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Speech Sounds and Their System

Claudia Judith Mosquera Muoz Foreign Language Department Teacher


Communication process IPA Articulation Consonants Vowel

What is Phonetics?
Phonetics is the study of the way people physical produce and perceive the different sounds we use to create speech. These sounds are called phonemes and are created by the various 'organs of speech' in the body, including the tongue, the soft and hard palate, lips, pharynx, etc. Phonetics, unlike phonology, is not concerned in any way with the meaning connected to these sounds.

the science of speech sounds

provide the set of features or properties

describe and distinguish all the sounds

Phoneme: A phoneme is the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language.

Three sub-fields of phonetics

articulatory phonetics
acoustic phonetics

speech production by the speech organs

auditory phonetics
physical properties of speech sounds perception of speech sounds

Three sub-fields of phonetics

speech production by the speech organs /:gns/

articulatery /:tkjltli/ phonetics

acoustic /ku:stk/ phonetics

auditory /:dtri/ phonetics

physical properties of speech sounds perception of speech sounds

Can you read this

I take it you already know Of tough and bough and cough and dough? [tf] [bau] [kf] [d] Others may stumble but not you On hiccough, thorough, lough and through. ['hkp] ['r] [lk] [ru:] Well done! And now you wish, perhaps, To learn of less familiar traps?
Bough= rama Dough= masa, plata, lana Thorough=riguroso,concienzudo

International Phonetic Alphabet

The tool in phonetics used to transcribe/trn'skrab/ speech sounds of different languages /'lgwd/


Ways to describe sounds

place of articulation /:tkjlen/ : WHERE the sound is made
manner of articulation: HOW the tongue, lips, etc. are configured/kn'fgrt/ to produce the sound

The production of different speech sounds through the use of speech organs

Speech organs
/'nezl/ /'kvti/ /lvil/ /'plt/

(The soft palate.)




Labio-dental [f] Alveolar [r] Palato-alveolar []

Fresh fried fish, Fish fresh fried, Fried fish fresh, Fish fried fresh.

Epiglottis: The thin elastic cartilaginous structure located at the root of the tongue Uvula: A small, conical, fleshy mass of that folds over the glottis to prevent food and tissue suspended from the center of liquid from entering the trachea during the ac the soft palate. of swallowing.

Pharyngeal cavity: Is the part of t neck and throat situated immedia posterior to (behind) the mouth a nasal cavity, Velum: A membranous cover that resembles a curtain or veil.. the soft palate behind the hard palate.

Speech Organs
Lungs Vocal cords Tongue Teeth

Speech function
supply airstream produce vibration in resonating cavity articulate sounds provide passive articulator and acoustic baffle(frustrate) articulate sounds


The principal cavities or resonators: pharyngeal cavity oral cavity nasal cavity labial cavity The vocal tract: the long tubular structure formed by the pharyngeal cavity, oral cavity and nasal cavity

/reznetr/ /fr.kdl/ /

lebil /nezl/

Process of articulation
The air breathed in lungs the air pressed out windpipe (specialized trachea/trki:/) larynx /'lrks/ mouth cavity Pharynx/frks/ nasal cavity


A sound made by a closure /'kl(r)/ in the vocal tract, or by a narrowing from which air cannot escape without producing audible /':dbl/ friction.

Consonants are described in terms of three dimensions: whether or not the vocal cords are vibratingvoicing; where the sound is being madethe place of articulation; and how the sound is being madethe manner of articulation. All three are really just descriptions of what happens as to the flow of air as a consonant is produced. Voicing. If the vocal cords are vibrating when the air flow passes through the larynx (in the voice box), the sound is described as voiced; if not, the consonant is described as voiceless.

Possible places of articulation for consonants

Type Bilabial/ bi- 'two' + labi'lip' + -al Sounds made with two lips
Labio-dental: labio- 'lip' + dent- 'tooth' + al Sounds made with the upper teeth and the lower lip.


[p] [b] [m] [f] [v]

Interdental: inter- 'between' + dent'tooth' + -al

Sounds made between the teeth

[] []
[t] [d] [n] [l] [r] [s] [z] [j]

Alveolar: alveol- + -ar

Sounds made at the alveolar ridge, the bumpy ridge just behind the teeth

Palatal: palat- + -al

Sounds made behind the alveolar ridge

Palato-alveolar: Sounds made at the velum.

[] [] [t] [d]

possible places of articulation for consonants

Sounds made with either the tongue tip or the tongue blade as the active articulator

Type Velar Glottal glott- + -al Sounds made at the voice box, that is, at the glottis. Retroflex are made with the tongue tip curled back Uvular


[k] [g] [ ] [h]

English uses the glottal "fricative" [h]

A voiced uvualar trill or fricative (depending on the dialect) is used for the R sound of European French and increasingly in Canadian French.


We have seen that a pharyngeal approximant is one of the three gestures that make up an English [r]. It is possible to narrow the pharynx even more to create the radico-pharyngeal fricatives used in, for example, Arabic

Bilabial [p, b, m] ([w]) Labiodental [f, v] Dental [ ] Alveolar [t, d, n, s, z, , l] Postalveolar [, , , ] Retroflex [r] Palatal [j] Velar [k, g, ] Uvular French [r] Pharyngeal Glottal [h], []

Can you read this? Bilabial [b] Alveolar [l], [r]

Blake's black bike's back brake bracket block broke

Write out the following proverbial expressions, which are given in broad transcription.

(1) (2) (3)

/ rod t hel z pevd w d ntennz/ /b:dz v fer flk ter/ / rol ston rz nu ms/

(4) (5)
(6) (7) (8) (9)

/ wtt ktl nevr blz/ /tert i bnz t hom/

/evri klad hz slvr lan/ /ret mandz rn n sem tnlz/ /meni hndz mek lat wrk/ /stl w:trz rn dip/

(10) /i :li b:d ktz w:rm/

(11) /tam nd tad wet fr nu mn/ (l2) / p'tju:nti nks bt wns/ (13) / ful nd hz mni : su:n prtd/ (14) / :l w:k nd nu ple meks dk dl b/ (15) / stt n tam sevz nan/ (16) /t eks tu: t mek kw:rl/ (17) /n pl de kips dktr we/

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Birds of a feather flock together. A rolling stone gathers no moss. A watched kettle never boils. Charity begins at home. Every cloud has a silver lining. Great minds run in the same channels. Many hands make light work. Still waters run deep. The early bird catches the worm. Time and tide wait for no man.

(l2) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17)

Opportunity knocks but once. A fool and his money are soon parted. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A stitch in time saves nine. It takes two to make a quarrel. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

1. El camino del infierno est empedrando de buenas intenciones 2. Dios los cra y ellos se juntan. 3. Piedra que rueda no cra moho. 4. Un calentador de agua, vistos nunca hierve. 5. La caridad empieza en casa. 6. No hay mal que por bien no venga 7. Las grandes mentes se ejecutan en los mismos canales. 8. Muchas manos hacen el trabajo ligero. 9. An as las aguas son profundas. 10. Al que madruga, dios le ayuda. 11. Tiempo y limpieza no espera a nadie 12. Oportunidad de golpes, pero una vez. 13. Un tonto y su dinero pronto se separaron. 14. Todo el trabajo y nada de juego hacen de Jack un chico aburrido. 15. Una puntada a tiempo ahorra nueve 16. Se necesitan dos para hacer una pelea. 17. Una manzana al da mantiene alejado al mdico.

Manner of articulation of consonants



The breath is completely stopped at some point in the mouth, by the lips or tongue-tip or tongueback and then released with slight explosion.

[p] [b] [t] [d] [k] [g] [t] [d] [m] [n] [ ]
[l] [r] [f] [v] [] [] [s] [z] [] [] [h] [w] /u/ [j] /i/ [r]

If the air flow is constricted enough to cause friction, but not completely stopped

Instead of the breath passing down the centre of the mouth, it passes round the side of an obstruction set up in the centre.

The lungs push the air through a narrow opening where it causes friction of various kinds. All have friction as their more important feature.

Glide semi-vowels/semi-consonants
the glides are half-way between vowels and consonants which consist of a quick, smooth, nofriction glide towards a following vowel sound.

Nasal [m]
Mary Mac's mother's making Mary Mac marry me. My mother's making me marry Mary Mac. Will I always be so merry when Mary's taking care of me? Will I always be so merry when I marry Mary Mac?

Fricative []

If a shipshape ship shop stocks six shipshape shopsoiled ships, how many shipshape shopsoiled ships would six shipshape ship shops stock?

While we were walking, we were watching window washers wash Washingtons windows with warm washing water.

Glide [w]

Chart of English Consonants


[p] [t] [k] [f]


[h] [s] ([tr] [ts])

[b] [d] [m] [n] [v] [z] [w] [j] [l] [r] ([dr] [dz])

Which Witch?
For fewer and fewer English speakers, the two words in the name of this board game are distinct -- "wh" is voiceless, while plain "w" is voiced. That's a distinction that goes back to Old English and earlier. But for most speakers today, they sound almost the same.


a sound in which there is no obstruction to the flow of air as it passes from the larynx to the lips

Monophthongs (Pure vowels -Short vowels (Lax vowels):

[i] [e [u]
-Long vowels (Tense vowels):

[i:] [a:] [u:]

Diphthongs (Gliding vowels) (8):

-Falling diphthongs: [ei] [ai] [i] [u] [au]

-Rising diphthongs: [] [] []


e.g. [au]

Pure vowels
location of the tongue in the mouth
the openness of the mouth the shape of the lips

the length and tenseness in articulation


Location of the tongue in the mouth

type front central vowels [i] [i:] [e] [] [] [] [:]


[] [:] [u] [u:] [a:]

The openness of the mouth

type close semi-close semi-open open vowels [i] [i:] [u] [u:] [e] [:] [] [:] [] [] [] [a:]

The position of the tongue raised

type high mid vowels [i] [i:] [u] [u:] [e] [] [:] [:]


[] [] [] [a:]

the shape of the lips

type rounded unrounded vowels [u:] [u] [:] [] [i] [i:] [e] [] [] [] [:] [a:]

Close, front, high vowel [i:]

Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew. While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew. Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze. Freezy trees made these trees' cheese freeze. That's what made these three free fleas sneeze.

Back to the chart

voiceless - left voiced - right
Place of articulation Manner of articulation bilabial labiodental _____ f v interdental _____ alveolar palatal _____ velar glottal

fricative affricate



h _____ _____

_____ _____

_____ _____

_____ _____

_____ _____


liquid lat. retr.

m _____

l r _____












FIGURE 1.4 The International Phonetic Alphabet