be used if it matters which. English alveolar sounds include [t], [d], [n], [s], [z], [l]. Post alveolar Post alveolar sounds involve the area just behind the alveolar ridge as the passive articulator. The active articulator may be either the tongue tip or (usually) the tongue blade -- diacritic symbols can be used if it matters which. English postalveolars include [ ]. ] and [ Ch , sh , Linguists have traditionally used very inconsistent terminology in referring to the post alveolar POA. Some of the terms you may encounter for it include: Palato -alveolar, alveo-palatal, alveolo-palatal, and even (especially among English-speakers) palatal. Many insist that palato-alveolar and alveo (lo)palatal are two different things -- though they don't agree which is which. "Post alveolar ", the official term used by the International Phonetic Association, is unambiguous, not to mention easier to spell. retroflex In retroflex sounds, the tongue tip is curled up and back. Retro flexes can be classed as apico-post alveolar , though not all apico –post alveolars need to be curled backward enough to count as retroflex. The closest sound to a retroflex that English has is [ ]. For most North Americans, the tongue tip is curled back in [ ] , though not as much as it is in languages that have true retro flexes . Many other North Americans use what is called a "bunched r" -- instead of curling their tongues back, they bunch the front up and push it forward to form an approximant behind the alveolar ridge. r, palatal The active articulator is the tongue body and the passive articulator is the hard palate. The English glide [j] is a palatal. Velar The active articulator is the tongue body and the passive articulator is the soft palate. English velars include [k], [g], and [ glottal This isn't strictly a place of articulation, but they had to put it in the chart somewhere. Glottal sounds are made in the larynx. For the glottal stop, the vocal cords close momentarily and cut off all airflow through the vocal tract. English uses the glottal stop in the interjection uh-uh (meaning 'no'). In [h], the vocal cords are open, but close enough together that air passing between them creates friction noise. Note: [w] is often called a "labio-velar". This doesn't follow the POA naming convention - it does not mean that the active articulator is the lower lip and you try to touch your soft palate with it! A [w] is made up of two different approximants: a bilabial approximant and a (dorso-)velar approximant pronounced simultaneously Consonant parameters (continued) Manners of articulation (P.45-52) Constriction degree Place of articulation refers to where the narrowing occurs -which active articulator gets close to which passive articulator. Constriction degree refers to how close they get. The main constriction degrees are: *Complete closure and sudden release( plosive ) : the active articulator touches the passive articulator and completely cuts off the airflow through the mouth. Simultaneously there is a velic closure , that is the soft palate is raised , thereby shutting off the nasal passage of air . When the active articulator is suddenly remove from passive articulator , the air escapes with small explosive noise . Sounds produced with complete closure and sudden release are called plosive : [p], [p], [t], [d] ,[k ] , [ g ] . *Complete closure and slow release : ( affricates ) If after blocking the oral and the nasal passages of air , the oral closure is removed slowly . Sounds produced with complete closure and slow release are called affricates Chin and jam *Complete oral closure : ( nasal ) the active articulator touches the passive articulator and completely cuts off the airflow through the mouth .But the soft palate is lowered thereby opening the nasal passage of air .The lung air will escape through the nose freely . Sounds produced with complete oral closure are called Nasals . Sum , sun , sung * Intermittent closure ( trill , rolled) the soft palate is raised , thereby shutting off the nasal passage of air . the active articulator strikes against the passive articulator several times with the result that the air escapes between the active and the passive articulators Intermittently . Sounds that are produced with a stricture of Intermittent closure are called trill or rolled . red , ran * Just once and then quickly flaps forward . For some consonants the active articulator strikes against the passive articulator just once and then quickly flaps forward .Such consonants are called taps or flaps . Very * Close approximation (fricative ) the active articulator is brought so closer to the passive articulator that there is a very narrow gap between them . the soft palate is raised , thereby shutting off the nasal passage of air . the result that the air escapes through the narrow space between the active and the passive articulators . Five , vine , thin , sip , zip , sheep and hat •Partial closure : The active and the passive articulators are in firm contact with each other . the soft palate is raised , thereby shutting off the nasal passage of air . if the sides of the tongue are lowered so that there is plenty of gap between the sides of the tongue and the upper molar teeth , the air will escape along the sides of the tongue without friction . Sounds produced with complete closure in the center of the vocal tract but with the air escaping along the sides of the tongue without any frication are called lateral . The initial sound in the word love is lateral . Open approximation : the soft palate is raised , thereby shutting off the nasal passage of air . If the active articulator is brought close to the passive articulator so that there is a wide gap between them , the air will escape through this gap without any frication . Sounds that are produced with a stricture of open approximation Are called frictionless continuants and semi – vowels fricative: the active articulator doesn't touch the passive articulator, but gets close enough that the airflow through the opening becomes turbulent. English fricatives include [f], [ ], [z]. approximant: the active articulator approaches the passive articulator, but doesn't even get close enough for the airflow to become turbulent. English approximants include [j], [w], [ ] ] , and [l]. affricate: Affricates can be seen as a sequence of a stop and a fricative which have the same or similar places of articulation. They are transcribed using the symbols for the stop and the fricative. If one wants to emphasize the affricate as a "single" sound, a tie symbol can be used to join the stop and the fricative (sometimes the fricative is written as a superscript). Notes: A stop cuts off airflow through the mouth. Airflow through the nose does not matter -- you can have both oral and nasal stops. Oral stops are often called plosives, including in the IPA chart. Nasal stops are usually just call ed nasals. Approximants that are apical or laminal are often called liquids (e.g., [ ], [l]). Approximants that correspond to vowels are often called glides (e.g., [j] corresponds to [i], [w] to [u]). English has the affricates [t ] and [d ]. The stop and the fricative halves of these affricates are at the same place of articulation: the stop is in fact postalveolar rather than alveolar. We could be explicit about this and underline the [t] and [d] (in IPA, a minus sign under a symbol is a diacritic meaning "pronounced further back in the mouth"), but most phoneticians believe this difference in the place of articulation is so predictable that it doesn't have to be marked. State of the glottis For now, we can simply use the terms "voiced" and "voiceless" to answer the question of what the vocal cords are doing: In voiced sounds, the vocal cords are vibrating. In voiceless sounds, the vocal cords are not vibrating. Ultimately, we will see there are different ways of being voiced or voiceless. The vocal cords can do a number of things. They can: be held so wide apart that the air makes no sound passing through them. (This is nice when you have to breathe 24 hours a day, but not as useful for speaking.) be held closer together, so that the air passing through them becomes turbulent. This quality of sound is called breathiness. It is what is happening in aspiration and in the sound [h]. be held together so that the air passing through them causes them to vibrate. This is called voicing. be held together so tightly that no air can pass through at all, as in a glottal stop. (By varying their tension and position, the vocal cords can also produce many other effects like breathy voicing, creaky voicing, and falsetto.) What the vocal cords are doing is independent of what the higher parts of the vocal tract are doing. For any place of articulation and any degree of stricture, you can get two different sounds: voiced and voiceless. For example, [t] and [d] are formed identically in the mouth; the difference is that the vocal cords vibrate during a [d] but not during a [t]. (The obvious exception is the glottal place of articulation -- you can't vibrate your vocal cords while making a glottal stop.) In each cell of the IPA chart, the symbol for the voiceless sound is shown to the left and that for the voiced sound to the right. Some rows only have voiced symbols (e.g., nasals and approximants). You can write the corresponding voiceless sound using the voiceless diacritic (a circle under Nasality The soft palate can be lowered, allowing air to flow out through the nose, or it can be raised to block nasal airflow. As was the case with the vocal cords, what the soft palate is doing is independent the other articulators. For almost any place of articulation, there are pairs of stops that differ only in whether the soft palate is raised, as in the oral stop [d], or lowered, as in the nasal stop [n]. Laterality When you form an [l], your tongue tip touches your alveolar ridge (or maybe your upper teeth) but it doesn't create a stop because one or both sides of the tongue are lowered so that air can flow out along the side. Sounds like this with airflow along the sides of the tongue are called lateral, all others are called central (though we usually just assume that The side of the tongue can lower to different degrees. It can lower so little that the air passing through becomes turbulent (giving a lateral fricative like [ ] or [ ]) or it can lower enough for there to be no turbulence (a lateral approximant). The [l] of English is a lateral approximant. Air stream mechanism Speech sounds need air to move. Most sounds (including all the sounds of English) are created by modifying a stream of air that is pushed outward from the lungs. But it's possible for the air to be set in motion in other ways. Sounds which use one of the other three most common airstream mechanisms are called ejectives, implosives, and clicks. We'll discuss these possibilities later in the course. Describing consonant segments A consonant sound can be described completely by specifying each of the parameters for place and manner of articulation. For example, [k] has the following properties: active articulator passive articulator constriction degree state of glottis nasal lateral airstream mechanism tongue body (dorsum) soft palate (velum) stop voiceless no no normal So [k] is a voiceless oral central dorso-velar stop.