Spoken language phonetics:
Consonant articulation and transcription
LING 200
Spring 2003
Phonetic transcription
a mystery language
1.
‘driftwood’
2.
‘cane’
3. ‘footwear’
4.
‘grease’
5. ‘straight up’
6.
‘your collarbone’
Articulatory phonetics
• Description of speech sounds
– place of articulation
– manner of articulation (degree of
occlusion)
– laryngeal setting
– other parameters
• Transcription of speech sounds
• Sound inventories
Vocal tract
structures
relevant
for speech
nasal cavity
pharynx
oral cavity
Vocal tract
structures
relevant
for speech
•Upper articulator
•Lower articulator
Major structures
structure (noun)
lips
teeth
alveolar ridge
hard palate
soft palate = velum
nasal cavity
larynx
glottis
adjectival descriptor
labial
dental
alveolar
palatal
velar
nasal
laryngeal
glottal
Place of articulation
some places of articulation
upper articulator
lower articulator
Some places of articulation in
English
lower
articulator
(bi-)
(apico-)
(dorso-)
upper
articulator
labial
alveolar
velar
example
bill
dill
gill
Manner of articulation (degree of
occlusion)
• How close are lower and upper
articulator?
– Relatively close, narrowed or
constricted (‘occluded’) airflow:
consonants
– Relatively far apart, unconstricted
airflow: vowels
Manner of articulation
• Consonant subclasses
– Stops: complete occlusion of airflow
–bill, dill, gill
– Fricatives: air pressure build-up
behind occlusion; turbulent airflow
– Liquids and glides: no pressure
build-up
English fricatives
Fricative: produced with turbulent airflow,
pressure build-up behind occlusion
place of articulation example
labiodental
fin
interdental
thin
alveolar
sin
palatal
shin
laryngeal
hinder
Affricates
• = stop released into fricative of ‘same’
place of articulation
• in English
place
example
palatal (palato-alveolar) chin
Liquids and glides
= Approximants: No pressure buildup, non-turbulent airflow
place
example
alveolar
lip
(alveolar)
rip
palatal
yip
labial
whip
Place x manner of articulation
(English)
labial labiodental
stop
bin
fricative
approximant
inter- alveolar palatal velar
dental
din
Vinnie then zing
win
glottal
again
vision
Lynn yen
him
State of the
glottis
(laryngeal
setting)
The larynx
The vocal cords
rear of body
States of the glottis in English
• voiced: vocal cords close, vibrate when air
passes through glottis
• voiceless: vocal cords apart, do not vibrate
• Some voiced and voiceless fricatives
voiceless
voiced
labio-dental
fix
vixen
inter-dental
thin
then
alveolar
sip
zip
palatal
Aleutian
illusion
Other
consonant
parameters:
oral vs.
nasal
Oral vs. nasal
• Velum raised
– Air flows into oral cavity only
oral sound
• Velum lowered (resting position)
– Air flows into oral and nasal cavities
nasal sound
English oral vs. nasal stops
Stop: produced with complete occlusion in
oral cavity
(oral) stop
nasal (stop)
bilabial
pin bin
Kim
alveolar
tin din
kin
velar
kin again
king
Other consonant parameters: lateral
•What part of the tongue (lower articulator)
approaches the upper articulator?
•Only tip: air flows around side(s) of
tongue (‘lateral’)
•Air flows over all tongue surface
(‘central’)
•English: lip (lateral) vs. rip
Phonetic description
• Consonants
– State of glottis
– Place of articulation
– Manner of articulation
voiceless
bilabial
stop
Phonetic transcription
• Alphabetic and other symbols which
abbreviate phonetic descriptions
– E.g. voiceless bilabial stop = [p]
• Different systems of phonetic
transcription
– International Phonetic Association
– ‘Americanist’/U.S.
Phonetic transcription
• A more consistent way of representing
sound than most writing systems
– e.g. English <c>: [k] [kræbi] <crabby>
[s] [pnsl] <pencil>
• A universal framework for the
description of languages
• Many languages lack writing systems
Consonant charts
Place of articulation
Manner of
articulation
(state of the glottis)
Consonant charts
English
labial
stops
labio- interdental dental
pb
alveol
td
glottal
kg
tS dZ
affricates
fricatives
fv

sz
nasals
m
n
apx
w ()
r
apxlateral
palatal velar
l
SZ
h
N
j
Witsuwit’en
• Athabaskan family
• apx. 180 speakers
Some
Witsuwit’en
speakers
Mabel Forsythe
Lillian Morris, Peter John
Some Witsuwit’en sounds
Ejective stops and affricates
Ejective stops and affricates
[nt’q]
[ntq]
[ptsq]
[pts’q]
‘your collarbone’
‘up’
‘his outer ear’
‘his little finger’
Uvular place of articulation
[qh]
[ntq]
‘footwear’
‘straight up’
[qis]
[q’X]
[X]
‘Chinook salmon’
‘backwards’
‘grease’
Voiceless lateral fricative, lateral affricates
[t]
[]
[stet]
[st’et]
‘smoke’
‘dam’
‘it’s licking me’
‘he farted’
Witsuwit’en consonant chart
stops
lab alv
pal
lab-vel
uvu
glot
p p’ t th t’
c ch c’
kw kwh kw’
q qh q’

ç
xw
X
h
j
w

aff
ts tsh ts’
aff-lat
t th t’
fric
sz
fric-lat

nasals
m
n
apx
apx-lat
l
Summary
• Describing consonants
– place of articulation
– manner of articulation (degree of occlusion)
– state of glottis
– other parameters: nasal/oral, lateral/central
• Phonetic transcription
• Consonant charts
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Phonetics - University of Washington