The general study of the characteristics of speech sounds is called phonetics.Our main interest will be in articulatory phonetics, which is the study of how
speech sounds are made, or articulated. Other areas of study are
in the air, and auditory phonetics (or perceptual phonetics) which deals with the perception, via the ear, of speech sounds.
1 When the vocal cords are spread apart, the air from the lungs passes between them unimpeded. Sounds produced in this way are described as voiceless.
2 When the vocal cords are drawn together, the air from the lungs repeatedly pushes them apart as it passes through, creating a vibration effect. Sounds
produced in this way are described as voiced.The distinction can be felt physically if you place a fingertip gently on the top of your Adams apple.
Place of articulation
These are sounds formed using both (= bi) upper and lower lips (= labia).The initial sounds in the words pat, bat and mat are all bilabials. They are represented by the symbols [p], which is voiceless, and [b] and [m], which are voiced.We can also describe the [w] sound found at the beginning of way, walk
and world as a bilabial.
These are sounds formed with the upper teeth and the lower lip. The initial sounds of the words fat and vat and the final sounds in the words safe and save
are labiodentals. They are represented by the symbols [f], which is voiceless,and [v], which is voiced
These sounds are formed with the tongue tip behind the upper front teeth. The initial sound of thin and the final sound of bath are both voiceless dentals. The symbol used for this sound is [?],
These are sounds formed with the front part of the tongue on the alveolar ridge, which is the rough, bony ridge immediately behind and above the upper teeth.The initial sounds in top, dip, sit, zoo and nut are all alveolars. The symbols for these sounds are easy to remember [t], [d], [s], [z], [n]. Of these, [t] and [s]are voiceless whereas [d], [z] and [n] are voiced.
If you feel back behind the alveolar ridge, you should find a hard part in the roof of your mouth. This is called the hard palate or just the palate. Sounds
which are produced with the tongue and the palate are called palatals (or alveopalatals). Examples of palatals are the initial sounds in the words shout and
child, which are both voiceless. The sh sound is represented as [?]
Sounds produced with the back of the tongue against the velum are called velars. There is a voiceless velar sound, represented by the symbol [k], which occurs not only in kid and kill, but is also the initial sound in car and cold. Despite the variety in spelling, this [k] sound is both the initial and final sound in the words cook, kick and coke. The voiced velar sound heard at the beginning of words like go, gun and give is represented by [g]. This is also the final sound in words like bag, mug and, despite the spelling, plague.
There is one sound that is produced without the active use of the tongue and other parts of the mouth. It is the sound [h] which occurs at the beginning of have and house and, for most speakers, as the first sound in who and whose. This sound is usually described as a voiceless glottal. The glottis is the space between the vocal cords in the larynx. When the glottis is open, as in the production of other voiceless sounds, and there is no manipulation of the air passing out of the mouth, the sound produced is that represented by [h].
Manner of articulation
Of the sounds we have already mentioned, the set [p], [b], [t], [d], [k], [g] are all produced by some form of stopping of the airstream (very briefly) then lettin
The manner of articulation used in producing the set of sounds [f], [v], [?],[ð], [s], [z], [?],  involves almost blocking the airstream and having the air push through the very narrow opening. As the air is pushed through, a type of friction is produced and the resulting sounds are called fricatives.
If you combine a brief stopping of the airstream with an obstructed release which causes some friction, you will be able to produce the sounds [t?] and [d]. These are called affricates and occur at the beginning of the words cheap and jeep.
Most sounds are produced orally, with the velum raised, preventing airflow from entering the nasal cavity. However, when the velum is lowered and the airstream
is allowed to flow out through the nose to produce [m], [n], and [?], the sounds are described as nasals. These three sounds are all voiced. The words morning,
knitting and name begin and end with nasals.
The initial sounds in led and red are described as liquids. They are both voiced. The [l] sound is called a lateral liquid and is formed by letting the airstream flow around the sides of the tongue as the tip of the tongue makes contact with the middle of the alveolar ridge. The [r] sound at the beginning of red is formed with the tongue tip raised and curled back near the alveolar ridge.
The sounds [w] and [j] are described as glides. They are both voiced and occur at the beginning of we, wet, you and yes. These sounds are typically produced
with the tongue in motion (or gliding) to or from the position of a vowel and are sometimes called semi-vowels or approximants.
1 What is the difference between acoustic phonetics and auditory phonetics?Acpustic phonetics is the study of physical properties of speech as sounds waves in the air.Auditory phonetics is the study of the perception of the speech sounds via the ear.
2 Which of the following words normally end with voiceless (?V) sounds and which end with voiced (+V) sounds?(a) bang +V(c) smack -V(e) thud +V(b) crash+V (d) splat-V (f) wham+V
3 Try to pronounce the initial sounds of the following words and identify the place of articulation of each one (e.g. bilabial, alveolar, etc).(a) belly bilabial(d) foot labiodental(g) mouth bilabial (b) calf velar (e) hand glottal (h) thigh dental (c) chin palatal(f) knee alveolar (i) toe alveolar
4 Identify the manner of articulation of the initial sounds in the following words (stop, fricative, etc.).(a) cheery affricate(d) funny fricative(g) loony liquid (b) crazy stop(e) happy glide (h) merry nasal (c) dizzy stop (f) jolly fricative (i) silly fricative
5 Which written English words are usually pronounced as they are transcribed here?(a) bæk back (d) haw how (g) klok clock
(b) b?t bought (e) hopi? hoping (h) t?ip cheap (c) fes face (f) hu who(i) ð? the
6 Using symbols introduced in this chapter, write a basic phonetic transcription of the most common pronunciation of the following words.(a) bake (d) noise (g) these (b) doubt (e) phone (h) thought (c) gem (f) shy (i) wring