Questions tagged [phonetics]

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

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16
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4answers
810 views

Why do rhotics pattern together?

Looking at the IPA, many different types of sounds are given symbols based of of the Latin R,r: approximants, trills, taps/flaps; both coronal and uvular segments. Sometimes, these sounds are ...
8
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2answers
989 views

How are phones distributed across languages?

By making a quick comparison among several language phonologies (from various language families), I could observe that some phones occur very frequently, such as [m], [p], [b], [h], [a] and [i]. ...
4
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2answers
293 views

How to isolate formants

How do I isolate each of the formants in my speech? I want an easy way to hear F1-F6 for learning/demonstration purposes. I believe Peter Ladefoged mentioned a way to isolate either F1 or F2 in "A ...
7
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3answers
646 views

What is the distribution of English dialects that pronounce -day as -[deɪ] vs -[di]?

The days of the week in English, such as Monday, are sometimes pronounced with a final -[deɪ] and sometimes with a final -[di]. For example, Merriam-Webster gives Monday as \ˈmən-(ˌ)dā, -dē\ and ...
6
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4answers
726 views

Which cues can I listen for to distinguish spoken Georgian and Armenian?

I'm living in an area of Tbilisi Georgia that is traditionally the ethnic Armenian area. I would like to take the opportunity to listen to people in the street to detect whether anybody is speaking ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Where does the term “segment” fit in in relation to “phone” and “phoneme”?

In a recent question seeking to clarify how diphthongs relate to phonemes, another term popped up in the comments, segment. This made me wonder if "segment" is some kind of synonym for either "phone" ...
10
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3answers
12k views

Is a diphthong one phoneme or two, or does it depend?

In Mitch's answer to "What is the difference between a diphthong and a glide?" and its comments it seems more than one of us is at least a bit confused as to how many phonemes a single diphthong ...
4
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2answers
484 views

What's going on when I hear people pronounce Georgian “ვ” like “w” instead of like “v” as it always seems to be defined?

The sixth letter of the Georgian alphabet is ვ and all the resources I have describe it as being like English v or IPA [v]. But especially in the common word ნახვამდის (goodbye) the ვ sounds a lot ...
7
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2answers
259 views

Producing sounds that are not used in one's mother tongue

Why is it that someone who is fully capable of producing a sound foreign to their own language has trouble using that sound in languages that do use it? For example, let's say that an English speaker ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Why are /t/ and /d/ sometimes affricated before /ɹ/ in English?

I saw a post on ELU about a more general question, Softened pronunciation of consonants, such as “t” or “s” followed by “y”. The question was answered in regard to palatalization, especially for ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Why in English words is [o] followed by [ʊ]?

The close-mid back rounded vowel is, according to Wikipedia, "usually diphthongized to [oʊ]". Examples: row, also. In fact, in the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary I didn't see o ...
13
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2answers
842 views

Has there been any research into the phonetics of ventriloquism?

I have always been impressed by the skills of ventriloquists - and I've been wondering lately whether anyone has done any work looking at the acoustic or articulatory properties of the speech of ...
8
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2answers
532 views

What evidence is there against “nonsegmental” phonology?

What's the best evidence against a position like that expounded by e.g. Bob Port (or Ken Lodge, for you UK-based phon*ists), which essentially states that phonology (or whatever you want to call the ...
7
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6answers
2k views

How exactly do the sounds of Arabic “ﻕ” and Georgian “ყ” differ?

The Arabic letter ﻕ and the Georgian letter ყ are often described as being similar, also they are both transliterated using q. ... the Georgian letter ყ is difficult for most Westerners to ...
5
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7answers
1k views

If similar phonemes are pronounced the same, will this be difficult to understand for a native speaker?

In French, phonemes like /e/ and /ɛ/ are so similar in sound. In English, phonemes like /o/ and /ɔ/ are so similar too. Briefly, almost any language, contains phonemes which are very similar to each ...
1
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4answers
949 views

What is the term for how close a phonetic expression is to its meaning?

In some cases, the cognates of onomatopoetic sounds are highly similar even across unrelated languages. In these cases, the sounds of words seem to be an attempt to echo naturally occurring sounds. ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Why do languages have different syllable complexity from each other?

Assuming human vocal tracts are similar and equally capable of articulating different syllable structures, why is it that languages develop different syllable complexity? Why is it that it is not ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Why do tone and simple syllable structure appear to be correlated?

I happen to have been struggling to learn a bit of Mandarin Chinese lately, and it's been my first attempt to really deal with tones to any significant extent. I find distinguishing tones quite ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Which languages other than Chinese have apical vowels?

Which languages other than some Chinese languages have apical vowels? The "apical vowels" are the i in zi, ci, si (in IPA: z̩ (also seen as ɿ)) and ʐ̩ (also seen as ʅ). They are basically buzzed ...
9
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2answers
340 views

Simultaneity in natural languages?

Is there any known natural language in which it is possible to express grammatically—i.e., not through emotional tone or other secondary traits—multiple parallel channels of meaning? Parallel ...
9
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3answers
870 views

How can a speaker tell whether their idiolect has “dark l”?

I believe my variety of English, General Australian, has "dark l", but I'm not sure. I can't tell if I have it in my own idiolect or not. It's pretty well accepted (I think) that it's hard to ...
14
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5answers
4k views

Alternatives to IPA?

Are there any other graphic systems that attempt to be as complete as the International Phonetic Alphabet?
12
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1answer
252 views

Are there guides to analysing phonetic data in R?

I need references like papers/articles/books by and for people who use R for analysing phonetic data. I have Harrington's (2008) Phonetic Analysis of Speech Corpora, and it's great, but a lot of other ...
8
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6answers
6k views

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 ...
9
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3answers
9k views

How to determine which phoneme a group of allophones realizes?

This question is related to this other one, about the difference between Phonetics and Phonology. I can understand the difference between the two subfields as well as what it means to produce ...
17
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4answers
39k views

Automated French/Italian/German to IPA transcription

I'm looking for a website or software that will take text written in a source language and produce a transcription in IPA. The languages I am interested in are French, Italian and German, but if you ...
58
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10answers
83k views

When should one use slashes or square brackets when transcribing in IPA?

When should one use /fubar/ and when [fubar] when transcribing in IPA? What are the differences?
4
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3answers
618 views

Are there counterparts to phones and phonetics for signed languages?

Given that there is a difference between phonetics and phonology, and that in the study of signed languages cherology is the counterpart to phonology, are there also counterparts to phones and ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How are syllabic consonants written in IPA?

Suppose that, in some hypothetical language, there were two different words: /tump/ /tump/ What's the difference?, you might ask. In the first one, the word is one syllable long. In the second one, ...
42
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15answers
460k views

What's the difference between phonetics and phonology?

Having practiced armchair linguistics for some years I should be able to sum up the difference off the top of my head, yet often I don't know which term to use. And looking them up on Wikipedia doesn'...
12
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2answers
3k views

Is there a difference between /ɕ/ and /sʲ/?

Are /ɕ/ and /ʑ/ simply shorthand for /sʲ/ and /zʲ/ as with many of the possible diacritic combinations in IPA or are they different sounds? If they are the same, is there any good reason to use one ...
41
votes
6answers
5k views

How do linguists place the vowels of a language precisely on the vowel trapezoid?

Since vowels in human speech are a continuous spectrum rather than a discrete set, many descriptions of languages I’ve seen — not only on Wikipedia — place the vowels of a language as dots in a two-...
9
votes
1answer
657 views

How the tau gallicum may have been pronounced?

The so-called tau gallicum was a character used in Gaulish, written Đ, ð or even a Θ. Its name comes from the only commentary on it that we have, by Vergil (Appendix Vergiliana, Catalepton II, 4). ...
6
votes
2answers
492 views

Can the /m/ sound in a 1st person pronoun be considered a linguistic universal?

For example, english: me, mine, my Russian: мне, меня, мой Estonian: mina, mind, mulle How prevalent is this in world's languages and what should it be attributed to?
12
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7answers
40k views

What is the difference between voiced and voiceless stop consonants?

As a native speaker of American English, when I was listening to the difference sounds in this IPA chart, I was really surprised when I realized that I could not differentiate between p/b, t/d, and k/...
18
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3answers
4k views

Why does stop VOT duration vary depending on place of articulation?

From the (albeit citation needed) section of the Wikipedia article on aspiration: Spanish /p t k/, for example, have voice onset times (VOTs) of about 5, 10, and 30 milliseconds, whereas English /p ...

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