Consonants and vowel

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					Consonants and vowel

    January 13, 2004
          Sounds of English
Consonants: first, the stops
• b as in bat, sob, cubby
• d as in date, hid, ado
• g as in gas, lag, ragged
• p as in pet, tap, repeat
• t as in tap, pet, attack
     More consonants: fricatives
•   f as in fail, life
•   v as in veil, live
•    as in thin, wrath
•    as in this, bathe
•   s as in soft, miss
•   z as in zoo, as
•    as in shame, mash
•   ž or  as in triage, garage, azure?,
•   h as in help, vehicular
• t or č as in cheap, hatch
• d as in jump, hedge
            nasal consonants
•   m as in map, him
•   n as in knot, tin (alveolar POA)
•   ñ as in canyon
•   ŋ as in sing, gingham, dinghy
• l as in large, gull
• r as in red, jar
   glides and semi-consonants
• y as in boy, yellow
• w as in wall, cow
•   6 stops
•   2 affricates
•   9 fricatives
•   4 nasals
•   2 liquids
•   2 glides
               Short vowels
Front:                   •  schwa as in about
• I as in bit

 e as in bet
• æ as in bat
 as in put
 as in putt
 as in bought
a as in Mott, ma, spot
                Long vowels
•   iy or i as in beet
•   ey or ej as in bait
•   ay as in bite
•   oy as in boy
•   uw or u as in boot
•   ow as in boat
    Review where we’ve been
• We’ve listened to the sounds of “our”
  English, and assigned a set of symbols to
• 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
• 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:
  – 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
• 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.
• 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
            Sonority hierarchy
•   Vowels
•   Glides
•   Liquids
•   Nasals
•   Obstruents:
    – Fricatives
    – Affricates
    – Stops
• Consonants = obstruents + sonorants
  – Obstruents: (oral) stops, affricates, and
  – Sonorants: nasals and liquids (l,r)
      Consonants have a point of
The crucial points of articulation for English
  consonants are:
• Labial
• Labio-dental
• Dental
• Alveolar: at the alveolar ridge, behind the teeth
• Post-alveolar/palato-alveolar/alveopalatal:
  multiple names for the same thing
• Retroflex (r only)
• Palatal (y, ñ)
• Velar
• Laryngeal
• 6 stops
• 9 fricatives
• 2 affricates
• Nasals (4)
• 2 other sonorants (what are they?)
• 2 glides
• 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.
Two systems side by side
A phonetic chart based on the first
          two formants
/i/ green

 /ae/ hat

/u/ boot

            graphics thanks to
            Kevin Russell, Univ of Manitoba
                              “Hi” /haj/

we were away a year ago   FORMANTS

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