CHAPTER 4: Vowels and Diphthongs Flashcards Preview

SPA 320-H01 INTRO TO PHONETICS > CHAPTER 4: Vowels and Diphthongs > Flashcards

Flashcards in CHAPTER 4: Vowels and Diphthongs Deck (50)
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1

VOWEL

A speech sound that is formed without a *significant constriction of the oral and pharyngeal cavities and that serves as a syllable nucleus.

Vowels are associated with an open tract from the larynx to the lips.

*the cavities are never narrowed, unlike consonants.

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MONOPHTHONG

A pure vowel.

A vowel having a single, unchangeable sound quality.

IPA symbols: /u/ (who), /ɪ/ (hid), /æ/ (had).

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DIPHTHONGS

A vowel-like sound that serves as a syllable nucleus and involves a gradual transition from one vowel articulation (onglide) to another (offglide). 

IPA symbols: /ɑɪ/ (eye)

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TONGUE HEIGHT

The relative vertical position of the tongue body.

In English and most other languages, the tongue has a range of vowel positions in the high-low (or superior-inferior) dimensions.

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HIGH VOWELS

Vowels that are produced in the highest (superior) position in which the tongue is close to the roof of the mouth.

Vowels like /i/ (he) and /u/ (who) are high vowels.

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LOW VOWELS

A vowel produced in a low (inferior) position, with the tongue depressed in the mouth.

Vowels /ɑ/ (hot) and /æ/ (hat) are low vowels.

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TONGUE ADVANCEMENT

The vowel feature or dimension pertaining to the position of the tongue body along the anterior-posterior (front-back) aspect.

Advancement implies anterior or frontal position.

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VOWEL QUADRILATERAL

A four-sided figure having the corner, or point /i u ɑ æ/ as its vertices.

For a high tongue position, the extremes in tongue advancement are given by the vowels /i/ (high-front) and /u/ (high-back).

For a low tongue position, the extremes in tongue advancement are given by the vowels /æ/ (low-front) and /ɑ/ (low-back). 

The quadrilateral diagram is useful for describing the tongue position for vowel articulation, as its two basic dimensions are high-low and front-back.

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ROUNDED VOWELS

Are produced with the lips in a pursed and protuded state, so that they form the letter O when viewed from the front.

Vowels like /u/ (who) and /ɝ/ (her) are rounded vowels.

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UNROUNDED VOWELS

A vowel that is produced without rounding or protrusion of the lips.

Vowels /i/ (he) and /ɑ/ (ha) are unrounded.

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FRONT SERIES

A vowel produced with the tongue positioned near the front of the mouth and the lips in an unrounded state. 

The front vowel series is bounded by the high-front /i/ (he) and the low-front /æ/ (hat).

Includes the vowels 

/ i ɪ e ɛ æ /,

all of which are unrounded.

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CENTRAL SERIES

Vowels that are produced with the tongue positioned in the center of the mouth.

The first vowel in upon is an example.

The central vowels are

/ ɝ ɜ ɚ ə ʌ /.

Tongue height varies little between these vowels except that /ʌ/ is both lower and farther back than the other central vowels.

The two vowels / ɝ ɜ / often are rounded, but the degree of rounding varies considerably with speaker and dialect. 

The vowels / ə ʌ / are usually not rounded.

The weaker or unstressed /ɚ/ is variable with rounding.

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BACK SERIES

This series includes the vowels 

/ u ʊ o ɔ ɑ /,

all of which except /ɑ/ tend to be rounded.

The tongue is positioned at the back of the mouth for these vowels, but there is some variation in their position along a front-back dimension.

Because the tongue is in the back of the mouth, the region of greatest constriction is in the pharynx or near the velum.

These vowels constituted 12% of the vowels and diphthongs and about 4% of all sounds recorded.

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POINT VOWEL

Also known as a corner vowel.

A vowel that is produced with the tongue in the extreme front and high position.

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R-COLORED

A sound that carries the phonetic quality of /r/, the rhotic consonant.

This quality is best described acoustically, because the articulatory correlate is complex.

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RETROFLEX

Literally "turned back"; this term is used to denote sounds that carry r coloring, such as the vowels in the words bird and further.

However, "retroflex" is a misleading and inaccurate articulatory description and is best regarded as an arbitrary label.

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RHOTACIZED

A sound made with r-coloring.

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SCHWA VOWEL

The ultimate reduced vowel /ə/, which is described as unstressed, lax or short, and mid-central.

Schwa occupies the center of the vowel quadrilateral and can achieve the minimal duration for a vowel sound.

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REDUCTION

Generally, a shortening or unstressing of a vowel, which may be accompanied by a change in vowel quality, usually in the direction of centralization.

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ONGLIDE

The initial vowel or vocal tract shape of a diphthong.

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OFFGLIDE

The terminal vowel or vocal tract shape of a diphthong.

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DIPHTHONGIZATION

Alteration of a pure vowel (or monophthong) to a dynamic articulation of changing vowel quality.

For example, speakers of Southern speech sometimes produce yes /jɛs/ as /jeəs/ and cat /kæt/ as /keæt/. 

Diphthongization should be noted in a phonetic transcription whenever more than one vowel quality can be heard in a syllable nucleus.

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MONOPTHONGIZATION

Alteration of a diphthong to a pure vowel; that is, loss of the dynamic phonetic quality of a diphthong.

For example, a speaker who says /ɑ/ for /ɑɪ/, as often happens in Southern speech, is monophthongizing diphthong /ɑɪ/. 

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NASALIZED

A sound produced with nasal resonance, usually accompanied by an open velopharyngeal port.

 

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DERHOTACIZATION

Partial loss of r coloring from a normally rhotacized vowel (/ɝ/ or /ɚ/ in English).

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ACOUSTIC VOWEL SPACE

A diagram in which the frequencies of the first two formats, F1 and F2, define a space in which any vowel can be represented as a single point.

This acoustic space corresponds to an articulatory vowel space defined by the dimensions of tongue height and tongue advancement.

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RESONATOR

The vocal tract is a resonator, meaning that it selectively reinforces certain aspects of sound.

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FORMANTS

A particular set of resonances.

A resonance of the vocal tract determined by the length and shape of the tract.

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SOURCE-FILTER THEORY

States that energy from the source (vibrating vocal folds in the larynx) is filtered or modified by the resonances (formants) of the vocal tract.

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RADIATED ACOUSTIC ENERGY

The energy that passes through the vocal tract, through the lips or nose and into the atmosphere.