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By Fasold R., Connor-Linton J.

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The column of air in the mouth is the column of air in the instrument, the filter of the vibration. And the speaker, of course, is the musician, changing the shape of the column of air to modulate the sound produced. Thinking about speech sounds in this way is called the source-filter theory of speech production. This is how it works. As air passes out of the trachea and over the vocal folds, if the speaker holds them in the correct position, the folds begin to vibrate. They flap open and closed at a frequency between about 100 times per second (for a large adult male) and 300 times per second (for a child).

Japanese has a bilabial fricative (IPA [∏] instead of [f ]). This sound, as in the native Japanese pronunciation of futon, is made by blowing through pursed lips, the same motion as blowing out a candle. The lower lip is rather limited in the places at which it can make a constriction. The tongue front is the most versatile of the active articulators, moving to at least four different places of articulation. The tongue tip moves forward to the upper teeth for the sounds at the beginning of thin and then.

We begin with phonetics, the study of how speech sounds are made and perceived, and then discuss phonology, the study of how a language organizes those speech sounds into a meaningful system. qxd 1/10/06 5:21 PM Page 14 pinnacle Raj01:Desktop Folder:CUUK414-fasold-sushil: The sounds of language 14 GOALS The goals of this chapter are to: • describe the basic anatomy of the vocal tract • explain how the structures in the vocal tract are controlled to make speech sounds • show how to transcribe English words using IPA transcription • describe the basic properties of suprasegmental aspects of speech, and how languages differ in their use of them • describe some of the physical properties of sound waves • interpret some basic aspects of waveforms, pitch tracks, and spectrograms • explain phonemic and allophonic distributions • describe some of the most common phonological alternations • introduce some of the major goals of phonological theories Articulatory phonetics The tools of phonetics One of the biggest obstacles phoneticians face is that they can’t see the objects they are studying.

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