Questions tagged [phonetics]

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

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4
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4answers
2k views

Software request: Spectrograms that represent intensity with a colour gradient

There is a range of computer programs that can represent acoustic energy graphically in a spectrogram. I usually use Praat, which uses a black and white gradient to represent the intensity of energy ...
5
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1answer
652 views

What are Georgian harmonic clusters phonetically?

According to Georgian: A Reading Grammar by Howard I. Aronson, Georgian has many "harmonic clusters" consisting of two consonants pronounced with only a single release. (The consonants must be stops ...
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2answers
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Are there marked/“hard” phonemes that are acquired very late or never by a substantial number of speakers?

Marked phonemes are those that require more effort during articulation or are "harder" to articulate. For example, the interdental fricatives /θ/ and /ð/ are considered to be marked. Marked phonemes ...
6
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1answer
1k views

How do sentence intonation and (syllable-based) tone interact in tone languages?

Tone languages use intonation to distinguish words. For example, in Mandarin Chinese mā with a mid tone means mom mǎ with a rising tone means horse Intonation languages do not make such distinctions....
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0answers
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How can I distinguish different consonants in Praat/acoustic analysis?

How can I distinguish different consonants based on acoustic information/spectrographic analysis such as in Praat? Is there a list of acoustic cues for different consonants like there is for average ...
5
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1answer
191 views

Are click sounds accompanied by specific formant transitions?

Is it possible to identify click sounds like [‖ ʘ !] by formant transitions in the surrounding vowels? I know stops and fricatives have that feature. I'm just wondering how the five (main) click ...
2
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1answer
344 views

Is [ɹ] +ATR or -ATR or is that even relevant?

Has there been any investigation into the ATR quality of the central alveolar approximant [ɹ]? It is very vowel-like and I have this theory that it could simply be the result of an advanced tongue ...
11
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3answers
5k views

Common problems in second language pronunciation

Transfer of some phonetic/phonological features from the first language to a second language is common in second language acquisition. For example, aspiration is not phonemic in English. Voiceless ...
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0answers
2k views

Theories on L1 transfer/interference in L2 pronunciation/phonetics/phonology

What theories explain the transfer of phonetic and phonological features from the first language to a second or foreign language? How do these theories differ from each other? Such theories should ...
6
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3answers
4k views

The “writer / rider” distinction

In some dialects of English (for example: General American), “writer” is said to be pronounced differently from “rider” due to the following two phonological rules (done in this order): Vowels are ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Computationally differentiating between CVC, VCV and CV syllables

I want to develop a program which can differentiate between CVC, VCV, and CV syllable types. I'm having trouble knowing when vowel has ended in CVC and CV syllables. I want to read more about it. ...
2
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0answers
282 views

Given two vowel phonemes that contrast by length alone, will their phonetic realizations typically have different vowel qualities?

Given two vowel phonemes that contrast by length alone, will their phonetic realizations typically have different vowel qualities? For example, if a language has two vowel phonemes, /ɑ:/ and /ɑ/, ...
2
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0answers
381 views

What are the allophones of /ɹ/ in General Western English?

What are the allophones of /ɹ/ in General Western English? By General Western English, I mean the dialect of English that is spoken by people raised in Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and other ...
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1answer
1k views

Is there a way to learn Icelandic phonetics online?

I want to learn Icelandic online, but am struggling to produce some phonemes. I am unable to find an IPA translator for Icelandic and think it'd be easier for me if I could see some of what I learn ...
7
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2answers
3k views

What are the differences between the French and English [i] and how does it affect the perception?

I'm rephrasing my question after (very helpful) comments to my initial version: What are the differences between the [i] produced by French speakers (in French) and English speakers (in English)? ...
7
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3answers
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Is there use of a trilled “L” sound in any language? Is a trilled “L” even possible?

I've seen nothing on a trilled "L" sound anywhere. I've tried producing the trilled "L" sound and I can get something that seems similar. Is it possible to trill an "L" and if so are there any ...
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2answers
1k views

Animal sounds across languages

As onomatopoeia, the words used for animal sounds are often quite similar across many languages. However, there are non-trivial differences, even for something as common as the croak of a frog. I was ...
5
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1answer
894 views

Do you have a vowel trapezoid for Spanish?

I am trying to contrast the vowel systems of English and Spanish, and showing two vowel trapezoids seems like a good approach. I've not yet found one yet. Any ideas?
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3answers
333 views

Basic resource on Japanese phonetics

Could you recommend a good reference for studying Japanese phonetics?
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2answers
761 views

Understanding Voiced Consonants

I've been having some trouble understanding how is it that what differentiates, for example, /p/ from /b/, is the vibration of the vocal chords, present in /b/, but not in /p/. From what I have read ...
11
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7answers
21k views

Why are consonants distinguished differently than vowels?

Consonants are distinguished normally by features like place of articulation, manner of articulation, voiced/voiceless, etc. while vowels are usually distingusihed by stuff like tongue's position and ...
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9answers
7k views

Textbook suggestions for syntax, semantics/pragmatics and phonetics/phonology

I am coming to linguistics from a completely non-linguistic background; I was a mathematician. Next year I will start taking some serious (Master's level) linguistics courses and I would like to have ...
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4answers
7k views

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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1answer
1k views

Historical pronunciation of words in English

This isn't about sound change in general, but the changes that took place in the pronunciation of individual words. Does such a compilation exist? It would be interesting to know how divergent ...
6
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1answer
233 views

Is audio-processing (auditory) brain cortex activated when human is reading non-phonetic alphabets?

Excuse my virginity in linguistics, but it seems to me that phonetic alphabets are "only" protocols for audio compression into visual input/output media, optimized for human throat sounds. I suppose ...
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2answers
335 views

Getting familiar with accents

Would it not be nice to have a site from which people can listen to different phrases in different languages with each phrase having the following characteristics, in any combination: Sample Sentence ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Why are only yes/no questions asked with a rising tone?

There is a rule used almost subconsciously by almost all English speakers (and I'm sure it applies to many other languages too) which is that yes/no questions are asked ending with a rising tone, and ...
0
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1answer
90 views

What is the average delay between reading a period and the next sentence

e.g. while reading quietly and reading out loud. Different people read at different rates, so let's say the delay in terms of beat ratio: if for example every vowel takes one beat on average, how many ...
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0answers
149 views

Tool for finding recombinations of syllables that yield words

(I know that the title of this question is quite opaque, but I'm having a hard time explaining what I'm looking for. Perhaps someone can help with that.) I need a tool which can take a collection of ...
2
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1answer
160 views

What prevents us from reconstructing PIE “u̯” by analogy with laryngeals?

The current laws for laryngeals presume the following reconstruction rules: ē is reconstructed as eh1 ā is reconstructed as eh2 ō is reconstructed as eh3 word-initial e- is reconstructed as h1e word-...
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2answers
2k views

Is IPA obsolete?

It seems to me that IPA is badly designed and not suitable well for many languages other than English. Some problems are: It uses different characters to denote the same sounds. For example, [ʍ] and ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Does English language stand special in terms of phonology?

I am a native Russian speaker. When I am listening to songs and music in other languages, which I do not know, such as Italian, Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, and even Japanese, Finnish, Kyrgyz and ...
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1answer
1k views

IPA for phonemes - does this make sense at all?

On the Wikipedia page for the International Phonetic Alphabet, slashes for phonemes are mentioned quite casually, without getting into the discussion of how or if it makes sense to use a phonetic ...
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2answers
8k views

Korean syllable-final ㅅ in Hangul transcription of loanwords

Why are English loanwords ending in /d/ or /t/ systematically transcribed into Hangul syllables ending in ㅅ rather than ㄷ? This seems strange, since when ㅅ is followed by a vowel, the coda is realised ...
2
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1answer
501 views

Seeking linguistic terms for how pronunciation reflects word boundaries

I'm looking for some correct terminology to use within the fields of phonology and acoustics (I assume). In spoken language there is generally some kind of very brief pauses, changes of intonation, ...
3
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1answer
262 views

Is there a way to create synthetic speech with no intonation contours / prosody?

Is there a way to create an utterance in synthetic speech which is devoid of prosody? Or if no such synthetic speech system exists, would there be a way to filter an existing utterance to remove the ...
4
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2answers
289 views

Intrusive misspelling - does it have any origin?

I've seen many cases when people who speak different languages make a common mistake spelling words. They add an extra sound (usually, a consonant) while there is no historic or linguistic evidence ...
12
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1answer
2k views

IPA transcription of the American English “bunched” /r/

There are 2 common articulations of /r/ and /r̩/ in American English, one retroflex, and the other dorsal. This phone is called the molar or bunched r. It can be described roughly as a back-palatal or ...
4
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3answers
233 views

How distinctive must a phoneme be?

How much of a functional load must a phone carry to be considered its own phoneme? For example, my idiolect of English has a marginally distinctive glottal stop. However, it exists distinctively in ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Rules for glottal stop insertion across languages

Many languages lack phonemic glottal stops, but regularly insert them. For example: English invariably inserts glottal stops before utterance-initial vowels, and often before word-initial vowels when ...
11
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1answer
705 views

Diachronic devoicing of initial lenis plosives in English

I get the impression that in the "classical Received Pronunciation" of English during phonetician Jones's era, the lenis plosives /b/, /d/, /g/ (and probably the affricate /dʒ/ as well) in initial ...
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3answers
323 views

Is it possible to create English phonetics of a given word with correct morphology, and phonology?

Dictionaries contain near 80,000 entries (less or more than that) and most of those entries have phonetic pronunciations written beside them. However, English might have more than a million words, if ...
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4answers
1k views

Are there languages without vowel reduction?

Are there languages without vowel reduction? That is, are there languages in which the vowels in certain syllables are not centralized and/or "de-rounded" and/or shortened because of speaking rate, ...
3
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1answer
434 views

What exactly does 'post-velar' refer to?

It seems post-velar usually refers to a uvular place of articulation. In the wiki of the Americanist phonetic notation, they are listed as synonyms. But sometimes the term seems to mean 'everything ...
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3answers
7k views

How can the IPA vowels be memorized?

Memorizing IPA consonants is trivially easy; each symbol represents one sound, and that sound can be described with a variety of parameters about manner of articulation, etc. The IPA vowels, however, ...
8
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1answer
11k views

Hearing your name in a noisy crowd: what is this called and how might it work?

I can't really formulate it any more lucid than as it is in the title, so.... I'm reading a phonetics text now, but I haven't yet got to the chapter on 'speech perception' so maybe I'll come across at ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Whispered Voiced Consonants

Is there a difference between voiced and unvoiced consonants when whispering, which as I understand it, does not use the vocal cords? I know it sounds silly to ask because we can all understand ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Why IPA does not indicate “soft” consonants in English?

I am a native Russian speaker. Sometimes I encounter English speakers who are trying to learn Russian and wonder how to pronounce "soft" consonants. At the same time while learning English I noticed ...
2
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1answer
533 views

What transcription to reflect Hebrew script and phonetics?

I am currently learning modern Hebrew with simple material (Teach Yourself Hebrew). I would like to use a different transcription than the one offered in this book or in Omniglot to build up my ...
9
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1answer
842 views

How can I differentiate between syllable-initial [ɣ] and [ə] using Praat or other software?

I am currently studying Amdo Tibetan. In this language the voiced velar fricative [ɣ] is reported to occur as the first sound in some syllable-initial consonant clusters. More specifically, this sound ...