Vowels and Consonants: An Introduction to the Sounds of Languages

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This superb introduction to phonetics, with its accompanying CD, is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the sounds of languages. Peter Ladefoged, one of the world's leading phoneticians, describes how languages use a variety of different sounds, many of them quite unlike any that occur in well-known languages. People trill their lips and click their tongues when talking in ways that are amazing to English speakers. Several of these unusual sounds are reproduced on the ...
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2000 Hardcover First Edition New 0631214119. 216 pages.

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Overview

This superb introduction to phonetics, with its accompanying CD, is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the sounds of languages. Peter Ladefoged, one of the world's leading phoneticians, describes how languages use a variety of different sounds, many of them quite unlike any that occur in well-known languages. People trill their lips and click their tongues when talking in ways that are amazing to English speakers. Several of these unusual sounds are reproduced on the CD.

The book opens with a brief introduction to the main forces working on the sounds of languages. Using basic terms, Ladefoged outlines the acoustic components of speech and demonstrates speech synthesis. Subsequent chapters on computers and speech describe text-to-speech systems, and show how speech recognition systems work. The last part of the book describes the sounds of a wide variety of languages, introducing them to readers largely by means of the CD that accompanies the book, and by reference to the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

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What People Are Saying

John Laver
This is a fascinating, accessible, and reader-friendly book by a master phonetician, about how speech sounds are made, and how they can be analyzed. Being able to hear the sounds under discussion, on the accompanying CD, is really useful. I warmly recommend the book to everyone with an interest, professional or otherwise, in spoken language.
—( John Laver, University of Edinburgh)
Peter J. Roach
This is a radically new introduction to phonetics. The use of examples is imaginative and the book is written with infectious enthusiasm. It will change the way we introduce students to phonetics.
John Ohala
Only Peter Ladefoged, the world's leading phonetician, could produce a work like this: an authoritative and thorough introduction to phonetics written in a style that can be understood by a reader with no prior background in linguistics.
—( John Ohala, University of California, Berkeley)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631214113
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.93 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Ladefoged, UCLA Research Phonetician and Professor of Phonetics Emeritus, was Director of the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory from 1962 to 1991. He is author of numerous books, including A Course in Phonetics (fourth edition, 2001) and Phonetic Data Analysis (Blackwell, 2004).
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Table of Contents

Preface.
Acknowledgements.
Part I: Sounds and Languages:
  1. The Sounds of Language Evolve.
  2. Language and Speech.
  3. Describing Speech Sounds.
  4. Summary.
    Part II: Pitch and Loudness:
  5. Tones.
  6. English Intonation.
  7. The Vocal Folds.
  8. Loudness Differences.
  9. Summary.
    Part III: Vowel Contrasts:
  10. Sets of Vowels in a Language.
  11. English Vowels.
  12. Summary.
    Part IV: The Sounds of Vowels:
  13. Acoustic Structure of Vowels.
  14. The Acoustic Vowel Space.
  15. Sound Spectrograms.
  16. Summary.
    Part V: Charting vowels: Formants one and two.
  17. Comparing English Vowels.
  18. Formant three.
  19. Summary.
    Part VI: The Sounds of Consonants:
  20. Consonant Contrasts.
  21. Stop Consonants.
  22. Approximants.
  23. Nasals.
  24. Fricatives.
  25. Summary.
    Part VII: Acoustic Components of Speech:
  26. The Principal Acoustic Components.
  27. Synthesizing Speech.
  28. Summary.
    Part VIII: Talking Computers:
  29. How Writing must be Pronounced.
  30. Words and Sounds in Sentences.
  31. Synthesizing Sounds from a Phonetic Transcription.
  32. Summary.
    Part IX: Listening Computers:
  33. Identifying Sounds.
  34. The Basis of Computer Speech Recognition.
  35. Special Context Speech Recognizers.
  36. Recognizing Running Speech.
  37. Different Accents and Different Voices.
  38. More for the computationally curious.
  39. Summary.
    Part X: Making English Consonants:
  40. Acoustics and Articulations.
  41. The Vocal Organs.
  42. Places and Manners of Articulation.
  43. Describing Consonants.
  44. Summary.
    Part XI: Making English Vowels:
  45. Movements of the Tongue and Lip for Vowels.
  46. Muscles controlling the Tongue and Lip.
  47. Traditional Descriptions of Vowels.
  48. Summary.
    Part XII: Actions of the Larynx:
  49. Voiced and Voiceless Sounds.
  50. Voicing and Aspiration.
  51. Glottal Stops.
  52. Breathy Voice.
  53. Creaky Voice.
  54. Further Differences in Vocal Fold Vibrations.
  55. Ejectives.
  56. Implosives.
  57. Recording Data on Larynx Actions.
  58. Summary.
    Part XIII: Consonants Around the World:
  59. Phonetic Fieldwork.
  60. Well Known Consonants.
  61. More Places of Articulation.
  62. More Manners of Articulation.
  63. Clicks.
  64. Summary.
    Part XIV: Vowels around the World:
  65. Types of Vowels.
  66. Lip Rounding.
  67. Nasalized Vowels.
  68. Voice Quality.
  69. Summary.
    Part XV: Putting Vowels and Consonants Together:
  70. The Speed of Speech.
  71. The Alphabet.
  72. Slips of the Tongue and the Ear.
  73. The International Phonetic Alphabet.
  74. Contrasting Sounds.
  75. Features that Matter within a Language.
  76. Summary.
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