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Phonetics (from the Greek: φωνή, phōnē, "sounds, voices", pronounced /fɵˈnɛtɨks/) is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones), and their physiological production, auditory perception, and neurophysiological status.
Phonetics was studied as early as 2500 years ago in ancient India, with Pāṇini's account of the place and manner of articulation of consonants in his 5th century BC treatise on Sanskrit. The major Indic alphabets today order their consonants according to Pāṇini's classification.
Phonetics as a research discipline has three main branches:
- articulatory phonetics is concerned with the articulation of speech: The position, shape, and movement of articulators or speech organs, such as the lips, tongue, and vocal folds.
- acoustic phonetics is concerned with acoustics of speech: The properties of the sound waves, such as their frequency and harmonics.
- auditory phonetics is concerned with speech perception: How speech sounds are categorized, recognized, and interpreted by the auditory apparatus and the brain.
Application of phonetics include:
- forensic phonetics: the use of phonetics (the science of speech) for forensic (legal) purposes.
- Speech Recognition: the analysis and transcription of recorded speech by a computer system.
Relation to phonology
In contrast to phonetics, phonology is the study of how sounds and gestures pattern in and across languages, relating such concerns with other levels and aspects of language. Phonetics deals with the articulatory and acoustic properties of speech sounds, how they are produced, and how they are perceived. As part of this investigation, phoneticians may concern themselves with the physical properties of meaningful sound contrasts or the social meaning encoded in the speech signal (e.g. gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.). However, a substantial portion of research in phonetics is not concerned with the meaningful elements in the speech signal.
While phonology is grounded in phonetics, it is a distinct area of linguistics, treating sounds and gestural units as abstract units (e.g. phonemes, features, mora, etc.) and accounting for conditioned variation in the form of grammatical rules (e.g., allophonic rules, constraints, derivational rules). Phonology relates to phonetics via the set of distinctive features, which relate the abstract representations of speech units to speech gestures or acoustic representations.
- Index of phonetics articles
- International Phonetic Alphabet
- Speech processing
- Biometric word list
- Phonetics departments at universities
- NATO Phonetic Alphabet
- Buckeye Corpus
- ^ O'Grady (2005) p.15
- ^ Kingston, John. 2007. The Phonetics-Phonology Interface, in The Cambridge Handbook of Phonology (ed. Paul DeLacy), Cambridge University Press.
- ^ Halle, Morris. 1983. On Distinctive Features and their articulatory implementation, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, p. 91 - 105
- ^ Jakobson, Roman, Gunnar Fant, and Morris Halle. 1976. Preliminaries to Speech Analysis: The Distinctive Features and their Correlates, MIT Press.
- ^ Hall, T. Allen. 2001. Phonological representations and phonetic implementation of distinctive features, Mouton de Gruyter.
O'Grady, William et al (2005). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction (5th ed.). Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 0312419368.
- Comparative phonetics
- IPA Trainer Online application to practice phonetics.
- Translate English texts into IPA phonetics with PhoTransEdit.
- the Web Site of the Phonetic Sciences Laboratory of the Université de Montréal.
- The International Society of Phonetic Sciences (ISPhS)
- A little encyclopedia of phonetics, Peter Roach, Professor of Phonetics, University of Reading, UK. (pdf)
- The sounds and sound patterns of language U Penn
- UCLA lab data
- UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive
- EGG and Voice Quality (electroglottography, phonation, etc.)
- IPA handbook
- IPA-SAM Phonetic Fonts
- Speech Analysis Tutorial
- Lecture materials in German on phonetics & phonology, university of Erfurt
- Real-time MRI video of the articulation of speech sounds, from the USC Speech Articulation and kNowledge (SPAN) Group
- Beginner's course in phonetics, with some exercises
- Praat - Phonetic analysis software
- SID- Speech Internet Dictionary
- Extensive collection of phonetics resources on the Web (University of North Carolina)
- Phonetics and Phonology (University of Osnabrueck)