Articulatory Phonetics

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CHAPTER 2

Articulatory Phonetics
SPEECH SOUND FORM
LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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When you have finished this chapter, you should be able to:
• List the differences in production and function of vowels versus consonants. • Identify the three descriptive parameters that are used for vowel articulations, and classify the vowels of American English using those three parameters. • Differentiate between monophthong and diphthong vowels. • Define centering diphthongs. • Differentiate between a phonemic and a nonphonemic diphthong. • Identify the four parameters that are used to describe the articulation of consonants. • Define the various manners of articulation. • Classify the consonants of American English according to their organ,
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The anatomical-physiological aspects of such disorders are not within the scope of this chapter. Box 2.1 offers references as an incentive for the reader to rediscover the wealth of information essential to the clinical assessment and remediation of articulatory and phonological impairments.

VOWELS VERSUS CONSONANTS
Speech sounds are commonly divided into two groups: vowels and consonants. Vowels are produced with a relatively open vocal tract; no significant constriction of the oral (and pharyngeal) cavities exists. The airstream from

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CHAPTER 2

the vocal folds to the lips is relatively unimpeded. Therefore, vowels are considered to be open sounds. In contrast, consonants are produced with a significant constriction in the oral and/or pharyngeal cavities during their production. For consonants, the airstream from the vocal folds to the lips and nostrils encounters some type of articulatory obstacle along the way. Therefore, consonants are considered to be constricted sounds. The sagittal midline of For most consonants this the vocal tract refers constriction occurs along to the median plane the sagittal midline of the that divides the vocal vocal tract. This constric- tract into right and left halves. tion for consonants can be exemplified by the first sound in top, [t], or soap, [s]. For [t] the contact of the front of the tongue with the alveolar ridge occurs along this midline while the
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