SYLLABUS: Phonetics, L306

April 25, 2008
(The syllabus will be frequently updated. Check for latest version.)

Section 11733, Spring, 2008
MW 10:10-11:00,  BH 322

F      10:10-11:00,  LI 402                                                              

Instructor: Robert Port
Office Hours: MW 2:30-3:30

Goals. You should learn:
(a) to perceive and produce the most common sound types of the languages of the world, including Tone-and-Break Index (ToBI) transcription for English accents and intonation,
(b) the physiological properties of the speech-producing apparatus,
(c) the basic properties of sound in general,
(d) how speech sounds are similar and different from each other acoustically, including how to create and interpret acoustic displays using appropriate software,
(e) why speech performance is a challenging theoretical problem for (and possibly incompatible with) linguistic theory.
(f) how speech behavior reflects innate human predispositions plus lots of generalized learning.
Friday Laboratory Class.  On Fridays, we will meet in the Main Library 402 (an STC cluster), where each student will have their own computer and should bring their own headphones (or ear buds).

Requirements. Students will do the home work assignments, a number of laboratory projects, take a written midterm plus a final exam. The weekly homeworks count 15%, projects will total 15%, phonetic transcription quiz 10%, midterm 30%, final 30%.

Text Materials

Phonetics Links  Department of Linguistics   Program in Cognitive Science


 Homeworks should be turned in on Friday (preferably in class).
Week 1. (starting Jan 7)  Overview: Phonetic Alphabet and Speech Anatomy.
Read Ladefoged,  Chapter 1. Homework (due Friday Jan 11 in class):
       Exercises A-F (pp. 24-31).

Week 2. (starting Jan 14)  Phonetics vs. Phonology
Read Ladefoged, Chapter 2.     Homework:  D (always transcribe the American voice), F, G, H (pp. 49-50)
Week 3. (Jan 21) English Consonants.
Read Ladefoged, Chapter 3.
Homework: A-D, pp. 76-80  (Print out the pages from the CD at UCLA, or copy from book)
Do exercises below on `Port's Speech Dynamics Model' and turn in.
             Port's Speech Dynamics Model including a page of exercises.
Week 4  (Jan 28)  Vowels of English.
Read Ladef, Chapter 4. Homework: C, D but turn in only I for both British and American speakers (pp 101-103 ). 
Listen to Port's description of Vowel Transcription [mp3 recording] and [vowel symbols]
Week 5.  (Feb 4)   English Allophonic Rules

Study Port's List of English Allophonic Rules.
Week 6.  (Feb 11)   Prosody and ToBI
Read Ladefoged, Chapt 5.
Homework: Transcribe very narrowly fragments on this recording: from a speaker of  British English and a speaker from Boston. (On Window, right click the hotlink and save the file locally.) Print the text on this page and write your transcription on this sheet.  Turn in Friday.
Friday:  Transcription quiz in the lab.

Week 7.  (Feb 18)  TobI Analysis of English Intonation
                    Read Chapter 5 again with special attention to the ToBI discussion 
         Homework Assignment : Some Tobi Practice
 ToBI analysis summaryof English prosody and  ToBI practice sentences.
  Here is a page of audio and visual demos at Ohio State.
For more detail and more examples of ToBI, check the Mary Beckman's Tobi Page
 Homework: A.  ToBI transcription of the Bush clips, 10- 13 utterances on this page.: Some ToBi Practice-3
                    B.  Do these clips from the `Rainbow Passage,' spkr Prof. Catherine Harris (of CUNY). Print this page, then transcribe Tobi.
                           phrase 1, phrase 2phrase 3, phrase 4, phrase 5

Week 8. (Feb 25)  Phonation and Air Stream Mechanisms.
Read Ladef Chap 6. Hmwk: pp 152-4, A, B, D.
     F1-F2 Graph Display for Vowels
Audio clips:  ba-ba-pa-pha-phha, Eng. diphth. RP.
 Listen to the examples on the textbook CD or (more conveniently) at the UCLA phonetics website from Nama, Hausa and Sindhi to find the click sounds we listened to in class. Learn to differentiate at least the Nama clicks.
Week 9. (March 3)   Places of Articulation and Manners.
Read Ladef Chap 7. Homework: Problems A-D for class  Wed, March 26.
           Lab Project
IPA Phonetic Symbol Chart
Review Sheet for Midterm
Midterm exam on Friday before break.
Spring Break (Mar 10)

Week 10-11. (March 17, March 24) Acoustics of Speech. 
Homework:  Problems A, B, C on pp. 208 for a
Read half of Ladef Chap 8 (only pp. 181-184 and audio demos) and my Acoustics of Speech handouts.
1. Basic Acoustics. 2. Acoustics of Speech.
Useful demos on acoustics are at Dan Russel's Acoustics Demos.
Further material on acoustics at Kewley-Port's `Speech Websites'.
Week 12.  (March 31)  Acoustics of Speech, Vowels and Spectrogram Reading
            Read Ladef Chaps 8 (184-208) and Chap 9 on vowels.

Week 13. (April 7)    Spectrogram Reading.
          Read Ladef Chap 10: syllables, sonority
Xray views of speech production. See Kevin Munhall's webpage  for information about his collection.

Week 14. (April 14)  Spectrogram Reading.
Check out the tutorial on spectrogram reading by Rob Hagiwara.  He also posts a  `mystery spectrogram' every month for you to practice on.   You can try to read his earlier mystery spectrograms and then check your accuracy for further practice.  For each one, he explains the evidence that one should have seen that would justify the correct analysis.   My only complaint about this very useful website is that the aspect ratio of his spectrograms is different than the other SGs we have been looking at.  His frequency scale is too tall relative to the time scale.  (Of course, you could make the image look more like those we have been using by copy the image into a graphics program and stretching time or compressing frequency).
DEMO. Sine Wave Speech. By Robert Remez and Phil Rubin. Try these demos at this location. This is Formant tracks are replaced by sinusoid tone sweeps. Astonishly, although these do not LOOK like speech (in spectrogram form) or SOUND like speech, you can still understand most of the text. Since they retain the dynamical properties of speech trajectories, it seems we can hear them as speech anyway. Remarkable.

Lab assignment, April 18

 Week 15. (April 21)  Speech in Continuous Time vs. Segmental Time.  Review.
  1. Read Port (2006) `The graphical basis of phones and phonemes'  In Murray Munro and Ocke-Schwen Bohn (eds.) Second Language Speech Learning: The Role of Language Experience in Speech Perception and Production.  Benjamins, Amsterdam. pp. 349-365. 
  2. Read Port ``All is Prosody'' a talk for Prosody2008.
  3. Read: Ladef Chap 11
Take-home exam. Questions delivered  Fri, April 25 and returned Tues, April 29.
  • Review Sheet for 2008 Final Exam.  

  • RF Port, Copyright Indiana University.