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Basic Phonetics for Teachers

describes basic phonetics to help teachers understand how to better teach ELL students

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Basic Phonetics for Teachers

  1. 1. Classifications and Characteristics of Speech Sounds By: Angela Ferry Western Governor’s University February 2007
  2. 2. The English Language System <ul><li>Speech results from a complex interaction between several systems in the body. </li></ul><ul><li>The brain, the sense of hearing, the lungs, larynx, vocal tract, and tongue all work together to produce the sounds of the English language. </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the process and anatomy of speech can assist teachers in teaching ELL learners. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Anatomy of the Voice System (Voice Foundation, 2006)
  4. 4. Voicing <ul><li>Sounds are classified on the basis of their voicing. </li></ul><ul><li>Voicing is produced when the larynx muscles vibrate. </li></ul><ul><li>The larynx muscles form the vocal bands. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a picture of a normal larynx. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Voicing contiuned… <ul><li>Sounds can be voiced or voiceless. </li></ul><ul><li>Voiced sounds require vibration of the muscles in the larynx that form the vocal bands. </li></ul><ul><li>The space between these bands is called the “glottis.” </li></ul><ul><li>This photo shows the glottis during normal breathing periods. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Voicing Continued.. <ul><li>The glottis is closed when the vocal bands are brought together. </li></ul><ul><li>This is called “adducted.” </li></ul><ul><li>This action blocks the breath stream that builds up below and causes the bands to vibrate repeatedly. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic: (Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Voicing continued.. <ul><li>This graphic shows what the vocal bands look like when they are open, or abducted. </li></ul><ul><li>The bands move together like stiff rubber bands to restrict and adjust airflow for forming speech sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Vowels and Voicing <ul><li>Vibratory cycles are necessary for the vowels and voiced consonants. </li></ul><ul><li>When the glottis is partially closed, it will produce sounds such as /h/. </li></ul><ul><li>All the vowels are voiced except for voiceless vowels in whispered speech. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Physiology of Speech <ul><li>Diagram of Vocal Fold Vibration </li></ul><ul><li>1 Column of air pressure moves upward towards vocal folds in &quot;closed&quot; position 2, 3 Column of air pressure opens bottom of vibrating layers of vocal folds; body of vocal folds stays in place </li></ul><ul><li>4, 5 Column of air pressure continues to move upward, now towards the top of vocal folds, and opens the top </li></ul><ul><li>6–10 The low pressure created behind the fast-moving air column produces a Bernoulli effect which causes the bottom to close, followed by the top </li></ul><ul><li>10 Closure of the vocal folds cuts off the air column and releases a pulse of air </li></ul><ul><li>(voicefoundation.org, 2006) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Consonants and Voicing <ul><li>Consonants are made up of many pairs of sounds called ‘cognates.’ </li></ul><ul><li>We tell them apart primarily by their voicing. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, the pairs s/z, p/b, and t/d. </li></ul><ul><li>The first sound is voiceless, the second is voiced. </li></ul><ul><li>As a rule, the voiceless member of the pair will be produced with more muscle tension, more airflow, and a shorter sound duration than the second member. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Spoken Word <ul><li>“ The spoken word results from three components of voice production: voiced sound, resonance, and articulation.” </li></ul><ul><li>Voiced sound is the basic sound produced by vocal fold vibrations. </li></ul><ul><li>Often referred to as a “buzzy sound.” </li></ul><ul><li>(voiceproblem.org, 2004) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Place of Articulation <ul><li>A place of articulation is a point of contact for producing a speech sound. It is the vocal configuration necessary for the production of sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many places of articulation as indicated on the left. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Description of Places of Articulation <ul><li>1,2: Labial Sounds are produced here. </li></ul><ul><li>3: Inderdental </li></ul><ul><li>4: Dental sounds </li></ul><ul><li>5,6: Alveolar sounds </li></ul><ul><li>7, 8: Palatal sounds, Velar sounds </li></ul><ul><li>9: Uvular sounds </li></ul><ul><li>10: Pharyngeal sounds </li></ul><ul><li>11-14: Glottal sounds </li></ul><ul><li>15: Interdental sounds </li></ul><ul><li>16-18: Labiodental sounds </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic: Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Articulation and Sound Production <ul><li>With articulation, vowels typically have nine basic positions determined by the placement of the tongue. </li></ul><ul><li>Consonants are organized much the same way, using the lips more than the vowels do. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>LABIAL sounds: Produced by one or both lips. They break down into bilabial (both lips) sounds and labiodentals (lower lip touches upper teeth). </li></ul><ul><li>Labial sounds can be produced by one or both lips. </li></ul><ul><li>Labial sounds are /p/, /b/, /f/, /v/, /m/, and /w/. </li></ul><ul><li>When both lips are used it is called a bilabial sound. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of bilabial sounds are the /p/ and /b/ sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of bilabial words are ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ </li></ul><ul><li>When the lower lip hits the upper teeth, the sound is a labiodental sound. For example, the sound /v/. (Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>Place of Articulation Place of Articulation Place of Articulation
  16. 16. Place of Articulation <ul><li>DENTAL sounds: When the tongue contacts the teeth, for example: /ð/ and /θ/ </li></ul><ul><li>ALEVEOLARS: These sounds occur when the tongue contacts the upper area behind the teeth. Examples include: /r/,/t/,and /l/. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Place of Articulation <ul><li>PALATALS: For these sounds, the tongue must touch some part of the roof of the mouth. These sounds are also broken down into various groups depending upon the placement of the tongue on the palate. Some examples of this sound are: /ʧ/, /ʃ/, /ʤ/. </li></ul><ul><li>VELLARS: These sounds are produced when the tongue touches the soft palate (/k/,/g/). </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Place of Articulation <ul><li>And, last, but not least… </li></ul><ul><li>GLOTTALS: The only sound of this kind in American English is the /h/ sound made by narrowing the glottis by partially opening the vocal folds to produce some friction. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>The manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, and other speech organs are involved in making a sound make contact. Manner is often used in describing the production of consonants. (Manner of Articulation, 2006) As indicated later on during the presentation, there are many manners of articulation. </li></ul><ul><li>(www.umanitoba.ca) </li></ul><ul><li>This controls the flow of air and produces the sounds we hear. (Edwards,2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Once the articulators (tongue, lips, etc.) are in place, they behave in particular ways . </li></ul>Manners of Articulation
  20. 20. Manner of Articulation and the Tongue <ul><li>The tongue plays an important role in the manner of articulation and production of speech sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>The type of sound and articulation is determined by the placement and contact of the tongue in the mouth. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Placement of the Tongue and Sound Production (Edwards, 2003) <ul><li>The tongue can touch the teeth producing a dentalized sound. </li></ul><ul><li>The tongue can touch the area behind the upper teeth producing an alveolar sound. (/t/, /d/, /s/, /z/, /n/, /l/ /r/, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>The tongue can touch the roof of the mouth (hard palate). </li></ul><ul><li>producing a palatal sound. Some productions of /r/ are palatal. </li></ul><ul><li>For sounds such as /k/, and /g/, the tongue touches the soft palate and are called Velar sounds. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Various Manners of Articulation <ul><li>In Phonetics, articulation may be divided into two large classes, obstruents and sonorants. The following slides will describe these and other various manners of articulation. Again, manner of articulation refers to how the sound is produced. There are many manners of articulation. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Obstruents <ul><li>Obstruents consonants are characterized by an obstructed vocal tract, either complete or partial. All of the consonants except the sonorants are obstruents. To understand obstruent sounds better, compare the labial /b/ and /w/. The /b/ sound is a sound that completely blocks the vocal tract while the /w/ sound does not. (Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Sonorants <ul><li>When a sonorant sound is produced, the channels through which air passes are relatively open. </li></ul><ul><li>The sonorant sounds are: </li></ul><ul><li>/m/, /n/, /l/, /r/, /w/, and /j/ </li></ul><ul><li>Sonorant sounds are produced without much extra effort on the part of the speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Nasals, Stridents, and Stops <ul><li>Nasal sounds are produced when sonorant sounds are made as the passageway into the nasal cavity is opened by the lowering of the soft palate. Examples would be /m/ and /n/. </li></ul><ul><li>Strident sounds are made by directing the airflow against a surface such as the teeth, producing considerable friction. Examples would be /f/, /v/, and /s/. </li></ul><ul><li>Stops are obstruent sounds made by the complete stoppage of airflow through the vocal tract. Examples would be /b/, /t/, and /g/. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Approximants <ul><li>Approximants are termed much the same way sonorants are. </li></ul><ul><li>With approximants, the articulators approach each other, but not to the extent that turbulence is produced. </li></ul><ul><li>If the articulators are required to be completely closed, then the sound (such as the nasal sounds), are not approximants. Even though they are resonated through the nose. </li></ul><ul><li>The approximant sounds are: /l/, /r/, /w/, and /j/. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Fricatives and Affricatives <ul><li>Fricatives are obstruent sounds produced from a partial blockage of the breath stream. This partial blockage results in friction or turbulence during the sound production. Examples of fricative sounds are: /h/, /s/, and /z/. </li></ul><ul><li>Affricatives are sounds that begin as a stop, then are released as a fricative. When this happens, the sound released is termed an affricative. (Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Sibilants <ul><li>Sibilants are often referred to as the “hushing or hissing” sounds. The are characterized by relatively high frequency noise. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of sibilant sounds are: /s/, and /z/. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Laterals and Liquids <ul><li>LATERALS: In American English, there exists a sole lateral consonant produced with lateral airflow around one or both sides of the tongue. </li></ul><ul><li>The /l/ is also characterized as a lateral approximant. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>LIQUIDS: These sounds are produced with little to no friction. Laterals and liquids share many commonalities. Often they are treated as the same class of sound production. In American English, the sounds /r/, and /l/ are considered liquid sounds. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Glides <ul><li>When a consonant is rapidly transitioned to a following vowel, the sound is a glide. When the sound is produced from a transition between a consonant and a preceding vowel, it is termed an ‘off glide.’ </li></ul><ul><li>The common glides for American English are: /l/ and /r/. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Phonetic Features Not Distinguishing Phonemes <ul><li>To review, a phoneme is another name for a speech sound. </li></ul><ul><li>Speech sounds are most often divided into the categories of vowels and consonants. </li></ul><ul><li>Vowels are produced when the vocal tract is basically unobstructed. </li></ul><ul><li>Consonants are produced when the vocal tract has some degree of obstruction of air flow. </li></ul><ul><li>(Voice Foundation, 2006) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Exceptions to the Rule of Classifying Speech Sounds <ul><li>According to Harold Edwards, “sometimes phoneticians need to add features to the specification of a particular phoneme to demonstrate a sounds change that occurs in a particular context.” </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes in American English, consonant sounds can also be used as vowel sounds. (Such as the /y/ sound.) (Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Phonetic Features: Syllabic/Nonsyllabic and Aspiration/Nonaspiraton <ul><li>Other phonetic features that do not distinguish phonemes could be designated as Syllabic/Nonsyllabic . For example the /l/ in bottle serves as a vowel like consonant in the words. Even though the word has two syllables, you do not hear a vowel in the second syllable, which is unstressed. </li></ul><ul><li>Two other features would be Aspiration/Nonaspiration. Aspiration would help describe the voiceless stops in American English. During aspiration, a strong burst of air accompanies either the release or the closure of outward airflow. For example the /p/ sound changes in the word pot, and in the word spot. The first is aspirated, but in combination with other consonants, the second is nonaspirated . </li></ul><ul><li>To see the difference in aspirated and nonaspirated sounds, hold your hand in front of your mouth and say the word, “tore.” With the hand remaining in front of the mouth, now say the word, “store.” You should feel a puff of air with the word “tore” that you do not feel with the word “store.” The word “tore” carried within it an aspirated sound. The /t/ sound should be the aspirated sound. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  34. 34. Stress/Nonstress <ul><li>Another feature of phonetic features that do not distinguish phonemes would be Stress/Nonstress. For example, say the word ‘record’ with the stress sound in the beginning of the word, and you may be identifying an object that harbors music. Say the word ‘record’ with the stress at the end of the word, and you are referring to taping something that is spoken or heard. </li></ul><ul><li>These ways help distinguish vowels in syllables of their typical emphasis (stress) from vowels in other contexts (nonstress) </li></ul><ul><li>Stress/Nonstress features are useful in helping to distinguish vowels in syllables of Stress (primary emphasis) from vowels in other contexts labeled Nonstress. </li></ul><ul><li>(Edwards, 2003) </li></ul>
  35. 35. Summary <ul><li>Sound characteristics and classifications are numerous and diverse. Phoneticians continue to classify sounds today. Basically, sounds are classified in broad categories and are then narrowed into smaller categories. They are refined and distinctive in their properties. </li></ul>
  36. 36. For The ELL Teacher <ul><li>Learning about speech sounds and their specific features can assist ELL teachers in recognizing problems that may occur because of basic anatomy, sound mispronunciation, and tongue placement in the student. This can help the teacher remedy the problem or seek additional intervention for the student. </li></ul>
  37. 37. For The Teacher continued… <ul><li>Understanding at least the general characteristics of speech and their developmental stages will also assist teachers in individualizing curriculum and seeking out additional resources for ELL students. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Why Should Teachers of ELL Students Have a Basic Knowledge of Phonetics? <ul><li>Most teachers in the everyday classroom can and should understand the basics of Phonetics. Not only for speech therapy purposes, but for use in assisting all students in gaining proficiency in the English language. As I have taught ELL students, the research I have learned about basic phonetics has helped me in a variety of ways in an everyday classroom setting. The following slides will describe what I have learned about the importance of basic phonetics for teachers. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Communication <ul><li>Language is the basic building block for communication. Differences in sound systems have a phonological basis: they depend upon speech organ positions and breath control. Understanding basic phonetics will help teachers understand the physical aspects of speech production. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Social Acceptance <ul><li>A major challenge for ELL learners is fitting in to a traditional English classroom, especially if the student is older. To make this adjustment easier, the teacher can assure the student that they are producing sounds that are aesthetically pleasing to those around him/her and are understood by native English speakers. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Bad Habits….Never Started? <ul><li>It may be possible for teachers to prevent bad speech habits from forming in ELL students. If teachers can understand the correct sound pronunciation, students can learn this. Understanding this, the student and teacher can work to avoid sound errors getting in the way of other targets, such as easily producing words, using words correctly, and gaining speech confidence. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Effects of Speech on Students <ul><li>ELL students in particular may be sensitive to producing new sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>ELL students may do twice as much listening as speaking, and learning the flow of natural speech will assist in their language development. </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking is a key element in communication and gives students the skills and confidence needed to succeed in a classroom and in their everyday lives. </li></ul>
  43. 43. References <ul><li>Manner of articulation. (2006). Retrieved February 20, 2007, from Answers.com http://www.answers.com/topic/manner-of-articulation </li></ul><ul><li>Russell, K. (2006). Phonetics-English Consonants. Retrieved February 19, 2007 from http://www.umanitoba.ca/linguistics/russels/phonetics/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>Voiceproblem.org. (2004). Understanding How Voice is Produced. Retrieved February 19, 2007 from http://www.voiceproblem.org/anatomy/understanding.asp </li></ul><ul><li>Edwards, H. T. (2003). Applied phonetics: The sounds of American English . Clifton Park, New York: Delmar Learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Voice foundation. (2006). Retrieved February 20, 2007, from The Voice Foundation Web site: http://www.voicefoundation.org </li></ul>