Ling 600.01 Phonetic Theory, Au 2011
This course is a graduate-level introduction to phonetics.
It is an overview of phonetic representations and theories, including
the basics of the Acoustic Theory of Speech Production,
related theories of speech perception,
and some ideas from Autosegmental-Metrical Phonology about
how to represent the relationship between prosodic structure
and the realization of vowels and consonants.
One major component of the coursework is a set of take-home exercises,
with data gathering and/or analysis outside of the classroom
and an associated in-class lab assignment.
This component is intended to fulfill the main function of the course,
which is to provide the background for further work in phonetics
and laboratory phonology.
A second major component is a small field project, with incremental
field project reports geared to the topics covered in the class.
Most of the field project reports also have one or two associated
in-class lab assignments using data recorded in collaboration with
the field project language consultant, so that this component of the
coursework relates the phonetic theories and representations reviewed
in class to the classical phonological model of distinctive features and
allophonic variation embodied in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Thus, this component serves to cover some of the background for courses
in field methods and phonological theory by providing the opportunity
to exercise transcription skills in conjunction with other methods of
observation in working with a language consultant.
However, this coverage assumes a basic familiarity with the IPA model
and its relationship to subsequent phonological theory.
A student who wants a more thorough, basic introduction to classical
phonemics and the IPA should enroll instead in Speech & Hearing 320 or
Course number: 11783
Class meeting times and location:
Tuesdays & Thursday 9:30-11:18a.m., in Derby 029
Mary E. Beckman,
room 021 Oxley, 292-9752 ext. 2, mbeckman at ling dot osu dot edu
Office hours: Wednesdays at 2:30 and by appointment
room 200 Oxley, 247-2698, tsui at ling dot osu dot edu
Office hours: Tuesdays at 1:30 and by appointment
A full and detailed syllabus is available here
in pdf format along with a
time table that will reflect any changes we
make to due dates to accommodate the actual pace of the class.
You should refer to this time table from the last page of
the syllabus for due dates for assignments associated with the topics that we
will cover in the following sequence:
- (Weeks 0 & 1) -- Introduction to sound and "sounds" (issues of
discretization and segmentation). Types of acoustic signals,
and the alternation of major class features.
- (Week 2) --
The resonating vocal tract and the overtones in schwa
(calculating resonance frequencies of a simple tube).
- (Weeks 2 & 3) --
The voice source (periodicity and pitch).
Basics of signal analysis.
- (Weeks 3 & 4) -- The vowel space.
- (Weeks 4 & 5) -- Psychoacoustics of timbre.
- (Week 6) -- Assessing perceptual categories and measuring perceptual distance.
- (Week 7) -- Acoustics of fricatives. Quantal theory and fricative
- (Weeks 8 & 9) -- Acoustics of plosive consonants.
Phonation type contrasts on obstruents.
- (Week 10) -- Constrictions coupled in parallel and in series.
The acoustics of nasals and laterals and of various types of "secondary" articulation.
There are three sets of materials associated with this course.
- A Laboratory Course in Phonology. By Mary E. Beckman and
Janet B. Pierrehumbert.
Blackwell (to appear).
This set consists of extracts from a textbook that is in preparation, including
recordings and other copyrighted material, which will be made available incrementally
on a hidden web site, which we can reveal to you when you have agreed to certain
conditions on use which are designed to protect the privacy of the talkers who
contributed the materials. There are also instructions
specific to this course that are (or will be) linked into this page as part of the next set
- Phonetic Theory -- Course Project and Lab Assignments. 2011 edition,
online course materials.
This set is all of the other documents that are (or will be) linked into this course web page.
These describe the field project reports that are due at
various stages of the fieldwork,
provide instructions for the take-home
lab exercises, and specify the materials to prepare for
the in-class lab assignments associated
with the course project reports and take-home.
There is also a document that gives more general
instructions for the course project and in-class labs. This document
includes the IPA chart and useful hints for working with a language consultant,
as well as a section with suggestions about how to find a language consultant.
You should consult this section immediately.
- Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics. 3rd edition.
By Keith Johnson
This is a textbook on sale at the main campus bookstore and other similar outlets.
(Be sure to get the 3rd edition, which has a substantially changed section
on perception which we will be use in this class.)
The background reading that is assigned for each topic is from this book, and it
must be done before the beginning of the class in which we begin a topic so that
you can ask questions about any passage you do not understand.
If you do not ask questions, we will assume that you understand the concepts
in the book well enough to apply them in doing the labs, take-home exercises,
and field project report.
General information about course project and in-class labs
As noted above, a general description of the course project and lab assignments
is available here. This pdf document
also includes the IPA chart and a useful list of words to start with
in eliciting forms from your language consultant. Read this document
before the first in-class lab session, in order to know how to prepare.
Here are links to descriptions of the materials and questions for
the ten in-class lab assignments. (Note that the day on
which the lab is scheduled to be done in class is stated
as the first or second class period in some week of the quarter,
and we're starting the count of weeks at "week 0" for the
class meeting on Thursday, September 22.)
- Lab 1 -- Basic acoustics
- Lab 2 -- Estimating the length of the vocal tract
- Lab 3 -- Calculating fundamental frequency
- Lab 4 -- Measuring formants in English vowels
- Lab 5 -- Vowels of the field project language
- Lab 6 -- Judging perceptual distances
- Lab 7 -- Fricatives of the field project language
- Lab 8 -- Plosives of the field project language
- Lab 9 -- Phonation type contrasts in the field project language
- Lab 10 -- Nasals, laterals, etc., in the field project language
Here are links to the instructions for the five field project reports.
(If there is no title or document at the link, that means that the
exercise is still in preparation.
If there is a title and link, but the date at the top of the
document is 2006, that means that the instructions for that
exercise have not been updated yet for the 2007 edition,
and you should not use the instructions yet.)
- Exercise 1
-- "Major class features" (a segmentation exercise)
- Exercise 2 -- "Rugao tone patterns"
(an exercise on the semantics of tone and the syntax of tonal groups)
- Exercise 3 -- "Method of Adjustment"
(an exercise on the perceptual vowel space).
- Exercise 4 -- "MDS on Mandarin voiceless fricatives"
A directory containing the experimental stimuli,
the Table files of results from the experiment in class, and various
figures and scripts.
- Exercise 5 -- "Korean stops"
(an exercise on various acoustic cues to plosive phonation type contrasts).
You can download Praat off the Web.
Here is a link to
the praat scripts that we write in class
Here is the homepage to go to in order to get
R, the "GNU S" software
package for statistical analysis and graphics.
Here is a link to
the R scripts that we write in class
If you want to take advantage of Emu to organize your files and transcriptions,
you can download the code from here.
Jonathan Harrington's book Phonetic Analysis of Speech Corpora is a
good introduction to using Emu and R to analyze speech files that you have
annotated using Praat.
If you want to label audio files for your field project report
in the IPA but don't want to bother with the issues of how to
embed an IPA font into a TextGrid file, you might want to look
at the coventions for "transliterating" IPA symbols into the ASCII
symbol described on
the SAMPA home page.
Alternatively, you might want to use
which is what we are using to transcribe the children and adults
participants in the paidologos
project -- a cross-language study of phonological acquisition.
If you're looking to embed IPA fonts in an html document,
check out John Well's page on
IPA in Unicode.
If you're looking for a way to include IPA fonts in a LaTeX
document, you can use the tipa font.
Here is a link to Matt Makashay's cheat sheet on the
textipa font, described in
this how-to file.
Here's the link to Richard Ishida's
Sound files and video clips that accompany the late Peter Ladefoged's books
Vowels and Consonants and A Course in Phonetics
are available at the
UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive.
Sound files and various demos for Phil Hoole's
Einfuehrung in die Phonetik I und II are linked into
of his courses web page.
The home page for the
Phonetic Association also has a good deal of useful material,
including an archive of recordings that go with the "language illustrations"
in the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association.
Here is a link to Jim Hillenbrand's Detroiter
Here is a link to the UCLA Phonetics Lab Software web page,
where you can download the
database program, if you're interested in looking at
the range of phoneme inventories that were described for the 451 languages
in Ian Maddison's UPSID database in 1990.
And here is a link to Jeff Mielke's
database of sound patterns.
The home page for the ToBI framework
for developing prosodic annotation tools links you to descriptions of
prosodic systems for various languages, including
If you want to make recordings in the sound booth in Oxley room 06,
talk with the instructor.
Copyright © 2009 Mary E. Beckman, Linguistics, Ohio State University