Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs (phones): their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory perception, and neurophysiological status. Phonology, on the other hand, is concerned with the abstract, grammatical characterization of systems of sounds or signs.
In the case of oral languages, phonetics has three basic areas of study:
The first known phonetic studies were carried out as early as the 6th century BCE by Sanskrit grammarians. The Hindu scholar Pāṇini is among the most well known of these early investigators, whose four part grammar, written around 350 BCE, is influential in modern linguistics and still represents "the most complete generative grammar of any language yet written". His grammar formed the basis of modern linguistics and described a number of important phonetic principles including voicing. This early account described resonance as being produced either by tone, when vocal folds are closed, or noise, when vocal folds are open. The phonetic principles in the grammar are considered "primitives" in that they are the basis for his theoretical analysis rather than the objects of theoretical analysis themselves, and the principles can be inferred from his system of phonology.
Advancements in phonetics after Pāṇini and his contemporaries were limited until the modern era, save some limited investigations by Greek and Roman grammarians. In the millenia between Indic grammarians and modern phonetics the focus of phonetics shifted from the difference between spoken and written language, which was the driving force behind Pāṇini's account, and began to focus on the physical properties of speech alone. Sustained interest in phonetics began again around 1800 CE with the term "phonetics" being first used in the present sense in 1841. With new developments in medicine and the development of audio and visual recording devices, phonetic insights were able to use and review new and more detailed data. This early period of modern phonetics included the development of an influential phonetic alphabet based on articulatory positions by Alexander Melville Bell. Known as visible speech, it gained prominency as a tool in the oral education of deaf children.
Speech sounds are generally produced by the modification of an airstream exhaled from the lungs. The respiratory organs used to create and modify airflow are divided into three regions: the vocal tract (supralaryngeal), the larynx, and the subglottal system. The airstream can be either egressive (out of the vocal tract) or ingressive (into the vocal tract). In pulmonic sounds, the airstream is produced by the lungs in the subglottal system and passes through the larynx and vocal tract. Glottalic sounds use an airstream created by movements of the larynx without airflow from the lungs. Clicks or lingual ingressive sounds create an airstream using the tongue.
Articulations take place in particular parts of the mouth. They are described by the part of the mouth that constricts airflow and by what part of the mouth that constriction occurs. In most languages constrictions are made with the lips and tongue. Constrictions made by the lips are called labials. The tongue can make constrictions with many different parts, broadly classified into coronal and dorsal places of articulation. Coronal articulations are made with either the tip or blade of the tongue, while dorsal articulations are made with the back of the tongue. These divisions are not sufficient for distinguishing and describing all speech sounds. For example, in English the sounds [s] and [ʃ] are both voiceless coronal fricatives, but they are produced in different places of the mouth. Additionally, that difference in place can result in a difference of meaning like in "sack" and "shack". To account for this, articulations are further divided based upon the area of the mouth in which the constriction occurs.
Articulations involving the lips can be made in three different ways: with both lips (bilabial), with one lip and the teeth (labiodental), and with the tongue and the upper lip (linguolabial). Depending on the definition used, some or all of these kinds of articulations may be categorized into the class of labial articulations. Ladefoged and Maddieson (1996) propose that linguolabial articulations be considered coronals rather than labials, but make clear this grouping, like all groupings of articulations, is equivocable and not cleanly divided. Linguolabials are included in this section as labials given their use of the lips as a place of articulation.
Bilabial consonants are made with both lips. In producing these sounds the lower lip moves farthest to meet the upper lip, which also moves down slightly, though in some cases the force from air moving through the aperature (opening between the lips) may cause the lips to separate faster than they can come together. Unlike most other articulations, both articulators are made from soft tissue, and so bilabial stops are more likely to be produced with incomplete closures than articulations involving hard surfaces like the teeth or palate. Bilabial stops are also unusual in that an articulator in the upper section of the vocal tract actively moves downwards, as the upper lip shows some active downward movement.
Labiodental consonants are made by the lower lip rising to the upper teeth. Labiodental consonants are most often fricatives while labiodental nasals are also typologically common. There is debate as to whether true labiodental plosives occur in any natural language, though a number of languages are reported to have labiodental plosives including Zulu, Tonga, and Shubi. Labiodental affricates are reported in Tsonga which would require the stop portion of the affricate to be a labiodental stop, though Ladefoged and Maddieson (1996) raise the possibility that labiodental affricates involve a bilabial closure like "pf" in German. Unlike plosives and affricates, labiodental nasals are common across languages.
Linguolabial consonants are made with the blade of the tongue approaching or contacting the upper lip. Like in bilabial articulations, the upper lip moves slightly towards the more active articulator. Articulations in this group do not have their own symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet, rather, they are formed by combining an apical symbol with a diacritic implicitly placing them in the coronal category. They exist in a number of languages indigenous to Vanuatu such as Tangoa, though early descriptions referred to them as apical-labial consonants. The name "linguolabial" was suggested by Floyd Lounsbury given that they are produced with the blade rather than the tip of the tongue.
Coronal consonants are made with the tip or blade of the tongue and, because of the agility of the front of the tongue, represent a variety not only in place but in the posture of the tongue. The coronal places of articulation represent the areas of the mouth the tongue contacts or makes a constriction, and include dental, alveolar, and post-alveolar locations. Tongue postures using the tip of the tongue can be apical if using the top of the tongue tip, laminal if made with the blade of the tongue, or sub-apical if the tongue tip is curled back and the bottom of the tongue is used. Coronals are unique as a group in that every manner of articulation is attested. Australian languages are well known for the large number of coronal contrasts exhibited within and across languages in the region.
Dental consonants are made with the tip or blade of the tongue and the upper teeth. They are divided into two groups based upon the part of the tongue used to produce them: apical dental consonants are produced with the tongue tip touching the teeth; interdental consonants are produced with the blade of the tongue as the tip of the tongue sticks out in front of the teeth. No language is known to use both contrastively though they may exist allophonically.
Crosslinguistically, dental consonants and alveolar consonants are frequently contrasted leading to a number of generalizations of crosslinguistic patterns. The different places of articulation tend to also be contrasted in the part of the tongue used to produce them: most languages with dental stops have laminal dentals, while languages with apical stops usually have apical stops. Languages rarely have two consonants in the same place with a contrast in laminality, though Taa (ǃXóõ) is a counterexample to this pattern. If a language has only one of a dental stop or an alveolar stop, it will usually be laminal if it is a dental stop, and the stop will usually be apical if it is an alveolar stop, though for example Temne and Bulgarian do not follow this pattern. If a language has both an apical and laminal stop, then the laminal stop is more likely to be affricated like in Isoko, though Dahalo show the opposite pattern with alveolar stops being more affricated.
Retroflex consonants have a number of different definitions depending on whether the position of the tongue or the position on the roof of the mouth is given prominence, though in general they represent a group of articulations in which the tip of the tongue is curled upwards to some degree. In this way, retroflex articulations can occur in a number of different locations on the roof of the mouth including alveolar, post-alveolar, and palatal regions. If the underside of the tongue tip makes contact with the roof of the mouth, it is sub-apical though apical post-alveolar sounds are also described as retroflex. Typical examples of sub-apical retroflex stops are commonly found in Dravidian languages, and in some languages indigenous to the southwest United States the contrastive difference between dental and alveolar stops is a slight retroflexion of the alveolar stop. Acoustically, retroflexion tends to affect the higher formants.
Articulations taking place just behind the alveolar ridge, known as post-alveolar consonants, have been referred to using a number of different terms. Apical post-alveolar consonants are often called retroflex, while laminal articulations are sometimes called palato-alveolar; in the Australianist literature, these laminal stops are often described as 'palatal' though they are produced further forward than the palate region typically described as palatal. Because of individual anatomical variation, the precise articulation of palato-alveolar stops (and coronals in general) can very widely within a speech community.
Dorsal consonants are those consonants made using the tongue body rather than the tip or blade.
Palatal consonants are made using the tongue body against the hard palate on the roof of the mouth. They are frequently contrasted with velar or uvular consonants, though it is rare for a language to contrast all three simultaneously, with Jaqaru as a possible example of a three way contrast.
Velar consonants are made using the tongue body against the velum. They are incredibly common crosslinguistically; almost all languages have a velar stop. Because both velars and vowels are made using the tongue body, they are highly affected by coarticulation with vowels and can be produced as far forward as the hard palate or as far back as the uvula. These variations are typically divided into front, central, and back velars in parallel with the vowel space. They can be hard to distinguish phonetically from palatal consonants, though are produced slightly behind the area of prototypical palatal consonants.
Uvular consonants are made by the tongue body contacting or approaching the uvula. They are rare, occurring in an estimated 19 percent of languages, and large regions of the Americas and Africa have no languages with uvular consonants. In languages with uvular consonants, stops are most frequent followed by continuants (including nasals).
The larynx, commonly known as the "voice box" is a cartilaginous structure in the trachea responsible for phonation. The vocal folds (chords) are held together so that they vibrate, or held apart so that they do not. The positions of the vocal folds are achieved by movement of the arytenoid cartilages. The intrinsic laryngeal muscles are responsible for moving the arytenoid cartilages as well as modulating the tension of the vocal folds. If the vocal folds are not close enough or not tense enough, they will vibrate sporadically (described as creaky or breathy voice depending on the degree) or not at all (voiceless sounds). Even if the vocal folds are in the correct position, there must be air flowing across them or they will not vibrate. The difference in pressure across the glottis required for voicing is estimated at 1 – 2 cm H20 (98.0665 – 196.133 pascals). The pressure differential can fall below levels required for phonation either because of an increase in pressure above the glottis (superglottal pressure) or a decrease in pressure below the glottis (subglottal pressure). The subglottal pressure is maintained by the respiratory muscles. Supraglottal pressure, with no constrictions or articulations, is about atmospheric pressure. However, because articulations (especially consonants) represent constrictions of the airflow, the pressure in the cavity behind those constrictions can increase resulting in a higher supraglottal pressure.
The lungs are the engine that drives nearly all speech production, and their importance in phonetics is due to their creation of pressure for pulmonic sounds. The most common kinds of sound across languages are pulmonic egress, where air is exhaled from the lungs. The opposite is possible, though no language is known to have pulmonic ingressive sounds as phonemes. Many languages such as Swedish use them for paralinguistic articulations such as affirmations in a number of genetically and geographically diverse languages. Both egressive and ingressive sounds rely on holding the vocal folds in a particular posture and using the lungs to draw air across the vocal folds so that they either vibrate (voiced) or do not vibrate (voiceless). Pulmonic articulations are restricted by the volume of air able to be exhaled in a given respiratory cycle, known as the vital capacity.
The lungs are used to maintain two kinds of pressure simultaneously in order to produce and modify phonation. In order to produce phonation at all, the lungs must maintain a pressure of 3–5 cm H20 higher than the pressure above the glottis. However small and fast adjustments are made to the subglottal pressure to modify speech for suprasegmental features like stress. A number of thoracic muscles are used to make these adjustments. Because the lungs and thorax stretch during inhalation, the elastic forces of the lungs alone are able to produce pressure differentials sufficient for phonation at lung volumes above 50 percent of vital capacity. Above 50 percent of vital capacity, the respiratory muscles are used to "check" the elastic forces of the thorax to maintain a stable pressure differential. Below that volume, they are used to increase the subglottal pressure by actively exhaling air.
During speech the respiratory cycle is modified to accommodate both linguistic and biological needs. Exhalation, usually about 60 percent of the respiratory cycle at rest, is increased to about 90 percent of the respiratory cycle. Because metabolic needs are relatively stable, the total volume of air moved in most cases of speech remains about the same as quiet tidal breathing. Increases in speech intensity of 18 dB (a loud conversation) has relatively little impact on the volume of air moved. Because their respiratory systems are not as developed as adults, children tend to use a larger proportion of their vital capacity compared to adults, with more deep inhales.
An important factor in describing the production of most speech sounds is the state of the glottis—the space between the vocal folds. Muscles inside the larynx make adjustments to the vocal folds in order to produce and modify vibration patterns for different sounds. Two canonical examples are modal voiced, where the vocal folds vibrate, and voiceless, where they do not. Modal voiced and voiceless consonants are incredibly common across languages, and all languages use both phonation types to some degree. Consonants can be either voiced or voiceless, though some languages do not make distinctions between them for certain consonants.[a] No language is known to have a phonemic voicing contrast for vowels, though there are languages, like Japanese, where vowels are produced as voiceless in certain contexts. Other positions of the glottis, such as breathy and creaky voice, are used in a number of languages, like Jalapa Mazatec, to contrast phonemes while in other languages, like English, they exist allophonically. Phonation types are modelled on a continuum of glottal states from completely open (voiceless) to completely closed (glottal stop). The optimal position for vibration, and the phonation type most used in speech, modal voice, exists in the middle of these two extremes. If the glottis is slightly wider, breathy voice occurs, while bringing the vocal folds closer together results in creaky voice.
There are a number of ways to determine if a segment is voiced or not, the simplest being to feel the larynx during speech and note when vibrations are felt. More precise measurements can be obtained through acoustic analysis of a spectrogram or spectral slice. In spectrographic analysis, voiced segments show a voicing bar, a region of high acoustic energy, in the low frequencies of voiced segments. In examining a spectral splice, the acoustic spectrum at a given point in time a model of the vowel pronounced reverses the filtering of the mouth producing the spectrum of the glottis. A computational model of the unfiltered glottal signal is then fitted to the inverse filtered acoustic signal to determine the characteristics of the glottis. Visual analysis is also available using specialized medical equipment such as ultrasound and endoscopy.[b]
For the vocal folds to vibrate, they must be in the proper position and there must be air flowing through the glottis. The normal phonation pattern used in typical speech is modal voice, where the vocal folds are held close together with moderate tension. The vocal folds vibrate as a single unit periodically and efficiently with a full glottal closure and no aspiration. If they are pulled farther apart, they do not vibrate and so produce voiceless phones. If they are held firmly together they produce a glottal stop.
If the vocal folds are held slightly further apart than in modal voicing, they produce phonation types like breathy voice (or murmur) and whispery voice. The tension across the vocal ligaments (vocal cords) is less than in modal voicing allowing for air to flow more freely. Both breathy voice and whispery voice exist on a continuum loosely characterized as going from the more periodic waveform of breathy voice to the more noisy waveform of whispery voice. Acoustically, both tend to dampen the first formant with whispery voice being more extreme deviations. 
Holding the vocal folds more tightly together results in a creaky voice. The tension in across the vocal folds is less than in modal voice, but they are held tightly together resulting in only the ligaments of the vocal folds vibrating.[c] The pulses are highly irregular, with low pitch and frequency amplitude.
When producing speech, the articulators move through and contact particular locations in space resulting in changes to the acoustic signal. Some models of speech production take this as the basis for modeling articulation in a coordinate system which may be internal to the body (intrinsic) or external (extrinsic). Intrinsic coordinate systems model the movement of articulators as positions and angles of joints in the body. Intrinsic coordinate models of the jaw often use two to three degrees of freedom representing translation and rotation. These face issues with modeling the tongue which, unlike joints of the jaw and arms, is a muscular hydrostat like an elephant trunk that lacks joints. Because of the different physiological structures, movement paths of the jaw are relatively straight lines during speech and mastication, while movements of the tongue follow curves.
Straight line movements have been used to argue articulations as planned in extrinsic rather than intrinsic space, though extrinsic coordinate systems also include acoustic coordinate spaces, not just physical coordinate spaces. Models which assume movements are planned in extrinsic space run into an inverse problem of explaining the muscle and joint locations which produce the observed path or acoustic signal. The arm, for example, has seven degrees of freedom and 22 muscles, so multiple different joint and muscle configurations can lead to the same final position. For models of planning in extrinsic acoustic space, the same one-to-many mapping problem applies as well, with no unique mapping from physical or acoustic targets to the muscle movements required to achieve them. Concerns about the inverse problem may be exagerated, however, as speech is a highly learned skill using neurological structures which evolved for the purpose.
The equilibrium-point model proposes a resolution to the inverse problem by arguing that movement targets be represented as the position of the muscle pairs acting on a joint.[d] Importantly, muscles are modeled as springs, and the target is the equilibrium point for the modeled spring-mass system. By using springs, the equilibrium point model is able to easily account for compensation and response when movements are disrupted. They are considered a coordinate model because they assume that these muscle positions are represented as points in space, equilibrium points, where the spring-like action of the muscles converges.
Gestural approaches to speech production propose that articulations are represented as movement patterns rather than particular coordinates to hit. The minimal unit is a gesture which represents a group of "functionally equivalent articulatory movement patterns that are actively controlled with reference to a given speech-relevant goal (e.g., a bilabial closure)." These groups represent coordinative structures or "synergies" which view movements not as individual muscle movements but as task-dependent groupings of muscles which work together as a single unit. This reduces the degrees of freedom in articulation planning, a problem especially in intrinsic coordinate models, which allows for any movement that achieves the speech goal, rather than encoding the particular movements in the abstract representation. Coarticulation is well described by gestural models as the articulations at faster speech rates can be explained as composites of the independent gestures at slower speech rates.
Phonetics as a research discipline has three main branches:
Phonetic insight is used in a number of applied linguistic fields such as:
In contrast to phonetics, phonology is the study of how sounds and gestures pattern in and across languages, relating such concerns with other levels and aspects of language. Phonetics deals with the articulatory and acoustic properties of speech sounds, how they are produced, and how they are perceived. As part of this investigation, phoneticians may concern themselves with the physical properties of meaningful sound contrasts or the social meaning encoded in the speech signal (socio-phonetics) (e.g. gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.). However, a substantial portion of research in phonetics is not concerned with the meaningful elements in the speech signal.
While it is widely agreed that phonology is grounded in phonetics, phonology is a distinct branch of linguistics, concerned with sounds and gestures as abstract units (e.g., distinctive features, phonemes, morae, syllables, etc.) and their conditioned variation (via, e.g., allophonic rules, constraints, or derivational rules). Phonology has been argued to relate to phonetics via the set of distinctive features, which map the abstract representations of speech units to articulatory gestures, acoustic signals or perceptual representations.
Phonetic transcription is a system for transcribing sounds that occur in a language, whether oral or sign. The most widely known system of phonetic transcription, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), provides a standardized set of symbols for oral phones. The standardized nature of the IPA enables its users to transcribe accurately and consistently the phones of different languages, dialects, and idiolects. The IPA is a useful tool not only for the study of phonetics, but also for language teaching, professional acting, and speech pathology.
In phonology, an allophone (; from the Greek ἄλλος, állos, "other" and φωνή, phōnē, "voice, sound") is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds, or phones, or signs used to pronounce a single phoneme in a particular language. For example, in English, [t] (as in stop [stɔp]) and the aspirated form [tʰ] (as in top [ˈtʰɔp]) are allophones for the phoneme /t/, while these two are considered to be different phonemes in some languages such as Thai and Hindi. On the other hand, in Spanish, [d] (as in dolor [doˈloɾ]) and [ð] (as in nada [ˈnaða]) are allophones for the phoneme /d/, while these two are considered to be different phonemes in English.
The specific allophone selected in a given situation is often predictable from the phonetic context, with such allophones being called positional variants, but some allophones occur in free variation. Replacing a sound by another allophone of the same phoneme usually does not change the meaning of a word, but the result may sound non-native or even unintelligible.
Native speakers of a given language perceive one phoneme in the language as a single distinctive sound and are "both unaware of and even shocked by" the allophone variations that are used to pronounce single phonemes.Aspirated consonant
In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of breath that accompanies either the release or, in the case of preaspiration, the closure of some obstruents. In English, aspirated consonants are allophones in complementary distribution with their unaspirated counterparts, but in some other languages, notably most Indian and East Asian languages, the difference is contrastive, while in Arabic and Persian, all stops are aspirated.To feel or see the difference between aspirated and unaspirated sounds, one can put a hand or a lit candle in front of one's mouth, and say spin [spɪn] and then pin [pʰɪn]. One should either feel a puff of air or see a flicker of the candle flame with pin that one does not get with spin.Back vowel
A back vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the highest point of the tongue is positioned relatively back in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Back vowels are sometimes also called dark vowels because they are perceived as sounding darker than the front vowels.Near-back vowels are essentially a type of back vowels; no language is known to contrast back and near-back vowels based on backness alone.Bilabial consonant
In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a labial consonant articulated with both lips.Coronal consonant
Coronal consonants are consonants articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. Among places of articulation, only the coronal consonants can be divided into as many articulation types: apical (using the tip of the tongue), laminal (using the blade of the tongue), domed (with the tongue bunched up), or subapical (using the underside of the tongue) as well as different postalveolar articulations (some of which also involve the back of the tongue as an articulator): palato-alveolar, alveolo-palatal and retroflex. Only the front of the tongue (coronal) has such dexterity among the major places of articulation, allowing such variety of distinctions. Coronals have another dimension, grooved, to make sibilants in combination with the orientations above.Diction
Diction (Latin: dictionem (nom. dictio), "a saying, expression, word"), in its original meaning, is a writer's or speaker's distinctive vocabulary choices and style of expression in a poem or story. In its common meaning, it's the distinctiveness of speech, the art of speaking so that each word is clearly heard and understood to its fullest complexity and extremity, and concerns pronunciation and tone, rather than word choice and style. This is more precisely and commonly expressed with the term enunciation, or with its synonym articulation.Diction has multiple concerns, of which register is foremost—another way of saying this is whether words are either formal or informal in the social context. Literary diction analysis reveals how a passage establishes tone and characterization, e.g. a preponderance of verbs relating physical movement suggests an active character, while a preponderance of verbs relating states of mind portrays an introspective character. Diction also has an impact upon word choice and syntax.
Aristotle, in The Poetics (20) states that "Diction comprises eight elements: Phoneme, Syllable, Conjunction, Connective, Noun, Verb, Inflection, and Utterance. However, Epps states that in this passage "the text is so confused and some of the words have such a variety of meanings that one cannot always be certain what the Greek says, much less what Aristotle means."Human voice
The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal tract, such as talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. The human voice frequency is specifically a part of human sound production in which the vocal folds (vocal cords) are the primary sound source. (Other sound production mechanisms produced from the same general area of the body involve the production of unvoiced consonants, clicks, whistling and whispering.)
Generally speaking, the mechanism for generating the human voice can be subdivided into three parts; the lungs, the vocal folds within the larynx (voice box), and the articulators. The lung, the "pump" must produce adequate airflow and air pressure to vibrate vocal folds. The vocal folds (vocal cords) then vibrate to use airflow from the lungs to create audible pulses that form the laryngeal sound source. The muscles of the larynx adjust the length and tension of the vocal folds to ‘fine-tune’ pitch and tone. The articulators (the parts of the vocal tract above the larynx consisting of tongue, palate, cheek, lips, etc.) articulate and filter the sound emanating from the larynx and to some degree can interact with the laryngeal airflow to strengthen it or weaken it as a sound source.
The vocal folds, in combination with the articulators, are capable of producing highly intricate arrays of sound. The tone of voice may be modulated to suggest emotions such as anger, surprise, fear, happiness or sadness. The human voice is used to express emotion, and can also reveal the age and sex of the speaker. Singers use the human voice as an instrument for creating music.International Phonetic Association
The International Phonetic Association (IPA; French: Association phonétique internationale, API) is an organization that promotes the scientific study of phonetics and the various practical applications of that science. The IPA’s major contribution to phonetics is the International Phonetic Alphabet—a notational standard for the phonetic representation of all languages. The acronym IPA is used to refer to both the association and the alphabet. On 30 June 2015, it was incorporated as a British private company limited by guarantee.The IPA also publishes the Journal of the International Phonetic Association. In addition, it arranges for the quadrennial International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) through its affiliate, the Permanent Council for the Organization of ICPhS.Liquid consonant
In phonetics, liquids or liquid consonants are a class of consonants consisting of lateral approximants like 'l' together with rhotics like 'r'.Palatalization (phonetics)
In phonetics, palatalization (, also US: ) or palatization refers to a way of pronouncing a consonant in which part of the tongue is moved close to the hard palate. A consonant pronounced this way is called a palatalized consonant. Palatalized consonants have secondary articulation in the hard palate, or two places of articulation, one of which is palatal. They contrast with palatal consonants, which have palatal primary articulation.
Palatalized consonants are pronounced as if followed very closely by the palatal approximant [j], the sound of y in yellow. For example, in the Polish word kiedy "when", the letters ki represent a palatalized [k], transcribed as [kʲ]. This is a very similar sound to the ⟨c⟩ in the English cube.Peter Ladefoged
Peter Nielsen Ladefoged (; Danish: [pedɐ nelsn̩ ˈlæːðfowð]; 17 September 1925 – 24 January 2006) was a British linguist and phonetician. He was active at the universities of Edinburgh, Scotland and Ibadan, Nigeria 1953–61.He was Professor of Phonetics Emeritus at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he taught from 1962 to 1991. His book A Course in Phonetics is a common introductory text in phonetics, and The Sounds of the World's Languages (co-authored with Ian Maddieson) is widely regarded as a standard phonetics reference. Ladefoged also wrote several books on the phonetics of African languages.Pronunciation
Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language is spoken. This may refer to generally agreed-upon sequences of sounds used in speaking a given word or language in a specific dialect ("correct pronunciation"), or simply the way a particular individual speaks a word or language.
A word can be spoken in different ways by various individuals or groups, depending on many factors, such as: the duration of the cultural exposure of their childhood, the location of their current residence, speech or voice disorders, their ethnic group, their social class, or their education.Relative articulation
In phonetics and phonology, relative articulation is description of the manner and place of articulation of a speech sound relative to some reference point. Typically, the comparison is made with a default, unmarked articulation of the same phoneme in a neutral sound environment. For example, the English velar consonant /k/ is fronted before the vowel /iː/ (as in keep) compared to articulation of /k/ before other vowels (as in cool). This fronting is called palatalization.
The relative position of a sound may be described as advanced (fronted), retracted (backed), raised, lowered, centralized, or mid-centralized. The latter two terms are only used with vowels, and are marked in the International Phonetic Alphabet with diacritics over the vowel letter. The others are used with both consonants and vowels, and are marked with iconic diacritics under the letter. Another dimension of relative articulation that has IPA diacritics is the degree of roundedness, more rounded and less rounded.Sonorant
In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is produced with continuous, non-turbulent airflow in the vocal tract; these are the manners of articulation that are most often voiced in the world's languages. Vowels are sonorants, as are consonants like /m/ and /l/: approximants, nasals, flaps or taps, and most trills.
In older usage, only the term resonant was used with this meaning, and sonorant was a narrower term, referring to all resonants except vowels and semivowels.Stop consonant
In phonetics, a stop, also known as a plosive or oral occlusive, is a consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases.
The occlusion may be made with the tongue blade ([t], [d]) or body ([k], [ɡ]), lips ([p], [b]), or glottis ([ʔ]). Stops contrast with nasals, where the vocal tract is blocked but airflow continues through the nose, as in /m/ and /n/, and with fricatives, where partial occlusion impedes but does not block airflow in the vocal tract.Stress (linguistics)
In linguistics, and particularly phonology, stress or accent is relative emphasis or prominence given to a certain syllable in a word, or to a certain word in a phrase or sentence. This emphasis is typically caused by such properties as increased loudness and vowel length, full articulation of the vowel, and changes in pitch. The terms stress and accent are often used synonymously in this context, but they are sometimes distinguished. For example, when emphasis is produced through pitch alone, it is called pitch accent, and when produced through length alone, it is called quantitative accent. When caused by a combination of various intensified properties, it is called stress accent or dynamic accent; English uses what is called variable stress accent.
Since stress can be realised through a wide range of phonetic properties, such as loudness, vowel length, and pitch, which are also used for other linguistic functions, it is difficult to define stress solely phonetically.
The stress placed on syllables within words is called word stress or lexical stress. Some languages have fixed stress, meaning that the stress on virtually any multisyllable word falls on a particular syllable, such as the penultimate (e.g. Polish) or the first. Other languages, like English and Russian, have variable stress, where the position of stress in a word is not predictable in that way. Sometimes more than one level of stress, such as primary stress and secondary stress, may be identified. However, some languages, such as French and Mandarin, are sometimes analyzed as lacking lexical stress entirely.
The stress placed on words within sentences is called sentence stress or prosodic stress. This is one of the three components of prosody, along with rhythm and intonation. It includes phrasal stress (the default emphasis of certain words within phrases or clauses), and contrastive stress (used to highlight an item − a word, or occasionally just part of a word − that is given particular focus).Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the active articulator and passive articulator. Standard Spanish
A trill is made by the articulator being held in place and the airstream causing it to vibrate. Usually a trill vibrates for 2–3 contacts, but may be up to 5, or even more if geminate. However, trills may also be produced with only one contact. While single-contact trills are similar to taps and flaps, a tap or flap differs from a trill in that it is made by a muscular contraction rather than airstream.Voice (phonetics)
Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds (usually consonants). Speech sounds can be described as either voiceless (otherwise known as unvoiced) or voiced.
The term, however, is used to refer to two separate concepts:
Voicing can refer to the articulatory process in which the vocal folds vibrate, its primary use in phonetics to describe phones, which are particular speech sounds.
It can also refer to a classification of speech sounds that tend to be associated with vocal cord vibration but may not actually be voiced at the articulatory level. That is the term's primary use in phonology: to describe phonemes; while in phonetics its primary use is to describe phones.For example, voicing accounts for the difference between the pair of sounds associated with the English letters "s" and "z". The two sounds are transcribed as [s] and [z] to distinguish them from the English letters, which have several possible pronunciations, depending on the context. If one places the fingers on the voice box (i.e. the location of the Adam's apple in the upper throat), one can feel a vibration while zzzz is pronounced but not with ssss. (For a more detailed, technical explanation, see modal voice and phonation.) In most European languages, with a notable exception being Icelandic, vowels and other sonorants (consonants such as m, n, l, and r) are modally voiced.
When used to classify speech sounds, voiced and unvoiced are merely labels used to group phones and phonemes together for the purposes of classification.