Glossary of Ling 317 Midterm

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Created by sabn1987

A merger is a _____ process.
Assimilation is a ______ process.
What is a merger? Give example.
A listener-driven sound change. Like the pen/pin>pin merger. Listeners hear E as I because the nasalization reduces the the vowel height contrasts.

What is aliasing?

When you misrepresent the analog signal through the course of digitization.
What is bit-rate? (Quantization)
Bit rate or Quantization: equivalent to the level of accuracy of the measurement
Define Phoneme
Minimally contrastive sounds in a language

What is systematic phonetic transcription?
It gets ALL the details, VERY narrow, DIFFICULT to do

What is impressionistic transcription?
What you make on the fly when you dont know what rules apply. Only illustrate phonetic values of IPA and not rules pertaining to phonological relationships
Allophones are subtle changes to a sound that (3 things):
-do not involve a change in meaning
-are very similar
-occur in different contexts

Important English allophones are:
tap and glottal stop

3 ways to move air in the vocal tract

-lungs: pulmonic (egressive = normal speech, ingressive = yes in many languages)
-glottis: glottalic - vertical laryngeal action (egressive = ejectives, ingressive = implosives)
-tongue: velaric (egressive = none, ingressive = clicks)

Laryngeal action: parameters to consider:(3)

1. position of vocal folds
2. vertical movement of larynx (glottalic airstream mechanisms)
3. Timing (duration a position is held, timing relative to oral movements)

What is Voice Onset Time?
It can be...
The duration between the release of a closure and the onset of voicing (negative, zero or positive)
What is a Stop Series? Give an example.
A set of stop consonants that have the same voicing or airstream mechanism. (p,t,k oh ph,th,kh)

Write the vowels in the vowel space.



Write the vowels in the vowel space!!
i.y i-.u- w.u
e.o/ schwa v.o

E.oe V.c

a.OE A

Why are plain voiceless stops so common?

-easier to produce because the oral gesture (stop release) occurs simultaneously with laryngeal gesture (onset of voicing)

Why do languages with 3 stop series use a laryngeal series rather than a 3 way VOT contrast?

-the 3-way VOT contrast imposes a burden on listeners, which is lessened with a laryngeal series

How are sibilants made?
They are directed at an obstacle after passing through a constriction.

List all the sibilant consonants.
s, x, sh, zh, retroflex s and z, voiced and voiceless palatal fric

List 3 types of sound in speech that come from different sources:

1. Periodic Vibration: by the vocal folds (or something else), characterized by repeating cycles of pressure change
2. Noise - (partly) random pressure changes in the air (due to turbulent flow through a narrow place or over an obstacle)
3. Transients: rapidly decaying sound due to abrupt events

Waveforms reflect...what (2).
the source of the sound and the effect of filtering

What are the active articulators?
Lower Lip
Tongue (tip, blade, front, centre, back, root, epiglottis?)
What are the passive articulators?
Upper lip
alv. ridge
hard palate
soft palate
pharynx wall

How do we get rid of the abiguity in the symbols for bilabial, uvular and velar approximants vs. fricatives?
Use a raising diacritic for fricatives (upside down T)

use lowering diacritic for approximants (T)

The Cardinal vowels are a reference set of ___(#) vowels.
What are the 2 anchor points of the cardinal vowel system? Describe letter and give cardinal vowel number.
highest, frontest possible vowel (CV1) and lowest backest possible vowel (CV5)
In practice there is a 3rd anchor cardinal vowel. What is it?
Highest backest possible vowel (CV8)
The 3 back CVs above 5 have increasing levels of _______.
What are the secondaey cardinal vowels? Draw the symbol, pronounce them and show where they are on the vowel space chart.
look in book
What all of the 11 front vowels on the IPA chart. Describe each one and know the symbol.
i - high front unrounded
y - high front rounded
I - lower high front unrounded
Y - lower high front rounded
e - higher mid front unrounded
o/ - higher mid front rounded
E - lower mid front unrounded
oe - lower mid front rounded
ae - raised low front unrounded
a - low front unrounded
OE - low front round

Give an example of when you would use /a/ with the plus sign under it. (fronted)
Southern prn of "light"
Describe and know the symbols for all of the central vowels.
barred i: high central unrounded
barred u: high central rounded
upside down schwa: higher mid central unrounded
o- : higher mid central rounded
schwa: mid central rounded
3 : lower mid central unrounded
B : lower mid central rounded
upside down a: raised low central unrounded
a: low central undrounded

Describe and know symbol for the back vowels.
u - high back rounded
w - high back unrounded
U - lowered high back rounded
o - higher mid back rounded
V - higher mid back unrounded
c - lower mid back rounded
v - lower mid back unrounded
script a: lower back unrounded
upside down script a: lower back rounded

in English, /h/ can be described as...
a voiceless vowel
What are the three most common vowels in languages?
i u a
What is the most typical vowel inventory?
i e a u o
Why are front vowels almost always unrounded and back vowels are almost always rounded?
The features front & unrounded both conspire
to increase the frequency of the 2nd formant. The highest F2 found in vowels is in /i/.
Conversely, back and round conspire to lower the
second formant. The lower F2 is found in /u/.

Why are low vowels almost always central and

This configuration produces the highest value of
F1 and causes F1 and F2 to be
close in frequency.
The three most common vowels in the world’s
languages have the most extreme values of F1
and F2. When F1 is so high there is no way to
produce extreme values on F2.

• Why are fewer contrasts maintained in
secondary sets (i.e., fewer nasalized than plain

• All of the secondary vowel features tend to
inhibit the perceptual salience of the vocal
tract resonant frequencies. For example,
nasalized vowels are more easily confused for
each other than non-nasalized vowels.

• Why are there more levels of height than of

F1 is represented along a larger span of the basilar
membrane (in the inner ear) than is F2.
• Why is length more often used contrastively in languages
with a large number of vowel qualities?

• Maddieson (1994) says, “We may speculate that there are
two diachronic factors responsible for this trend; language
with an originally suprasegmental vowel length contrast
may begin to add quality differences to the quantitative
difference...and languages with large numbers of
qualitatively distinct vowels may recruit length differences
to additionally distinguish the...In either case the outcome
is the same – the use of combinations of durational and
qualitative differences to mutually reinforce the
distinctiveness of vowel contrasts.”

What is a pull chain?
One vowel moves and another vowel moves into its vacant place.
What is a push chain?
One vowel starts encroaching on the vowel space of another, so that the second vowel moves into the new acoustic space.
What are the three principles that are generalizations about vowel shifts?
Long vowels rise.
Short vowels fall.
Back vowels move to the front.

1. What are suprasegmentals?
2. What is a segment?
3. Suprasegmental features are established by...

1. phonetic properties that transcend the segment.
2.Segments correspond to a unit of contrast that can be represented by an alphabetic symbol.
3. a comparison of segments in a sequence.

Why are pitch, duration and loudness considered suprasegmental?
Because they are more purely context dependent than other phonetic properties of speech.
HIgh vowels have (higher/lower ?) pitch than low vowels.
Say a phrase with a HHH pitch accent.
What are the three phonation types/
Breathy (murmur)
Creaky (laryngealized)
Modal (Normal phonation)

What make up the phonation type continuum.
What does the Pairwise Variability Index measure?
The average ratio of all adjacent units in an utterance.
Languages come in 3 types, based on the chosen unit of isochronous timing. These are...
Mora timed, syllable timed, stress timed

THe interval between each click is ...


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