Questions tagged [phonetics]

The study of the production and perception of sounds or "phones".

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16 views

Breaking a word down into its constituent phonemes

How should the nonsense word 'frabjous' be broken down into its constituent phonemes? For example, I think -fr is a consonant blend, -ab is a blend, and -ou is a vowel digraph, etc. Also, is there a ...
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Influence of sonorant consonants / semivowels on f0

I think it's fairly well established that voiced stops tend to depress f0 while unvoiced stops tend to raise it, but I'm less clear on other types of consonant. I'm especially interested in sonorant ...
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How do tones work in music sung in tonal languages, such as Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese?

I have not yet studied tonal languages, so it might be understandable, but when I listen to Chinese music, for example, I'm unable to perceive tones. This makes me think they are partially or ...
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some good books to read on the major areas in Linguistics

Can anyone please suggest some good books to read on the major areas in Linguistics, including Second Language Acquisition?
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Given both a word and the corresponding IPA, how to match/map the letters together?

Given both the word and the corresponding IPA equivalent, is there any stable algorithm for mapping the letter of each word to the IPA letter? For example, given close-quote and IPA kloʊzkwoʊt -- I'd ...
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During second language acquisition, is it common for the speech organs to get tired by speaking the second language?

I am a non-native speaker of English (I'd rather not say what my native language is). I have noticed that my speech organs (tongue, lips, jaws and also the palate but I'm not so sure if it's the ...
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1answer
72 views

Diphthong detection technique — reference?

I find it hard to directly detect which sounds a diphthong is composed of (or whether it even is a diphthong at all), but I found a little trick for it that seems to work. In song, one sometimes ...
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608 views

Which IPA sounds are similar?

Question: Is there a matrix or table showing how audibly similar the different sounds from the IPA are? I'm looking for a scalar value that somehow measures the oral distance between two phonemes. ...
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What does the preceding /s/ do to the aspiration of the following voiceless plosive?

Take for example English voiceless plosives such as /p t k/ which are aspirated at the start of a stressed syllable and before a vowel as in kill, tar, pie: [kʰɪl] [tʰɑː(r)] [pʰaɪ] But after a ...
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66 views

Is the vocalic R and L pronounced the same in all Indian languages?

Wondering what exactly is meant by the vocalic R and L in Oriya, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, and other related Indian languages. In many of these languages on Wikipedia, you find the IPA transcription ...
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38 views

What is the difference between these two nasalization constructs in Telugu, ఁ ం?

One is a half circle, one is a full circle, they both seem to nasalize the preceding vowel, but what is the difference in terms of IPA, or another way to describe it?
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How diachronically stable is release type?

Are there examples of languages completely shifting from (vocalic) release of all coda stops to, say, nasal release? I imagine substrate effects could account for some of these cases (cf. unreleased ...
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/ɫ/ interacting with /ɨ/ in Russian: Pharyngealized, uvularized or velarized?

In the Russian language: /ɫ/ is pharyngealized /ɨ/ velarizes the preceding consonant. In words such as лысый, /ˈɫɨsɨj/, is ɫ velarized, uvularized or pharyngealized? I was unable to find any ...
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About the behavior of the larynx and glottis in the production of consonants

Consider the following three consonant sounds in intervocalic positions: a dental click, an (aspirated) voiceless alveolar stop, and a palatal nasal. I'm trying to understand what happens with (1) ...
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159 views

Are there languages where vowels are always oral?

I was surprised to find in Zsiga (2020: 120, 125) a claim (by Donegan & Stampe 2009) that vowels in Hawaiian, as well as oral vowels in French, are always oral. Unfortunately Donegan & Stampe ...
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Phonemic Transcription Ambiguity?

I recently learned the the flap [ɾ] letter is part of both the /t/ and /d/ phonemes. A common example is writer /ˈraɪtər/ and rider /ˈraɪdər/. If they're both pronounced [raɪɾər], then shouldn't the ...
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Is /v/ cross-linguistically semi-voiced and powerless in devoicing preceding consonants in case of regressive assimilation? How to explain it?

In Danish, /v/ is semi-voiced, like a combination of [f] and [v], though /f/ does exist in Danish phonology. Russian features general regressive assimilation of voicing, but this rule doesn't apply ...
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Is h↓ the correct IPA representation of the ingressive “fast gasp”, meaning “uh-huh”, in French?

Spoken French has two ingressive forms of "yes". One is "ouais" [wɛ↓], equivalent to "yep" in English. The other is a "pure" ingressive sound, described ...
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What linguistics degree(s) would best equip someone to develop written languages from oral ones?

If one wants to work with people-groups that have an oral language but no written language and develop a written language for those people-groups, what linguistics degree(s) would best equip that ...
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Sounds that humans make with their mouths

I'm interested in a list of sounds that humans make with their mouths. I'm not looking for speech sounds sounds that take a non-average skill (such as beatboxing) sounds that cannot be made with the ...
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The notion of categorization in phonetics

What is meant by "categorization" in phonetics? It's supposed to be related to transcription in the sense that transcription requires one to categorize speech in some two dimensions. I only ...
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How should I understand these acoustic and perceptive terms from phonetics?

So, while reading the New Grammar of Spanish Language (a book from a very influential institute of the Spanish languague: Royal Spanish Academy) I found out these terms (they'll be in bold) from ...
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Which sounds in spanish sound louder: vowels or consonants?

I think vowels but I'm not so sure. I'm neither sure if vocal cords are what makes a phone be more audible and so what makes vowels be more audible than consonants or some of them.
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188 views

Evolution of [v] to [b] and vice versa

There are many examples that show that two phones [v] and [b] are related: b v Meaning Old English to New English * habban have have Middle Persian to New Persian varan baran rain Middle Persian ...
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What is the origin of the pronunciation difference between 'replicate' (noun) and 'replicate' (verb)?

In English, the noun 'replicate' is pronounced with a schwa (ə) at the end while the verb is pronounced with the diphthong 'eɪ'. The same is true for the word 'duplicate'. Is there a more general ...
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Intuitive phonemic transcription systems for various languages

When a text or video about pronunciation is aimed at the average reader, it often doesn't use the IPA to represent sounds. Instead, it might talk about the "AW" sound as in law, the "AH&...
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How to extract specific data from a TextGrid file?

I'm new here. Just found that there is a linguistics community on stack exchange! I have a TextGrid file that has been output from a forced aligner, webMAUS and I mainly want to understand how to ...
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The difference between [w] and [u] (especially between the states of the lips)

While searching labialization on the Wikipedia, it is easy to find these statements: 'Labialized sounds involve the lips <...> When vowels involve the lips, they are called rounded.' In Russian, ...
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Diphthongoids and diphthongs

In Russian linguistics, there's a term дифтонгоид (diphthongoid). For example, in textbook Современный русский литературный язык (Modern Standard Russian) by S.V. Knjazev and S.K. Pozharitskaya, it is ...
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Central – lateral dichotomy for labiodentals

In the IPA chart, there's no labiodental lateral approximant. The cell isn't even left blank, it's shaded out and therefore the articulation is judged impossible. One of the explanations is (see, e.g.,...
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Identifying natural classes

After I Stated the phonetic environments in which the sounds [n] and [ŋ] appear.[from a list of words] How should I identify natural classes of sounds that appear in the environments I’ve provided? ...
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Is /ɧ/ a sibilant?

Is /ɧ/ a sibilant? It sounds like a sibilant to me but I'm not sure. I didn't find any evidence so I really have nothing else to include in my question. The sj-sound (Swedish: sj-ljudet [ˈɧêːˌjʉːdɛt])...
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VOT of word-final plosives?

Some arguments against its "existence" could be terminal devoicing (which doesn't happen in all languages), lack of a sonorant after the plosive since it's at the end of the word, or the ...
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Getting some mess when trying to “draw” a textgrid file in Praat

I created a textgrid file that looks like this: Then when I select the audio file together with the textgrid file and click "Draw", I'm getting not what everyone would expect. I'm getting ...
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What is the exact position of the tongue for [ n ] in these circumstances?

Hi I am an English learner, and I recently had this question about pronouncing n sound. I understand the standard way of pronouncing n sound is to put my tongue behind the top teeth, however, when I ...
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486 views

Have there ever been (serious) attempts to replace alphabets with phonetic alphabets?

Although many languages share the same alphabets, the pronunciation varies greatly. The letters and words alone do not convey sufficient information. Phonetic alphabets, on the other hand, are ...
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The possible sound change when /t/ sound is preceded by fricatives or affricatives

Here, I am talking about the assimilated /t/ sound that is one of the most common features of Standard Southern British English (such as /t/ at the beginning of a syllable, time, task, Twitter, twice, ...
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Phoneme production metrics

(Apologies in advance for the expected misuse of terminology; I am not a linguist. Please correct as appropriate.) I am considering a Deep Learning language evolution experiment and would like to ...
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What is the difference between phone (speech sound) and a sound?

I am not sure if I am asking a question in the right site. I don't know know if I am even asking a biological, linguistic or physics question. But I recently started learning about language and its ...
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Why is there (almost) no variety to the Hebrew accent in Israel?

Hebrew is my native language, and I grew up and spent most of my life in Israel. Unlike English, in Hebrew we don't have a variety of accents. In fact, generally all of the people in Israel have the ...
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Does the English word 'six' violate the Sonority Sequencing Principle?

I'm aware that it's spellt with an X, however phonetically it's [ks]. According to the SSP, plosives should come after fricatives word-finally. Does the spelling with an x stop it from violating the ...
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Why does /zd-/ require more effort even though both the consonants have the same voicing?

In most language, the rule for combining consonants is that they should have the same voice. For example: in English, a word can never start with /zt-/ but can start with /st-/. It's not that /zt-/ ...
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How can the continuum s-sʲ-ç-ɕ-ʃ-ʂ be described in technical terms?

To me, it seems clear that there is a continuum between this group of sounds, as all of them (apart from ç, which I will touch on later in the post) are sibilants, and the only difference between them ...
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Unmoving F1 / formant below F1?

I'm trying to understand some basics, hope this is an ok question. Here's a recording of me producing /i/, /ɛ/, /a/: https://namakajiri.net/misc/i%c9%9ba.webm nevermind the transition between the ...
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Why does Polish have male and female accents?

This is particularly interesting to me as I can't seem to find any information on the topic, but, having listened to numerous Polish speakers from both sexes, the male─female pronounciational split is ...
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What is the name of the category that describes the ways a number can be read?

About 6 days ago, I asked this question in the English Language and Usage section but have yet to receive any answer. In hindsight, the lack of answers is entirely understandable since that was not ...
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What cues would you look for in this spectrogram to figure out the word? [closed]

(It is produced in American English and the word is one syllable. The time scale is arbitrary so feel free to ignore it.) I was wondering what cues everyone would look for when reading this, and ...
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Are there any attested languages with a VCV or VC syllable structure?

In Googling this question, I found out about Arrernte, which is arguably VC(C). Are there any other languages which have been argued to be a VCV language? And is there any reason why they're so rare ...
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How did Ancient Greek 'πυρ' become English 'fire?'

fire is derived from the Ancient Greek πυρ. My question is: how did the plosive become a fricative? I believe pyre is also derived from πυρ; why is it that pyre didn't also undergo this "...
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Is the sound “ř” unique to Czech?

Czech has special sound which to me seems to be a voiced trilled r. It is written as "ř". Wikipedia describes it a different way: A raised alveolar trill, and uses the IPA notation [r̝]. Czech ...

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