Phonetics: The Sounds of Language

Phonetics: The Sounds of Language

Phonetics: The Sounds of Language


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Phonetics: The Sounds of


Lichin Jennifer Yang

March 20, 2012


! Phonetics is the study of speech

sounds that occur in all human

languages to present meanings.

! p.189


Sound Segments

‘cat’ (one sound) /kæt/ 3 sound segments

‘knock’ (one sound) /nɑk/ 3 sound segments

! Linguistics studies the word’s meaning,

not how to spell it.

! p.190, 191

The Phonetic Alphabet


The Phonetic Alphabet



Organs of Articulation

IPA of Consonants

! Let’s draw the chart on the blackboard!


! Place of Articulation: bilabial,

labiodental, interdental alveolar,

palatal, velar, uvular, glottal

! Manner of Articulation: oral stop,

fricative, affricate, nasal stop, liquid,



! Manner of Articulation

! Voicing: voiceless, voiced

! Aspiration: aspirated, unaspirated

Can you find some examples in English &

Mandarin for the following consonants?

Aspirated voiceless Unaspirated voiceless Voiced

pʰ p b

tʰ t d

kʰ k ɡ


! Manner of Articulation

! Approximants

! They are /l/, /r/, /w/ and /j/.

! Trills

! Flaps

! A flap is produced by a flick of the

tongue against the alveolar ridge. (ex:

writer [raIᴅɚ] vs. rider [ra:Iᴅɚ])

Descriptions of Consonants

! voicing + place + aspiration + manner

[pʰ] a voicelss bilabial aspirated (oral) stop

[b] a voiced bilabial oral stop

[p] a voicelss bilabial unaspirated (oral) stop

[ʔ] a glottal (oral) stop

[p,b] bilabial unaspirated oral stop

[x,ɤ] velar fricatives

IPA of Vowels

! Let’s draw the chart on the blackboard!


! Tongue Position

! front, central, back

! Tongue Height

! high, mid, low

! Lip Shape

! rounded, unrounded

! Tense & Lax



! Oral & Nasal (ex: ‘down’ [daUn])

Descriptions of Vowels

! height + position + rounded + tense + vowel

unrounded lax

[i] a high front unrounded tense vowel

Binary Features

! Features of Consonants

! Major Class Features

! syllabic, consonantal

! Manner Features

! sonorant, continuant, nasal, voiced, aspirated,

strident, lateral

! Place Features

! anterior, coronal, labial, high, back, low

! Features of Vowels

Features of Consonants

! high [±high]

-- Place Features

[+high] palatal, velar

! back [±back]

[+back] velar, uvular

! low [±low]

[+low] uvular, glottal

Features of Vowels

! round [±rd] / labial [±lab]

[+rd] ü, Ü, ö, ɔ, u, ʊ, o, ɔ


! tense [±tense]

[+tense] i, e, ü, ö, u, o, ɑ, ɰ, a

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