Vowels and Consonants


This popular and accessible introduction to phonetics has been fully updated for its third edition, and now includes an accompanying website with sound files, and expanded coverage of topics such as speech technology.

  • Describes how languages use a variety of different sounds, many of them quite unlike any that occur in well-known languages
  • Written by the late Peter Ladefoged, one of the world's leading ...
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Vowels and Consonants

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This popular and accessible introduction to phonetics has been fully updated for its third edition, and now includes an accompanying website with sound files, and expanded coverage of topics such as speech technology.

  • Describes how languages use a variety of different sounds, many of them quite unlike any that occur in well-known languages
  • Written by the late Peter Ladefoged, one of the world's leading phoneticians, with updates by renowned forensic linguist, Sandra Ferrari Disner
  • Includes numerous revisions to the discussion of speech technology and additional updates throughout the book
  • Explores the acoustic, articulatory, and perceptual components of speech, demonstrates speech synthesis, and explains how speech recognition systems work
  • Supported by an accompanying website at www.vowelsandconsonants3e.com featuring additional data and recordings of the sounds of a wide variety of languages, to reinforce learning and bring the descriptions to life
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The book is of interest to teachers and would help to develop readers' perception of speech production and their competence in spoken English. It is a 'must have' book that adds richness and knowledge to individuals and libraries.” (Linguist, 31 October 2012)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444334296
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/20/2012
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 1,304,175
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Ladefoged (1925-2006) was Research Phonetician and Professor of Phonetics Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, and was Director of the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory from 1962 to 1991 and was president of the Linguistic Society of America. He is the author of numerous books, including The Sounds of the World's Languages (with I. Maddieson, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996), Phonetic Data Analysis (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004), and A Course in Phonetics, Sixth Edition (with Keith Johnson, 2010).

Sandra Ferrari Disner teaches general and forensic linguistics at the University of Southern California. She has over 25 years of experience in speech technology, having developed commercial text-to-speech and speech-recognition systems in five languages, as well as the world's first talking video games.

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Table of Contents

Table of Web Content ix

Author’s Preface from the First Edition xiii

Preface to the Third Edition xiv

Acknowledgments from the Previous Editions xvi

The International Phonetic Alphabet xviii

1 Sounds and Languages 1

1.1 Languages Come and Go 1

1.2 The Evolving Sounds of Languages 4

1.3 Language and Speech 5

1.4 Describing Speech Sounds 6

1.5 Summary 9

2 Pitch and Loudness 11

2.1 Tones 11

2.2 English Intonation 14

2.3 The Vocal Folds 20

2.4 Loudness Differences 23

2.5 Summary 24

3 Vowel Contrasts 26

3.1 Sets of Vowels and Standard Forms of a Language 26

3.2 English Vowels 28

3.3 Summary 31

4 The Sounds of Vowels 32

4.1 Acoustic Structure of Vowels 32

4.2 The Acoustic Vowel Space 35

4.3 Spectrographic Displays 37

4.4 Summary 38

5 Charting Vowels 39

5.1 Formants One and Two 39

5.2 Accents of English 43

5.3 Formant Three 46

5.4 Summary 47

6 The Sounds of Consonants 48

6.1 Consonant Contrasts 48

6.2 Stop Consonants 48

6.3 Approximants 53

6.4 Nasals 54

6.5 Fricatives 55

6.6 Summary 60

7 Acoustic Components of Speech 62

7.1 The Principal Acoustic Components 62

7.2 Synthesizing Speech 64

7.3 Summary 67

8 Talking Computers 68

8.1 Words in Context 68

8.2 Our Implicit Knowledge 72

8.3 Synthesizing Sounds from a Phonetic Transcription 75

8.4 Applications 78

8.5 Summary 81

9 Listening Computers 82

9.1 Patterns of Sound 82

9.2 The Basis of Computer Speech Recognition 87

9.3 Special Context Speech Recognizers 89

9.4 Recognizing Running Speech 90

9.5 Different Accents and Different Voices 94

9.6 More for the Computationally Curious 96

9.7 Summary 97

10 How We Listen to Speech 99

10.1 Confusable Sounds 99

10.2 Sound Prototypes 103

10.3 Tackling the Problem 107

10.4 Finding Words 109

10.5 Social Interactions 110

10.6 Summary 112

10.7 Further Reading and Sources 112

11 Making English Consonants 114

11.1 Acoustics and Articulation 114

11.2 The Vocal Organs 115

11.3 Places and Manners of Articulation 117

11.4 Describing Consonants 119

11.5 Summary 122

12 Making English Vowels 123

12.1 Movements of the Tongue and Lips for Vowels 123

12.2 Muscles Controlling the Tongue and Lips 126

12.3 Traditional Descriptions of Vowels 129

12.4 Summary 134

13 Actions of the Larynx 135

13.1 The Larynx 135

13.2 Voiced and Voiceless Sounds 137

13.3 Voicing and Aspiration 138

13.4 Glottal Stops 140

13.5 Breathy Voice 141

13.6 Creaky Voice 145

13.7 Further Differences in Vocal Fold Vibrations 148

13.8 Ejectives 149

13.9 Implosives 151

13.10 Recording Data from the Larynx 152

13.11 Summary 155

14 Consonants Around the World 156

14.1 Phonetic Fieldwork 156

14.2 Well-Known Consonants 158

14.3 More Places of Articulation 159

14.4 More Manners of Articulation 167

14.5 Clicks 172

14.6 Summary 175

15 Vowels Around the World 176

15.1 Types of Vowels 176

15.2 Lip Rounding 178

15.3 Nasalized Vowels 182

15.4 Voice Quality 184

15.5 Summary 185

16 Putting Vowels and Consonants Together 186

16.1 The Speed of Speech 186

16.2 Slips of the Tongue 188

16.3 The Alphabet 188

16.4 The International Phonetic Alphabet 192

16.5 Contrasting Sounds 193

16.6 Features that Matter within a Language 195

16.7 Summary 199

Glossary 200

Further Reading 205

Index 206

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    Yay for you! Heres an easy one!

    An explorer goes on an expedition in the jungle. He sets up camp in the middle of the jungle. In the morning he looks in his bag and sees something with a head and a tail and he is not afraid. What is it?

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