Epp ped glossary

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  • 1.ENGLISH PHONETICS ANDPHONOLOGYGLOSSARY (A LITTLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF PHONETICS) Peter Roach CLICK ON A LETTER FROM THE LIST BELOW TO JUMP TO THE RELEVANT PAGE CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE INDEXA B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W XaccentThis word is used (rather confusingly) in two different senses: (1) accent may refer toprominence given to a syllable, usually by the use of pitch. For example, in the wordpotato the middle syllable is the most prominent; if you say the word on its own youwill probably produce a fall in pitch on the middle syllable, making that syllableaccented. In this sense, accent is distinguished from the more general term stress,which is more often used to refer to all sorts of prominence (including prominenceresulting from increased loudness, length or sound quality), or to refer to the effortmade by the speaker in producing a stressed syllable. (2) accent also refers to aparticular way of pronouncing: for example, you might find a number of Englishspeakers who all share the same grammar and vocabulary, but pronounce what theysay with different accents such as Scots or Cockney, or BBC pronunciation. The word Peter Roach 2009

2. accent in this sense is distinguished from dialect, which usually refers to a variety of alanguage that differs from other varieties in grammar and/or vocabulary.START~ INDEXacoustic phoneticsAn important part of phonetics is the study of the physics of the speech signal: whensound travels through the air from the speakers mouth to the hearers ear it does so inthe form of vibrations in the air. It is possible to measure and analyse these vibrationsby mathematical techniques, usually by using specially-developed computer softwareto produce spectrograms. Acoustic phonetics also studies the relationship betweenactivity in the speakers vocal tract and the resulting sounds. Analysis of speech byacoustic phonetics is claimed to be more objective and scientific than the traditionalauditory method which depends on the reliability of the trained human ear.START~ INDEXactive articulatorSee articulatorSTART~ INDEXAdams AppleThis is an informal term used to refer to the pointed part of the larynx that can be seenat the front of the throat. It is most clearly visible in adult males. Moving the larynxup and down (as in swallowing) causes visible movement of this point, which is infact the highest point of the thyroid cartilage.START~ INDEXaffricateAn affricate is a type of consonant consisting of a plosive followed by a fricative withthe same place of articulation: examples are the t and d sounds at the beginningand end of the English words church t t, judge d d (the first of these isvoiceless, the second voiced). It is often difficult to decide whether any particularcombination of a plosive plus a fricative should be classed as a single affricate soundor as two separate sounds, and the question depends on whether these are to be Peter Roach 2009 3. regarded as separate phonemes or not. It is usual to regard t, d as affricatephonemes in English (usually symbolised , by American writers); ts, dz, tr, dralso occur in English but are not usually regarded as affricates. The two phrases whychoose wai tu z and white shoes wait u z are said to show the differencebetween the t affricate (in the first example) and separate t and (in the second). START ~ INDEXairstreamAll speech sounds are made by making air move. Usually the air is moved outwardsfrom the body, creating an egressive airstream; more rarely, speech sounds are madeby drawing air into the body an ingressive airstream. The most common way ofmoving air is by compression of the lungs so that the air is expelled through the vocaltract. This is called a pulmonic airstream (usually an egressive pulmonic one, butoccasionally speech is produced while breathing in). Others are the glottalic(produced by the larynx with closed vocal folds; it is moved up and down like theplunger of a bicycle pump) and the velaric (where the back of the tongue is pressedagainst the soft palate, or velum, making an air-tight seal, and then drawn backwardsor forwards to produce an airstream). Ingressive glottalic consonants (often calledimplosives) and egressive ones (ejectives) are found in many non-Europeanlanguages; click sounds (ingressive velaric) are much rarer, but occur in a number ofsouthern African languages such as Nm, Xhosa and Zulu. Speakers of otherlanguages, including English, use click sounds for non-linguistic communication, asin the case of the tut-tut (American tsk-tsk) sound of disapproval. START ~ INDEXallophoneCentral to the concept of the phoneme is the idea that it may be pronounced in manydifferent ways. In English (BBC pronunciation) we take it for granted that the rsounds in ray and tray are the same sound (i.e. the same phoneme), but in realitythe two sounds are very different the r in ray is voiced and non-fricative, while ther sound in tray is voiceless and fricative. In phonemic transcription we use the samesymbol r for both, but we know that the allophones of r include the voiced non-fricative sound and the voiceless fricative one .In theory a phoneme can have an infinite number of allophones, but in practice fordescriptive purposes we tend to concentrate on a small number that occur mostregularly.START ~INDEX Peter Roach 2009 4. alveolarBehind the upper front teeth there is a hard, bony ridge called the alveolar ridge; theskin covering it is corrugated with transverse wrinkles. The tongue comes into contactwith this in some of the consonants of English and many other languages; sounds suchas t, d, s, z, n, l are consonants with alveolar place of articulation.START~ INDEXalveolo-palatalWhen we look at the places of articulation used by different languages, we find manydifferences in the region between the upper teeth and the front part of the palate. It hasbeen proposed that there is difference between alveolo-palatal and palato-alveolar thatcan be reliably distinguished, though others argue that factors other than place ofarticulation are usually involved, and there is no longer an alveolo-palatal column onthe IPA chart. The former place is further forward in the mouth than the latter: theusual example given for a contrast between alveolo-palatal and palato-alveolarconsonants is that of Polish and as in Kasia ka a and kasza kaa.START~ INDEXambisyllabicWe face various problems in attempting to decide on the division of English syllables:in a word like better bet the division could be (using the . symbol to mark syllabledivisions) either be.t or bet., and we need a principle to base our decision on.Some phonologists have suggested that in such a case we should say that the tconsonant belongs to both syllables, and is therefore ambisyllabic; the analysis ofbetter bet is then that it consists of the syllables bet and t.START~ INDEXanteriorIn phonology it is sometimes necessary to distinguish the class of sounds that arearticulated in the front part of the mouth (anterior sounds) from those articulatedtowards the back of the mouth. All sounds forward of palato-alveolar are classed asanterior.START~ INDEX Peter Roach 2009 5. apicalConsonantal articulations made with the tip of the tongue are called apical; this termis usually contrasted with laminal, the adjective used to refer to tongue-bladearticulations. It is said that English s is usually articulated with the tongue blade, butSpanish s (when it occurs before a vowel) and Greek s are said to be apical, giving adifferent sound quality.START ~ INDEXapproximantThis is a phonetic term of comparatively recent origin. It is used to denote a consonantwhich makes very little obstruction to the airflow. Traditionally these have beendivided into two groups: semivowels such as the w in English wet and j inEnglish yet, which are very similar to close vowels such as [u] and [i] but areproduced as a rapid glide; and liquids, sounds which have an identifiableconstriction of the airflow but not one that is sufficiently obstructive to producefricative noise, compression or the diversion of airflow through another part of thevocal tract as in nasals. This category includes laterals such as English l in lead andnon-fricative r (phonetically ) in read. Approximants therefore are never fricativeand never contain interruptions to the flow of air.START ~ INDEXarticulationSee articulator.START ~ INDEXarticulator/ory/ationThe concept of the articulator is a very important one in phonetics. We can onlyproduce speech sound by moving parts of our body, and this is done by thecontraction of muscles. Most of the movements relevant to speech take place in themouth and throat area (though we should not forget the activity in the chest for breathcontrol), and the parts of the mouth and throat area that we move when speaking arecalled articulators. The principal articulators are the tongue, the lips, the lower jawand the teeth, the velum or soft palate, the uvula and the larynx. It has been suggestedthat we should distinguish between active articulators (those which can be moved intocontact with other articulators, such as the tongue) and passive articulators which are Peter Roach 2009 6. fixed in place (such as the teeth, the hard palate and the alveolar ridge). The branch ofphonetics that studies articulators and their actions is called articulatory phonetics. START ~ INDEXarticulatory settingThis is an idea that has an immediate appeal to pronunciation teachers, but has neverbeen fully investigated. The idea is that when we pronounce a foreign language, weneed to set our whole speech-producing apparatus into an appropriate posture orsetting for speaking that language. English speakers with a good French accent, forexample, are said to adjust their lips to a more protruded and rounded shape than theyuse for speaking English, and people who can speak several languages are claimed tohave different gears to shift into when they start saying something in one of theirlanguage