Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12

Phonetics 1

Phonetics
A reasonable grounding in articulatory phonetics is a prerequisite for the study of
phonology, for the obvious reason that phonetics provides the substance that
phonology organizes. Language sounds are basically divided into vowels and consonants, the latter in turn subdivided into obstruents and sonorants. The criterion
for this division, and for its subdivisions, is that different types of sound hinder the
exit of air to different degrees. Consonants are mutually kept apart by their place of
articulation, their manner of articulation, the involvement or not of voice, and the
involvement or not of nasality. In addition there are lateral and rhotic consonants.
Vowels by denition do not obstruct the airow in any way, but modulate it through
the interaction of the tongue with the roof of the mouth, or palate. Voice is caused
by the vibration of the vocal folds in the larynx, and nasality by the lowering of
the velum. The ideal eight (or sixteen) basic vowels are known as the cardinal
vowels. The vowels of some languages approximate to the cardinal vowels more
than the vowels of other languages. For better or worse, the vowels of English are
not very cardinal. Moreover, there is considerable variation in vowel realization
throughout the English-speaking world. In order to study language sound we need
to represent it in some durable medium. Spelling is often erratic, and language
sounds are therefore conventionally encoded in phonetic symbols, of which the
alphabet of the International Phonetic Association constitutes the standard and
most widespread set.

Phonetics

HH

Phonetics 3

EXERCISE

1:1
a.

Write down the IPA symbol which represents the following descriptions:
A
A
A
A
A
A
A
A

b.

Articulation and
Phonetic Symbols

voiced alveolar affricate


voiceless palatal stop
voiced glottal fricative
voiced pharyngeal fricative
voiceless uvular fricative
voiceless dental fricative
voiceless uvular stop
voiced uvular fricative

Write down the description of the sound represented by the following IPA
symbols:
[z]

[]

EXERCISE

[]

[]

[]

[b]

[{]

[]

Ghoti Words

1:2
In chapter 1 of A Course in Phonology we quote the remark by George Bernard
Shaw (made in his spelling reformer capacity) that the word sh might equally be
spelled as ghoti (i.e. gh as in laugh, o as in women and ti as in nation). By this
token, the words listed below might each have been spelled in a number of different
ways (in some cases, a large number of ways). First transcribe the words into IPA
and then see how many possible spellings each could have, according to the apparent idiosyncracies of the English spelling system.
sheaf
fusion

qualm
daughter

note
chief

sign
keep

jape
mighty

choose
chest

Phonetics

EXERCISE

Incomplete Diagrams

1:3
The following illustrations are incomplete. Fill in the gaps in order to illustrate the
sounds represented by the IPA symbols beneath each of them.

[f]

[k]

[m]

[]

Figure 1:3

Phonetics 5

EXERCISE

1:4

Place and Manner of


Articulation

Identify the place and manner of articulation of the sounds illustrated in the diagrams
below, and provide phonetic symbols for the sounds. (NB: no voicing is indicated
in the diagrams, so two symbols will need to be provided for each diagram.)

Figure 1:4

Phonetics

EXERCISE

Glottal Stops and Flaps

1:5
Read the list of words below and say which of the orthographic ts can be pronounced as [] (a glottal stop) or [] (an alveolar ap), either in your accent or in
an accent you are familiar with (their distribution will obviously differ according to
accent). Try to elucidate the relative positions in the word of those ts which may
be pronounced as [], [] or [t].
Scotland
market
content

EXERCISE

button
cater
winter

table
curtail
static

tatter
attract
attic

mistake
tent
atlas

Cardinal Vowels

1:6
(i)

Give descriptions of the eight primary and eight secondary cardinal vowels in
terms of the following criteria:
Frontness
Backness
Highness
Lowness
Midness
Roundness

(ii)

Do these criteria distinguish all the vowels?

(iii) Say what the difference is between the members of each of the following pairs
relative to the criteria in (i):
a~e o~ y~u y~
~u ~ y e~ i~w

y~i i~ y w ~u w ~ ~ ~ w
e~o o~ a~w ~e ~o o~

Phonetics 7

EXERCISE

English Vowels

1:7
We present four trapezoids, like those used to display vowels in chapters 5 and 7
of A Course in Phonology. Your task is to plot onto these gures the set of primary
cardinal vowels in (a), the set of secondary cardinal vowels in (b), and those vowels
emboldened in the words listed below in (c) and (d).
a.

b.

c.

d.

c.

bed

look read bad

d.

sigh how

boy

soon big

day dough

calm

call gone bun

Phonetics

EXERCISE

Vowels

1:8
Provide IPA symbols and descriptions for the vowels highlighted in the following
words in your own accent (e.g. [i] high front unrounded vowel):
rub
water
loud
bet
caught
walk

EXERCISE

cook
lake
Jane
bat
cot
dew

Friday
tall
past
coat
one
shore

cold
white
deep
late
hour
sure

father
wide
bit
choose
bird
poor

RP Phonetic Transcription

1:9
Transcribe the following passage into normal English orthography (the symbol '
indicates the beginning of a stressed syllable):
i 'lyft v 'mnjmvnt t hv 'ne}m }n s}ns}'nti 'ha} vn yks'tvvgnt 'b}ld} 'nn
tv v 'yz}dnts vv v 's}ti vz 'tlvps 'fli vn't}l e} 'fa}nli d}'ml}t }t }n 'e}tin'na}nti'e}t
'f}fti j}vz 'le}tv. } 'ate}u } pv'vkt }n 'yvi 'ste}t vv v'my}kv 'ba} v 'bk }
't v'bat v'my}kv 'wftv hv }'tn tu '}glnd 'me}d hv 'ust vz wyl 'nn. fv 'syvvl
'dyke}dz 'pipl 'bt v 'bk }n 'dv tu yn'u} v 'fjui }t yn'uyndvd }n vm. wn
v'my}kn }'d}n 'pa}vt}d frvm } '}gl} pbl}'ke}n z vv 'ks l }'d}nz 'w hd v
symi'hjumvs yd}'t}vl 'pyf}s 'dat} vt v 'bk 'k vli kd b} v pv'dkn vv
vn '}gl} 'le}di. } '}gl} 'le}d}z v 'nt wt a} b}'liv vm tv 'bi }f e} 'yni wn vv
vm wd s 'fw fv'gyt 'wt wvz 'dju tv vm'sylvz n v 'k}ktv vv yv 'knti vz
t 'lynd yv 'ne}m n 'skn tu v 'gs vav'le}n vv v 'kmvn d}'kvmz vv 'la}f.
't 'yd}tv wvz 'a}t} w} 't }n ' ik 'be}s}kli bvt yv wv 'aznz hu 'ykod v
'synt}mvnt 'kwa}t 's}vivsli. 'm}s}s 'tlvp wt v 'ne}m! }n }t'sylf vn vfyns! 'kd }t b}
'tu? hu'yvv } 'wz wvz 'stvnli 'n 'le}di.

Phonetics 9

EXERCISE

GA Phonetic Transcription

1:10
Transcribe the following passage into normal English orthography.
i 'nyvg 'tbld tv ust}fa} hg 'ste}vs vz v le}di tv } v'myvknz. } 'nyvg d}d 'm
v'pwlvua}z} yks'ple}n} wl hg 'la}f 'lw. 'nig d}d } ymv'n}s v'bat hg 'la}f }n
woba}'wgvfi 'mymwwz. wt wvz 'pst wvz 'pst tv 'fni 'twlvp.
} wvz 'bn wn v 'tyn vv 'mw 'syvntin e}i fa}v 'jiz 'le}g vn 'ue}n 'wstvn
hm } 'nyvg 'nu 'mz v 'p}i s}ns e} 'bo vb'zvd 'mngz w} vn a}'wn}k a}.
} wvz v 'dwg vv v 'yvnd 'w}ljvm 'm}ln n h}z 'wa}f h wg 'l}v} vt v 'ta}m
}n v 'v}lvu vv 'ste}pln 'ni 'b}stvl. e} k}snd hg y 'syknd dwg w} v 'ne}m so
'pwpjvlg dur} oz 'jiz v }t 'simz 'hf v 'gl ' }ldn vv '}glvnd }n v 'lst vv
} 'e}in m bv'g}n} vv v 'naintin 'syn i wg 'ne}md 'frnsvs 'kwld 'fni.
'sun 'ftg hg 'b v 'ryvnd 'm}ln wvz v'wd}d v 'l}v} vt 'hykfild }n 'n
'hmpg n 's}ksti 'ma}lz fvm 'lndn. v 'ji so 'le}g v 'sn 'hri wvz 'bn n
'tli y'ftg v 'mg vv 'mei 'fnsvs n 'hyni 'daid.

EXERCISE

1:11

Transcription from
Orthography to Phonetics

Render the following sentences (i) in a broad phonetic transcription and (ii) into a
narrow transcription of your own casual pronunciation. We suggest that you record
yourself (or, alternatively, a friend with a similar accent) saying the sentences at a
normal speech rate and attempt to write down exactly what you hear when you
play back the tape. Say what accent you are transcribing.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.

Did you happen to see my brother on your way here today?


What are you going to do when you graduate?
Are you likely to eat all that pasta on your plate?
Its a lot later than I thought it was and we have to catch a train for London.
This is the story of the different ways we looked for treasure, and I think when
you read it you will see that we were not lazy about the looking.
The mole had been working hard all morning spring-cleaning his little home.

Compare your two transcriptions, commenting on the differences between the broad
and the narrow renderings.

10 Phonetics

EXERCISE

Nonsense Words

1:12
Read out the following nonsense words. Say which of them could be words of
English and which could not (intermediate judgements are possible).
[slubwl]
[ftik]
[ptmt}k]
[]
[kwko]
[}u]
[Lpg]
[tyt]

EXERCISE

[tsit}k]
[qako]
[dulk]
[huk]
[plv]
[g]
[y]
[bd]

[ablu]
[ke}g]
[z}b}l}n]
[peh}p]
[z}hwp]
[Lfklv]
[d]
[d]

[wpik]
[mykvt]
[a}k]
[gtwkw]
[a]
[dl]
[dt]
[ i]

[proto]
[gnagl]
[g]
[twkw]
[ }nu]
[y]
[dt]
[xaa]

GA Phonetic Transcription

1:13
The following passage has no word breaks or stressed syllables marked. Transcribe
it into normal English orthography, including word breaks and punctuation.
ge}ts}izgbnnwtme}dvb}ld}zw}dvla}}nvskwyzmpwksvtg}vzsom pleggn
wtvpwdktvvtanpln}solkwnnsivngdb}znvsvmwnjmvntsnspe}svsw}rvtnt}
nde}la}tn}ndimzg}nla}kliwfsp}vvs}vvla}ze}nzmostykstt}kromnsvgndjun
jvnvvmninvnvi

EXERCISE

RP Phonetic Transcription

1:14
The following passage has no word breaks or stressed syllables marked. Transcribe
it into normal English orthography, including word breaks and punctuation.
mninvnvtib}ltwystm}nstvbinsmplzkvidrvlle}datha}dpwkswmdp}a}fltavne
}zdvhylmzlinvkra}zlvb}ld}zwthvvvtyvs}zvvnvsplyndvzvvbahastvdw}nvs
ysvti}t}zstvnvtw}nidb}ld}znvt}nsmgre}ts}tizla}knjujkzb}ld}zmvstgpwvdz

Phonetics

EXERCISE

11

Faulty Transcription

1:15
The transcription of the passage below is riddled with errors. You should identify
these errors, correct them, and then transcribe the passage into normal orthography.
}n ipz lyk vz a} wvd la}k t yxpl v nmbv vf iuz }lat} tv hjumvn cgnvt}v
kvps}t}z n v myntvl stc vs vt sv vz vivklz fv } yksvca}z vv thiz kapsvt}z.
ple}nli }s fmjle}n vv v poblvm ymbd}z assmnz vt v fw fvm kl}v vnd v ha}li
cntvvl }nsofw vz e} w kl}v. a} w}ll tra} tv me}k vm klivrv nd a} hop m
plzibl vz a} pvsid. }n } ynd v byst we} tv kl}fa} iz asmpnz vnd t }vljuate
vm }z tv kvnstkt spvs}fik mdlz ga}d}d ba} vm in pvt}kjlar dvme}nz yn to wsk
ha iz mdlz fyv wyn }ntpvt}d vz yxplnvti iv}z. }f v lid} a}divz v vppop}vt
e} w}l b} wpvnd vn jst}fa}d ba} thv sksys vv yksplnvtri iv}z vt d}vylvp vm
}n v spvs}f}k we}. a} w}l nt atempt v systvmwt}k pryzvnte}n vv sch v mdl h}v bvt
w}l d}sks ppvt}z vv som vt v bi}g }nvyst}ge}t}d o }n tychn}kl std}z e} v nt
pezynt}d }n iz termz w} a} wnt tv sggyst v } vpop}vt tmz. v kgn}t}v
dvme}n vt w}l pimy}li kvnsn mi }z humvn lgw}u. v izn fv v }s }z }n pwt
psnl }lati tv l}m}ts vv ma} on nderstnd}. a} ink }t fyv tv se} hoyvv vt }
} uz v m iz}li formjle}t}d vm bytv undvstood }n kvnek n w} hjumvn lgw}u
thn v dvme}nz v hjumvn kgn}n w} }z nt tv syi vt the} w kl}vli fmjle}t}d
wyl ndvstd. e w sm hu wd v vli a}dynt}fa} v stdi vv lngu}u n v stdi
ov ma}nd kwa}n fv ygzwmple. }s }z nt ma} own vju.

12 Phonetics

HH